Laval Rocket vs Stockton Heat Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game Interviews, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL | Game 15, Away Game 5 | Saturday, March 20, 2021|
|Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, AB|
Rocket LineupForward lines
Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Jordan Weal – Jesse Ylonen
Brandon Baddock – Lukas Vejdemo – Alex Belzile
Joseph Blandisi – Ryan Poehling – Joel Teasdale
Michael Pezzetta – Jan Mysak – Liam HawelDefense pairings
Corey Schueneman – Otto Leskinen
Tobie Paquette-Bisson – Cale Fleury
Guillaume Brisebois – Josh BrookGoaltenders
Michael McNiven – Vasily DemchenkoScratches
Nathanael Halbert, Hayden Verbeek, Jacob Leguerrier, Cameron Hillis, Terrance Amorosa, Tristan Pomerleau, Gustav Olofsson, Cayden Primeau, Yannick Veilleux (suspended)Injuries
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
After defeating the Stockton Heat in their first-ever meeting on Thursday night, the Rocket got back to work on Saturday afternoon against the same opponent. Laval’s lineup changed a bit up front, with Michael Pezzetta drawing in for Jake Lucchini, and Liam Hawel made his professional debut.
Michael McNiven got his third start in net, backed up by Vasily Demchenko.
It was a much quieter opening period than what took place on Thursday night, with each team trying to establish some sustained pressure but not really succeeding. Through 10 minutes of play, Stockton had two shots on net and Laval had none.
Both teams killed off a penalty in the early part of the period, and then the Rocket finally registered their first shot on goal with a little less than nine minutes left in the frame. Seconds after that, Rafael Harvey-Pinard deked around Connor Mackey and used a nifty little forehand-backhand move to put the Rocket on the board.
Just 37 seconds later, however, the Heat answered right back when former Laval captain (and now current Stockton captain) Byron Froese tipped in a point shot to tie the game.
The Rocket successfully killed off the remaining carryover of Brandon Baddock‘s second penalty to kick off the middle frame, and then Joel Teasdale almost immediately scored the go-ahead goal for Laval. After battling for the puck below the goal line, Alexander Yeselin started to skate it up ice, but Teasdale stripped him of the puck, turned and backhanded it under Louis Domingue.
Stockton again had a prime scoring opportunity very soon after that Rocket goal, but Michael McNiven came up with a good glove save to keep his team in the lead.
Then the officials seemed to put their whistles away, as Laval set up shop in the offensive zone for a lengthy stint of sustained pressure, followed by the same from Stockton in Laval’s zone.
Lukas Vejdemo saved a potential game-tying goal when the puck rang off the post and landed behind McNiven in the blue paint. Vejdemo quickly stepped in and swept the puck out of harm’s way. Soon after, the Rocket had a four-on-one rush at the opposite end of the ice and even though Teasdale’s shot was denied, Joseph Blandisi was able to clean up a rebound and give the Rocket a two-goal lead.
Penalties were handed out plentifully in the third period, and for the most part the penalty killers on each team were successful in their tasks. I said “mostly”.
Laval extended their lead when Jordan Weal dished the puck up the boards to Otto Leskinen at the point, who passed the puck across to the Jesse Ylonen on the far side. Ylonen teed up a solid one-timer to make it 4-1 for the Rocket.
Later in the period, with the teams playing four-on-four hockey due to penalties, Stockton pulled their goaltender after Blandisi took a hooking penalty which gave them a five-on-three advantage. Michael Stone almost immediately buried the puck, which actually deflected off of Alex Belzile‘s stick.
Things really started to get tense after that, with the physicality ramping up and much more contact with goaltenders happening at both ends of the ice. Luke Philp was left alone in the slot and he made no mistake on his shot to pull the Heat within one.
The Rocket buckled down and got the job done, though, with no last-minute tying goals allowed like last time.
After going two-for-two in the first half of this four-game series, the Rocket look to continue their winning ways when they take on the Heat again Sunday afternoon. Yannick Veilleux should return to the lineup in that game, after serving his two-game suspension.
Be sure to scroll down to hear full audio from the AHL Report team and other members of the media in post-game interviews with Harvey-Pinard, Teasdale, and Joel Bouchard.
Plus / Minus
▲ Joel Teasdale, Cale Fleury, Michael McNiven, Joseph Blandisi
▼ Brandon Baddock, Alex Belzile
|1 for 5||Power Play||1 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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