GAME RECAP | Laval Rocket vs Abbotsford Canucks: Line-up, Score, Statistics, Highlights, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Three Stars, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL | Game 23, Away Game 11 | Sunday, December 4, 2022|
|Abbotsford Center, Abbotsford, BC|
Rocket LineupForward lines
Anthony Richard – Brandon Gignac – Xavier Simoneau
Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Alex Belzile – Jesse Ylonen
Peter Abbandonato – Mitchell Stephens – Gabriel Bourque
Lucas Condotta – Joel Teasdale – Nicolas Beaudin (seventh defenseman)Defense pairings
Corey Schueneman – Justin Barron
William Trudeau – Otto Leskinen
Mattias Norlinder – Tory DelloGoaltenders
Kevin Poulin – Joe VrbeticScratches
Gianni Fairbrother (knee), Nate Schnarr (lower-body), Cayden Primeau (upper-body), Madison Bowey (upper-body), Jan Mysak (DTD), Danick Martel (DTD)
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
Saturday night’s tilt against the Abbotsford Canucks consisted of a lot of penalty minutes, a lot of goals, a lot of frustrations, and even some injuries. The 7-5 loss put the Rocket firmly back in last place in the North Division, and the team would look to bounce back on Sunday to finish out the series and the road trip on a high note.
Jan Mysak was injured in the opening period of the previous game, and didn’t return for the rest of the night. He remained sidelined with the injury on Sunday, along with Danick Martel. Defensemen Justin Barron was inserted as the seventh defenseman after missing one game to injury.
Although it was hopeful that Canadiens goaltending prospect Joe Vrbetic might make his AHL debut on this night, it was Kevin Poulin who Houle returned to in net. In a season supposedly focused on development throughout the organization, it’s a disappointment to see that the young netminder wasn’t given this prime opportunity to get some AHL experience, particularly with how shallow the goaltending depth pool is for Montreal.
It took a few minutes again for Laval to get control of the puck and register a shot on goal, but they were soon gifted with an extended five-on-three power play after the Canucks were called for a four-minute high-sticking double minor, and then a delay of game penalty.
Despite the lengthy period on the advantage, the Rocket weren’t able to open the scoring. They have mightily struggled to win games when trailing, so an early opportunity to take an opening lead would have been welcomed.
Then Tory Dello found himself in the box for interference, giving Abbotsford their first power play of the game. Tristen Nielson lit the lamp with a puck that deflected off of his skate, but the goal was overturned for a kicking motion after a quick review.
The power play continued, and Justin Dowling made sure the next power play goal counted as he banged home a rebound in front of Poulin.
As if that weren’t deflating enough, Mattias Norlinder took a boarding penalty with 1:58 left in the period, followed eight seconds later by a William Trudeau slashing penalty.
Poulin made a couple of important saves in the remaining time, but the Canucks were relentless. With just one second left on the clock, Will Lockwood stayed with the puck in the crease and managed to find some space next to the post while Poulin was down.
31 seconds into the second period, the Rocket found themselves shorthanded once again. This time it was Brandon Gignac heading off the ice, after getting whistled for high-sticking.
The Rocket were able to kill off the penalty, but a few minutes after it expired, Wyatt Kalynuk wound up a big one-timer from the point that went right through Poulin’s five-hole without much traffic in front of the netminder.
Laval had a couple of additional power play opportunities in this period, but nothing was getting through Arturs Silovs. Nothing, that is, until Peter Abbandonato skated the puck quickly to the net and deked around Silovs to finally open the scoring for Laval with just over four minutes left in the frame.
In the final minutes of the period, Lucas Condotta pulled his team within one goal of their opponents when he backhanded the puck from the slot and put it past Silovs.
Abbotsford restored their two-goal lead within about five minutes after the start of the third period. In this instance, Christian Wolanin fed the puck through traffic from below the net and found Kyle Rau falling to the ice in the slot. Rau managed to redirect the puck and bring the score to 4-2 for the Canucks.
That goal prompted Houle to pull his veteran netminder and usher Vrbetic into the game for his very first minutes of AHL experience. It’s tough to argue that this was a difficult position to put the rookie netminder into, made even more so when just a few minutes later Vasily Podkolzin ripped a snap snot to the top corner of Laval’s net from the circle.
Very soon after that, Condotta and Kalynuk dropped the gloves, but the Abbotsford player was assessed an extra instigator penalty and 10-minute misconduct to end his night after earning a Gordie Howe hat trick.
Although things were looking bleak, Laval kept pushing and Anthony Richard came up with a nice shot from the circle that beat Silovs on the glove side. Houle pulled his netminder with more than three minutes left in the game, but Lane Pederson managed to pot a long empty-net goal to put the Canucks up by three goals.
The clock stopped with three seconds left after Joel Teasdale took the legs out from under Silovs as the Laval forward skated through the crease. He was immediately smothered by a number of Abbotsford players, and more penalties were handed out. The officials ran the remaining seconds off the clock to end things and get the teams off the ice.
To put it bluntly, not much more can go wrong for Laval this season. They are in the basement of the league in more categories than just points, and there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
The team will fly back to Quebec and have some days of practice as they prepare to welcome the Belleville Senators to town on Friday night.
Plus / Minus
▲ Peter Abbandonato, Joe Vrbetic
▼ Xavier Simoneau, Joel Teasdale, Kevin Poulin
|1 for 7||Power Play||2 for 5|
Stars of the Game
|AHL Official Three Stars|
|Video highlights will be added when available|
What Did They Say?
Post-game interviews not available for tonight’s game
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