Rocket Force Game Seven | ECF RECAP: LAV @ SPR

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Laval Rocket vs Springfield Thunderbirds Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Rocket Sports Media

FINAL | Eastern Conference Final – Game 6 | Monday, June 13, 2022

Series tied 3-3

MassMutual Center, Springfield, MA

ROCKET

Laval

1-5

THUNDERBIRDS

Springfield

Rocket Lineup

Forward lines

Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Cedric Paquette – Alex Belzile

Brandon Gignac – Jean-Sebastien Dea – Gabriel Bourque

Joel Teasdale – Danick Martel – Jesse Ylonen

Lucas Condotta – Gianni Fairbrother (seventh defenseman) – Devante Smith-Pelly

Defense pairings

Xavier Ouellet – Louie Belpedio

Corey Schueneman – Tobie Paquette-Bisson

Sami Niku – Tory Dello

Goaltenders

Cayden Primeau – Kevin Poulin

Scratches

Olivier Galipeau, Terrance Amorosa, Nicolas Mattinen, Owen Savory, Cameron Hillis, Riley Kidney, Peter Abbandonato, Joshua Roy, Jean-Christophe Beaudin, Kevin Roy

Injuries

Lukas Vejdemo (lower body), Mattias Norlinder (upper body), Nate Schnarr

Game Report

Game Report written by Amy Johnson

After more than six weeks of grueling post-season play, the Laval Rocket’s season came down to Monday’s night’s game six tilt against the Springfield Thunderbirds. After falling in overtime on Saturday night for a second time on home ice, the Rocket faced elimination with the T-birds leading the series 3-2. Could the Rocket dig deep and extend to a seventh game?

Jean-Francois Houle opted to return to an 11-7 formation, slotting Gianni Fairbrother back into the lineup as the seventh defenseman. Nate Schnarr was out of the lineup again with injury. In net, it was Cayden Primeau against Joel Hofer, as Houle stuck with his same starter from the second game of the playoffs and Drew Bannister continued his goaltender rotation.

First Period

The opening five minutes of play was decidedly sloppy at both ends of the ice. Hofer needed to be sharp early, as Laval put an early shot right on him, but the Thunderbirds struggled to get a shot through to Primeau.

Discipline was something Houle wanted his team to focus on in this game, but the Rocket penalty killers were given a tall task early in the game when Devante Smith-Pelly took a four-minute high-sticking penalty. The Thunderbirds had not yet scored on the man-advantage in this series, and although their power play looked much more dangerous this time around, the Rocket still came out of it unscathed.

After that, the Thunderbirds controlled much of the play in the period, although not much really took place of note. Laval seemed a bit sluggish on their skates, and iced the puck at least seven times in the frame. With 2:56 left before intermission, Danick Martel was called for slashing to put the Rocket shorthanded once again, forcing the Rocket to kill off yet another penalty.

Second Period

After leaving the game in the opening period looking a little worse for wear, the Rocket announced at the start of the second that Jesse Ylonen would not return to the game. That would leave Houle’s bench with just 10 forwards for the remaining 40 minutes of hockey.

At one point it seemed as if the Thunderbirds were going to break through first, when Will Bitten got loose on a breakaway but didn’t have enough gas left in the tank to get a dangerous shot off on Primeau.

Shortly after that, a miscommunication between Hofer and Tommy Cross behind the Springfield net led to a turnover that Martel pounced on. He put the puck into an open net as the Thunderbirds’ netminder scrambled to get back to the crease.

A fourth Laval penalty arrived with 5:56 left in the period, but once again the Rocket penalty killers came up strong. The period ended with Laval on their first power play of the night and the Rocket would have carryover man-advantage time to begin the third.

Third Period

After coming up empty on the carryover power play, Gabriel Bourque kicked off a string of scoring in the third period for Laval with a wrister less than two minutes into the frame. Martel followed that up with his second goal of the night.

Matthew Peca ruined any chances of a Primeau shutout when he finally put Springfield on the board with just under five minutes remaining. Hofer was pulled for an extra attacker, but Brandon Gignac was able to pot an empty-netter.

The Rocket ended the game on the power play, and Lucas Condotta scored his second goal of the postseason while on the man-advantage.

What’s Next?

Four goals in the third period ensured that Laval’s season would not end on this night, and that a seventh and final game would need to played to determine which of these two teams will advance to the Calder Cup Final.

Houle stated after the game that Ylonen would see the doctor tomorrow regarding his injury, but was doubtful that the young forward would play on Wednesday night.

Be sure to scroll down to hear post-game interviews with Bourque, Martel, Primeau, and Houle by the AHL Report team and other members of the media. 

Plus / Minus

▲ Danick Martel, Lucas Condotta, Brandon Gignac

▼ Devante Smith-Pelly, Joel Teasdale

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
ROCKET   THUNDERBIRDS
31 Shots 31
1 for 3 Power Play 0 for 4
8 Penalty Minutes 16
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT T
Rocket (9-5-0) 0 1 4 5
Thunderbirds (9-3-0) 0 0 1 1
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Martel (8), Bourque (2), Martel (9), Gignac (5)-ENG, Condotta (2)-PPG
  • SPR: Peca (4)
  • LAV: Primeau (W) 9-4-0
  • SPR: Hofer (L) 6-2-1

Stars of the Game​​

 AHL Official Three Stars
  1. Danick Martel  LAV
  2. Cayden Primeau  LAV
  3. Gabriel Bourque  LAV

Watch

 Video Highlights

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews

 Jean-Francois Houle

Cayden Primeau

Gabriel Bourque

Danick Martel

Post-game interviews conducted for The AHL Report tonight by Amy Johnson

Social Media

 Follow @TheAHLReport on Twitter

Follow @theAHLReport on Twitter

2 COMMENTS

  1. salut-bien chers amis du rocket,
    thanks for the post-game
    big win.on the road.one to go
    wednesday nite.
    team is a reflection of the coach.
    tough.resilient.big heart,,,
    never say die,,,no quit in these fellows
    wish the team well/best of luck wedensday nite
    cheers,
    guyCH10 soit avec-nous en esprit,toujours

    • Bon matin! Thanks so much for reading and commenting, yes a very big win by the Laval crew! Took advantage of a less-than-energetic Springfield team; Wednesday night should be intense!

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