LAVAL (March 6, 2019) – The place to be during spring break in Montreal is Place Bell since the Rocket play three home games during the week, and the 6, 238 fans in attendance for the first of these games on Wednesday night were treated to a tight game between bitter rivals that ended with a 4-3 overtime loss for the Rocket. Daniel Audette scored twice in the Rocket’s loss, with David Sklenicka netting the team’s third goal.
The Rocket took an early lead against the Marlies during the first of their back-to-back games against them this week. Toronto netminder Michael Hutchinson didn’t realize that Lukas Vejdemo was nearby and played the puck in his direction, which allowed Vejdemo to set up Daniel Audette for a one-timer that went under the crossbar for his 11th of the season. Joël Bouchard’s troops had three powerplay opportunities in the period to increase their lead and though the Marlies penalty kill shut them down, the period ended with the Rocket dominating 13-5 in shots.
Four goals were scored one after another in the second period which resulted in the Rocket heading into the third down 3-2. Timothy Liljegren scored a powerplay goal for the Marlies off of a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circles a little before the halfway mark of the period, but a slap shot from David Sklenicka gave the Rocket their lead back about a minute later with Lernout and Evans with the helpers. Toronto would get the next two goals as a turnover behind Laval’s net led to Jeremy Bracco’s 16th of the season and a scramble in front of Charlie Lindgren made it 3-2 as Toronto’s Dmytro Timashov found the puck and put it in the net.
A two-on-one early in the third gave Vejdemo the chance to tie the game for his team, but Hutchinson, who made 24 saves in his team’s victory, followed the play through and made the save. The third period was a low-shot affair with a combined total of ten shots in the period, but it took just one shot for Audette to net his second of the game with five minutes remaining in regulation and to send the teams to overtime, where the Marlies scored the game-winner less than a minute into the extra frame.
“For sure it’s disappointing,” said Bouchard of his team’s overtime loss after the game. “Especially when you’re losing and there’s five minutes left and you go get the tying goal, but the goal is now to shift our focus and go again on Friday against the same team.”
LAV: Audette (Vejdemo) | Sklenicka (Lernout, Evans) | Audette (Belzile, Evans)
TOR: Liljegren (Carcone, Gagne) | Bracco (MacMaster, Brooks) | Timashov (Jooris, Sandin) | Sandin (Bracco)
Goaltenders: LAV: Lindgren (17/21) | TOR: Hutchinson (24/27)
Rocket Powerplay: 0/3 | Rocket Penalty Kill: 2/3
Three Stars: 1. Timothy Liljegren – TOR | 2. Michael Hutchinson – TOR | 3. Daniel Audette – LAV