Laval Rocket vs Belleville Senators Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game Interviews, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL | Game 1, Home Game 1 | Friday, February 12, 2021|
|Bell Centre, Montreal, QC|
Rocket LineupForward lines
Yannick Veilleux – Jordan Weal – Rafael Harvey-Pinard
Laurent Dauphin – Ryan Poehling – Jake Lucchini
Joel Teasdale – Joseph Blandisi – Jesse Ylonen
Michael Pezzetta – Lukas Vejdemo – Kevin LynchDefense pairings
Xavier Ouellet – Josh Brook
Otto Leskinen – Cale Fleury
Gustav Olofsson – Corey SchuenemanGoaltenders
Cayden Primeau – Michael McNivenScratches
Tobie Paquette-Bisson, Nathanael Halbert, Liam Hawel, Cameron Hillis, Hayden Verbeek, Jan Mysak, Sam Vigneault, Arsen Khisamutdinov, Jacob Leguerrier, Brandon Baddock, Gianni FairbrotherInjuries
Alex Belzile (day-to-day), Kaiden Guhle (day-to-day)
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
After almost a year of waiting, the Laval Rocket finally had the opportunity to step back onto the ice in game action. Their surroundings looked a bit different, however, with the club operating out of the Bell Centre this season due to COVID-19 protocols and precautions. As the players were introduced at center ice, it didn’t go unnoticed that they were standing in the midst of one of the greatest NHL arenas which this AHL team would call home for the 2020-21 season.
For Joel Teasdale and Rafael Harvey-Pinard, the night would mark their professional debuts, while Jesse Ylonen would make his North American pro debut after having played in the Finnish Liiga.
The Rocket didn’t waste any time getting down to business after the opening ceremony. They came out of the gate skating hard and putting pucks on Joey Daccord. Otto Leskinen had a nice shot from the point early on, as he was taking a big hit from Logan Shaw.
Joseph Blandisi didn’t like the hit, and immediately went after Shaw, but the officials didn’t like the hit either and whistled the play dead to send the Belleville forward to the box for boarding. It was the first of three power play opportunities the Senators handed to the Rocket in the opening period, but Laval wasn’t able to convert on any of them.
The Rocket also spent some time in the penalty box, and although Belleville rang the puck off iron behind Cayden Primeau a couple of times, they didn’t get any past the young goaltender.
It was the captain, Xavier Ouellet, who scored the first goal of the season when he fired the puck from the point and it redirected on its way in to the net. Teasdale and Josh Brook picked up assists on the goal.
Things didn’t start off well in the second period for Laval as Shaw found the back of the Rocket’s net just 57 seconds in. Ryan Poehling and Gustav Olofsson then went to the box practically at the same time, giving the Senators an extended five-on-three advantage. Primeau was Laval’s best penalty killer during that time, however, stopping the puck on a number of attempts by Belleville.
Blandisi then put the Rocket back on top after Ylonen dished the puck back to him in the circle, where Blandisi wristed it past Daccord. Soon after, it was Laval’s turn for a lengthy five-on-three power play and it was Blandisi who again found the back of Belleville’s net by burying a rebound from Cale Fleury‘s big point shot.
The Rocket continued to dominate the ice in the third period, when Vejdemo and Teasdale each scored a goal to give Laval a commanding 5-1 lead which the Senators could not come back from.
For Vejdemo’s goal, Michael Pezzetta made an unbelievable play to keep the puck in the zone and whip a shot onto the net which careened off toward Vejdemo on the other side of the ice. The forward tossed the puck toward Daccord as he was falling to the ice, and it managed to wobble over top of the Belleville goaltender and into the net.
Teasdale scored his first professional goal when he skated the puck into the zone, then quickly cut from the wing into the slot and got off a quick wrister that beat Daccord.
It was a solid first outing for the 2020-21 Laval Rocket, but Joel Bouchard admitted after the game that Belleville is a team to watch out for and he expects them to be looking for payback when these teams rematch tomorrow at 1:00 pm ET. Because of the quick turnaround, Bouchard confirmed that Primeau will not start in net, but did not reveal whether Michael McNiven or Vasily Demchenko would get the call.
Be sure to scroll down to hear full audio from tonight’s post-game media call with Blandisi, Ylonen, Teasdale, and Bouchard.
Plus / Minus
▲ Jesse Ylonen, Joseph Blandisi, Ryan Poehling, Lukas Vejdemo
▼ Laurent Dauphin
|1 for 5||Power Play||0 for 4|
Stars of the Game
|AHL Official Three Stars|
What Did They Say?
Post-game interview with Joel Bouchard
Post-game interview with Joseph Blandisi
Post-game interview with Jesse Ylonen
Post-game interview with Joel Teasdale
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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