|FINAL | 2018-19 Season, Game 40 | Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Audette – Evans – Belzile
[one_half_last]Ouellet – Lernout
Michal Moravcik, Charlie Lindgren, David Sklenicka, Hayden Verbeek, Michael Pezzetta
Gustav Olofsson (shoulder), Noah Juulsen (undisclosed), Michael McCarron (undisclosed), David Schlemko (undisclosed)
The Rocket returned home to Laval on Wednesday night for the first of three games at Place Bell this week. First up? A North Division battle with the Belleville Senators.
Charlie Lindgren was held out of this game to be given some additional rest after coming back from injury last weekend, but coach Joel Bouchard made the decision to go with tryout goaltender Connor LaCouvee instead of Montreal prospect Michael McNiven.
In the first period, Laval was the more successful team in getting pressure in the offensive zone and managed to keep getting pucks on Filip Gustavsson. On their first power play opportunity of the night, the Rocket capitalized when Jake Evans scored his 10th goal of the season off a perfect pass through traffic by Daniel Audette.
Minutes later, however, the Senators answered that goal with one of their own, on a delayed penalty. Stefan Elliott made a quick cross-crease pass to Jack Rodewald, who tapped in his 13th goal of the season. The remainder of the period was evenly played, with the Rocket getting some decent looks at the Belleville net, but nothing too dangerous.
As the second period wore on, it became apparent that this game would be all about special teams at both ends of the ice.
Byron Froese scored a shorthanded goal on a penalty to Karl Alzner, which Rodewald equalized less than a minute later with a power play goal which was actually deflected past LaCouvee off of Xavier Ouellet. Alexandre Alain then potted a power play goal of his own with a quick one-timer from the slot to give the Rocket a 3-2 lead.
In the final frame, Audette extended his point streak and the Laval lead when he shot a juicy rebound from Evans into an open net to give Laval a 4-2 lead which Belleville never recovered from despite getting a flurry of activity in front of LaCouvee toward the end of the period. Listen to full post-game audio in the player below.
The Rocket now have a day off before their next opponent comes into town. The Cleveland Monsters will start a back-to-back weekend series against Laval on Friday night.
▲ Jake Evans, Daniel Audette, Byron Froese
▼ Lukas Vejdemo, Cale Fleury
|3 for 3||Power Play||1 for 4|
|AHL Three Stars|
|Post-game interview with Joel Bouchard:
Post-game interview with Byron Froese:
Post-game interview with Daniel Audette:
Post-game interview with Jake Evans:
Post-game interview with Connor LaCouvee:
Interviews conducted by Chris G for AHL Report
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