Vrbetic Wins First AHL Start | RECAP: BEL @ LAV


GAME RECAP | Laval Rocket vs Belleville Senators: Line-up, Score, Statistics, Highlights, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Three Stars, Rocket Sports Media

FINAL | Game 25, Home Game 14 | Saturday, December 10, 2022
Place Bell, Laval, QC






Rocket Lineup

Forward lines

Anthony Richard – Brandon Gignac – Lucas Condotta

Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Alex Belzile – Jesse Ylonen

Peter Abbandonato – Mitchell Stephens – Gabriel Bourque

Joel Teasdale – John Parker-Jones – Olivier Galipeau (seventh defenseman)

Defense pairings

Nicolas Beaudin – Corey Schueneman

William Trudeau – Otto Leskinen

Mattias Norlinder – Tory Dello


Joe Vrbetic – Kevin Poulin




Gianni Fairbrother (knee), Nate Schnarr (lower-body), Cayden Primeau (upper-body), Madison Bowey (upper-body), Jan Mysak (DTD), Danick Martel (DTD), Justin Barron, Xavier Simoneau (upper-body)

Game Report

Game Report written by Chris G

The Laval Rocket hosted the Belleville Senators on Saturday in the second match of the weekend series between the division rivals. On Friday, Belleville came out victorious with a 2-1 shootout win.

Saturday was Laval’s annual teddy bear toss game at Place Bell, and the fans came into the packed building armed to flood the ice.

Xavier Simoneau was not available for the game after suffering an upper body injury on Friday. In his absence, John Parker-Jones made his AHL debut. Parker-Jones was recalled from Trois-Rivieres on Thursday, where he collected 11 points in 17 games.

In goal, Joe Vrbetic got the call for his first AHL start. Vrbetic came into relief to Kevin Poulin during Laval’s Dec. 4th loss to the Abbotsford Canucks.

First Period

The action started on the opening shift 23 seconds into the game when 6-foot-3 Scott Sabourin went looking to start a fight with 6-foot-7 Parker-Jones. Sabourin was given an instigating minor on the sequence.

Laval made Belleville pay the price 25 seconds into the power play as Anthony Richard beat Antoine Bibeau with a top corner shot. The game was delayed as the fans threw their stuffed animals onto the ice.

Lucas Condotta doubled Laval’s lead when he picked up a loose puck behind the net and surprised Bibeau that was looking the other direction.

Thirty six seconds later, Rafael Harvey-Pinard found Alex Belzile in the slot and the captain slid the puck between the pads for the goal.

Laval was outshooting Belleville 12-2 through 8:36 of the frame when Condotta received a holding minor. The Senators needed 31 seconds as Angus Crookshank beat Vrbetic glove side.

Laval was on the penalty kill when Richard won a race to the puck against Bibeau and the forward went around the goalie to get an easy shorthanded goal.

Bibeau’s afternoon was over 15 seconds later when Peter Abbandonato fed Jesse Ylonen for a goal on an odd man rush. Mads Sogaard came into relief.

The intensity and physical play was consistent throughout the period as the teams combined for 44 penalty minutes, and the frequent post whistle scrums.

Second Period

Penalties were the story of the second period with six minor infractions called by the officials.

Laval obtained a couple of short handed opportunities as Harvey-Pinard hit the cross bar and Sogaard made a key save on Gabriel Bourque on an odd man rush.

Belleville capitalized on a two-man advantage while Olivier Galipeau and Belzile were in the box. There were sticks hacking away at a loose puck in the crease when Rourke Chartier tapped it behind the red line.

A little over two minutes later, Sabourin cut the lead to two goals with a shot that beat Vrbetic blocker side from the faceoff circle.

Third Period

Harvey-Pinard thought he scored Laval’s sixth goal but the officials waived off because he knocked the puck in the net with his chest using a forward motion.

Former Rocket Brennan Saulnier was serving a double minor for high sticking when Brandon Gignac beat Sogaard with a wrist shot from the faceoff dot. The goal ended the forward’s seven game scoring drought.

Sabourin reduced Laval’s lead with a shot from the blue line that beat Vrbetic.

Harvey-Pinard ended up getting a goal as he sealed the victory with an empty net goal.

What’s Next?

The organization announced that 8,845 teddy bears were thrown on the ice when Richard scored.

With the 7-4 win, Laval finished the weekend with three of the possible four points.

The Rocket heads on the road for a four-game trip beginning on Wednesday in Utica.

Be sure to scroll down for audio clips from tonight’s post-game media interviews with Gignac, Richard, Vrbetic and Houle, conducted by the AHL Report and other members of the press.

Plus / Minus

▲ Alex Belzile, Jesse Ylonen, Anthony Richard

▼ Mitchell Stephens

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
36 Shots 31
2 for 7 Power Play 2 for 9
30 Penalty Minutes 36
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
Rocket (8-13-3-1) 5 0 2 7
Senators (11-12-1-0) 1 2 1 5
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Richard (16)-PPG, Condotta (6), Belzile (2), Richard (17)-SHG, Ylonen (6), Gignac (4)-PPG, Harvey-Pinard (9)-ENG
  • BEL: Crookshank (9)-PPG, Chartier (14)-PPG, Sabourin (6), Sabourin (7)
  • LAV: Vrbetic (W) 1-0-0-0
  • BEL: Bibeau (L) 6-6-0-0

Stars of the Game​​

 AHL Official Three Stars
  1. Anthony Richard  LAV
  2. Nicolas Beaudin  LAV
  3. Alex Belzile  LAV


 Video Highlights
Video highlights will be added when available

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews
Jean-Francois Houle Joe Vrbetic Anthony Richard Brandon Gignac

Post-game interviews conducted for The AHL Report tonight by Chris G

Social Media

 Follow @TheAHLReport on Twitter

Follow @theAHLReport on Twitter


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