Laval Rocket vs Toronto Marlies Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL | Game 72, Away Game 37 | Saturday, April 30, 2022|
|Upstate Medical University Arena, Syracuse, NY|
Rocket LineupForward lines
Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Jean-Sebastien Dea – Alex Belzile
Gabriel Bourque – Nate Schnarr – Joel Teasdale
Brandon Gignac – Cedric Paquette – Jesse Ylonen
Danick Martel – Jean-Christophe Beaudin – Devante Smith-PellyDefense pairings
Xavier Ouellet – Louie Belpedio
Corey Schueneman – Tobie Paquette-Bisson
Sami Niku – Corey SchuenemanGoaltenders
Kevin Poulin – Cayden PrimeauScratches
Olivier Galipeau, Peter Abbandonato, Terrance Amorosa, Nicolas Mattinen, Owen Savory, Cameron Hillis, Gabriel Mollott-Hill, Lucas Condotta, Kevin RoyInjuries
Gianni Fairbrother (undisclosed), Lukas Vejdemo (lower body)
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
The final Laval Rocket game of the regular season turned out to be a crucial one. With Belleville eliminating Toronto from playoff contention earlier in the day, the Rocket needed one point against the Crunch in order to maintain third place in the North Division and earn a first-round bye. Lose in regulation, however, and Laval would face the Senators in a best-of-three play-in round next week.
With a good portion of Syracuse’s regular starters sitting in the press box to rest up for the postseason, the Rocket had a prime opportunity to take advantage of Benoit Groulx‘s roster. But it was the Crunch who got on the board first when Gage Goncalves batted down the puck in front of Kevin Poulin and banged it across the line.
Poulin had to sustain a lot of pressure throughout the first half of the period, as Syracuse applied their usual heavy forecheck and maintained most of the puck possession.
But five minutes later, Nate Schnarr evened the score after Brandon Gignac skated the puck up the left wall and fed it to Schnarr as he drove the net. Cedric Paquette also scored with about 30 seconds left in the period, when he deflected a point shot by Rafael Harvey-Pinard.
The middle frame didn’t start out with good news, as the Rocket announced that defenseman Louie Belpedio had been injured in the first period and would not return to the game. It was later announced that he had been taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons due to a lower-body injury.
However, Laval buckled down and went to work, scoring two more goals to open a 4-1 gap on the scoreboard. Paquette scored his second of the night as he crashed the crease, which could have been challenged for a kicking motion but play continued. Then Joel Teasdale stickhandled the puck into the paint and lifted it up over Hugo Alnefelt‘s equipment.
The Crunch’s “alternate” roster just couldn’t hold a candle to the intensity Laval brought in this game, and didn’t have much left to give in the third period. They registered just five shots on goal in the final frame, and didn’t add any goals to their score.
Corey Schueneman brought the game to it’s 5-1 final score when he fired a snap shot from the circle and past Alnefelt.
As it became more and more obvious that these two teams would face off in the division semi-finals, the physicality notably ramped up. Daniel Walcott, in particular, was up to his usual antics, and messages were sent on both sides of the ice that this rivalry would heat up quite quickly once the puck drops on the postseason.
The Rocket secured their third place spot in the North Division with tonight’s win, and will now face the Crunch in the North Division semi-finals. But first, both teams will have the week to rest, practice, and watch who will win the play-in round between the Belleville Senators and Rochester Americans.
The last time the Montreal Canadiens’ AHL affiliate made the postseason was in 2017 when the St. John IceCaps faced……the Syracuse Crunch. They were eliminated in the first round that year, and Habs fans will be looking for better results this time around.
Games one and two will be played in Syracuse, as the Crunch hold home-ice advantage, and will begin on Friday night.
Plus / Minus
▲ Cedric Paquette, Tory Dello, Sami Niku, Nate Schnarr
▼ Danick Martel, Devante Smith-Pelly
|1 for 4||Power Play||0 for 2|
Stars of the Game
|AHL Official Three Stars|
What Did They Say?
Post-game interviews not available for tonight’s road game
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