Laval Rocket vs Stockton Heat Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game Interviews, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL | Game 24, Home Game 13 | Tuesday, April 6, 2021|
|Bell Centre, Montreal, QC|
Rocket LineupForward lines
Joseph Blandisi – Ryan Poehling – Joel Teasdale
Yannick Veilleux – Jordan Weal – Rafael Harvey-Pinard
Hayden Verbeek – Laurent Dauphin – Jake Lucchini
Michael Pezzetta – Cameron Hillis – Arsen KhisamutdinovDefense pairings
Corey Schueneman – Josh Brook
Tobie Paquette-Bisson – Gustav Olofsson
Jacob Leguerrier – Xavier OuelletGoaltenders
Michael McNiven – Vasily DemchenkoScratches
Nathanael Halbert, Terrance Amorosa, Tristan Pomerleau, Liam Hawel, Brandon Baddock, Cole CaufieldInjuries
Alex Belzile (undisclosed), Lukas Vejdemo (undisclosed), Jan Mysak (undisclosed), Jesse Ylonen (undisclosed), Cale Fleury (undisclosed)
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
Could the Rocket find a way to keep their winning ways alive and sweet the Stockton Heat on home ice, in addition to their four-game road trip sweep in Calgary? A victory would cap off an exciting day for Laval, after Cole Caufield participated in the team’s morning skate for the first time and news emerged that Jan Mysak had signed his three-year entry-level contract with the Canadiens.
For Joel Bouchard, some roster adjustments meant more line juggling. Cayden Primeau was recalled to the NHL taxi squad as Carey Price takes treatment for an undisclosed injury, and Otto Leskinen had also been recalled. That meant Jacob Leguerrier would make his debut at last.
For the first time in a long time this season, the Rocket did not start this game well. They got dinged with a penalty in the opening minutes of the game and proceeded to give Stockton four power play opportunities throughout the opening frame. Fortunately, Michael McNiven was exceptionally sharp in net, and the penalty-killing units were successful in keeping the Heat at bay.
Gustav Olofsson also had a seat in the penalty box for a fight with Glenn Gawdin after Olofsson took exception with a late hit on Yannick Veilleux.
Throughout the period, the Rocket simply looked disjointed and out-of-sorts. The continuous penalty kills didn’t help things, and neither did the high level of tension between these two teams which led to scrums after whistles and a lot of physical play. In the pre-game warmups, Michael Pezzetta and Alex Gallant could be seen exchanging heated words at the red line – a precursor of what was to come in this game.
Sloppy play continued in the middle frame, but the penalty parade did slow down quite a bit, with Laval only taking one tripping call in the period. Both teams played a tighter game, clogging up the neutral zone and taking away shooting lanes and opportunities.
Veilleux was the first to finally light the lamp with just over 12 minutes left in the period when he deflected the puck off of a big Jordan Weal point shot.
Tensions rose yet again when Laurent Dauphin went in close to the Stockton crease and bumped Garret Sparks a bit late. Sparks didn’t like that and swiped at Dauphin, which drew a crowd. Joseph Blandisi drew some ire when he flipped the puck on net after a whistle and rang it off the crossbar, and Weal boiled over when he felt the officials were missing too many calls and he punched the glass behind the net a couple of times in frustration.
Stockton tied the game when Adam Ruzicka got loose, drove the net, and put the puck right under the crossbar.
It took until the third period for the Rocket to get their first and only power play of the night, but they couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity.
Both teams went back and forth, trying to create scoring chances, but the goaltenders were strong and neither team was giving up much open space.
Former Laval captain Byron Froese scored the game-winning goal when he went to the corner to retrieve his stick and subsequently fired the puck from a sharp angle toward the net. The move seemed to surprise McNiven a bit, and the puck found its way across the goal line. Eetu Tuulola potted an empty-netter for insurance.
With a regulation loss, the Rocket’s 12-game point streak came abruptly to a halt. It was a tough finish for McNiven, who had been the Rocket’s best player of the night through most of the game. Bouchard says the team will have a day off tomorrow before getting back to work on Thursday in preparation for a road game in Toronto on Friday night.
Be sure to scroll down to hear post-game interviews with LeGuerrier, Veilleux, and Bouchard by the AHL Report team and other members of the media.
Plus / Minus
▲ Michael McNiven, Yannick Veilleux, Jordan Weal
▼ Laurent Dauphin
|0 for 1||Power Play||0 for 5|
Stars of the Game
|AHL Official Three Stars|
What Did They Say?
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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