LAVAL (November 28, 2018) – With the veteran presence of Karl Alzner on the ice, Joël Bouchard’s Laval Rocket defeated the divisional rival Belleville Senators 2-1 at Place Bell on Wednesday night. Goaltender Charlie Lindgren shined with a 20-save performance.
Belleville’s Filip Gustavsson turned away a shot from Michael McCarron about eight minutes into the opening period and the rebound went straight to Alzner, who was alone at the top of the faceoff circle. Alzner proceeded to send a missle off his stick on the play that ended up finding the twine right underneath the far crossbar to give him his first goal in his first game as a member of the Laval Rocket. However, later in the period, McCarron took a penalty in defense of Alzner who was hit hard in the boards, and the Senators took advantage of the opportunity to tie the game on the powerplay to make it 1-1 after twenty minutes of play.
“I was shocked, honestly,” said Alzner when asked about his goal after the game. “I don’t typically get those ones off too well because they’re tough when they’re coming right at you, so I was just lucky that I got a hold of it and it found a spot. I don’t know if the goalie was expecting it to come high, but it’s kind of what I needed just to settle me into the game.”
Charlie Lindgren turned away the eight shots he faced in the second period which allowed his team to go ahead by a goal when a fallen Daniel Audette sent a pass from behind the net to Rocket captain Byron Froese, who one-timed the puck past Gustavsson from the slot for his seventh of the season.
Belleville pushed hard for the equalizer in the third period and outshot the Rocket 8-3, but the game’s second star didn’t allow the visitors to get more than their one earlier goal and Laval held on for the win.
“I liked how the guys were focused. I found that in the end of the game we handled the last four to five minutes really well to not give them scoring chances. November was a tough month with the travelling, the emotions, and the deceptions of heartbreaking losses. I’m happy that the guys were able to go finish the game tonight.”
LAV: Alzner (McCarron, Belzile) | Froese (Audette) | BEL: Brown (Sexton, Wolanin)
Goaltenders: LAV: Lindgren (20/21) | BEL: Gustavsson (19/21)
Rocket Powerplay: 0/3 | Rocket Penalty Kill: 3/4
Three Stars: 1. Karl Alzner– LAV | 2. Charlie Lindgren – LAV | 3. Lukas Vejdemo – LAV