Laval Rocket vs Rochester Americans Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL – OT | Game 61, Home Game 27 | Friday, April 8, 2022|
|Place Bell, Laval, QC|
Rocket LineupForward lines
Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Jean-Sebastien Dea – Danick Martel
Brandon Gignac – Cedric Paquette – Kevin Roy
Gabriel Bourque – Nate Schnarr – Joel Teasdale
Lucas Condotta – Lukas Vejdemo – Alex BelzileDefense pairings
Xavier Ouellet – Sami Niku
Tobie Paquette-Bisson – Louie Belpedio
Olivier Galipeau – Tory DelloGoaltenders
Kevin Poulin – Cayden PrimeauScratches
Emil Heineman, Devante Smith-Pelly, Nicolas Mattinen, Jean-Christophe Beaudin, Terrance Amorosa, Peter AbbandonatoInjuries
Gianni Fairbrother (undisclosed), Cameron Hillis
Game Report written by Chris G
The Rocket and the Americans squared off at Place Bell on Friday for the second time this week. On Wednesday, Laval had a slow start before kicking it to the next gear in the final 40 minutes, on the way to a 6-2 win.
Several players were ready to return to action from injury, and that allowed Jean-Francois Houle to make changes to the lineup for the rematch against division rivals. Up front, Alex Belzile slotted in for the first time since leaving the February 4th game due to injury. Lucas Condotta made his AHL debut after signing a professional tryout contract on April 1st. Peter Abbandonato and Jean-Christophe Beaudin were scratched to make room for the additions.
On defence, Tobie Paquette-Bisson and Tory Dello returned to the lineup. Both players were out since February 28th and March 19th, respectively, with undisclosed injuries. Terrance Amorosa and Nicolas Mattinen were not dressed for Friday’s contest. Earlier in the day, Josh Brook was assigned to the Trois-Rivieres Lions.
Kevin Poulin got the start in goal. In his last start, Poulin made 21 saves in Laval’s loss to Abbotsford on Sunday.
Laval’s start was significantly better than Wednesday. On the opening shift, Danick Martel hit the cross bar with a wrist shot. At the other end of the rink, Poulin made three nice saves in the first four minutes of action. The opening period was physical, with both teams delivering numerous body checks.
While Laval was killing a high-sticking minor to Olivier Galipeau, Xavier Ouellet drew two minor penalties on the same sequence. On the ensuing four-on-three power play, Martel picked up a rebound in the blue paint and put the puck behind the red line. Nate Schnarr and Kevin Roy picked up assists on the goal, snapping their respective pointless drought of five games.
Rochester got on the board 3:49 into the period when Sean Malone deked Poulin to score. Laval got the goal back on the ensuing faceoff when Cedric Paquette beat Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen with a knuckle ball 11 seconds later from the blue line. Paquette’s goal was his seventh in the last seven games.
Rochester tied the game at the 7:50 mark when Arttu Ruotsalainen intercepted Paquette’s pass to Dello behind the net. Ruotsalainen found Linus Weissbach in front of the net for the goal.
The visitors got their first lead of the night when Ruotsalainen picked up his own rebound and knocked it behind Poulin.
Laval came out in force for the third period, outplaying Rochester for the entire 20 minutes. Lukas Vejdemo drew the only penalty of the period, but the Rocket were not able to tie the score.
Sami Niku brought the 6,808 fans in attendance to their feet with 1:53 remaining in regulation. While two Rochester players were distracted with trying to send a message to Paquette following a hit, the Rocket created a three-on-two that ended with Niku scoring with a wrist shot that beat the goalie blocker side. The goal ended Niku’s six-game pointless drought.
Rochester obtained an early chance in overtime when a shot beat Poulin, and the puck hit the crossbar. With 1:02 remaining, Niku, from the right faceoff circle, made a brilliant pass to Rafael Harvey-Pinard for the game-winning goal. Harvey-Pinard collected six points in the two-game series against Rochester.
Laval did not allow a shot on goal in the last 12:23 of play. The 4-3 win allows the Rocket to remain in second place in the North Division. On Saturday, the division-leading Utica Comets visit Place Bell at 4:00 pm eastern.
Gabriel Bourque left the game in the second period with an injury. After the game, Houle said that Bourque is doubtful for Saturday.
Be sure to scroll down to hear post-game interviews with Dello, Harvey-Pinard, Condotta and Houle by the AHL Report team and other members of the media.
Plus / Minus
▲ Jean-Sebastien Dea, Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Lukas Vejdemo, Sami Niku, Lukas Condotta
▼ Kevin Roy
|1 for 3||Power Play||0 for 2|
Stars of the Game
|AHL Official Three Stars|
What Did They Say?
Post-game interviews conducted for the AHL Report tonight by Chris G
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