CHARLOTTE (November 25, 2018) – The Laval Rocket dropped the second of back-to-back road games against the Charlotte Checkers by a score of 3-1 on Saturday afternoon. Despite an inspired
performance, the Rocket players ran into a goaltender who was at the height of his abilities all night. That, and the inability to capitalize on their opportunities was ultimately the Rocket’s undoing against the best team in the American Hockey League. Michael McCarron scored his third goal of the season in the loss.
As it was the case the previous night, the Checkers set the pace early in the game, forcing goaltender Michael McNiven to make several big saves. Midway through the first period, the Rocket showed
some indiscipline, taking two minor penalties and offering up a 5-on-3 opportunity for the Checkers, who quickly took advantage when Aleksi Saarela scored with precise shot. In the final minutes of the
period, Michael McCarron received an excellent pass from Alex Belzile on a 2-on-1 and put it past Checkers goaltender Callum Booth to tie the score with his third of the year.
McCarron’s goal seemed to inspire his teammates. The Rocket started the second period playing a physical, fiery brand of hockey. Joël Bouchard’s players generated the majority of the scoring chances
in the middle frame, and the pressure applied by the visitors resulted in the Checkers taking three penalties. Despite outshooting Charlotte 11-2 in the period, the Rocket could not put one past Booth.
The third period was tightly disputed. With the game on the line, the teams traded scoring chances. The Rocket continued to knock at the door, but we’re unable to capitalize and take the lead. Martin
Necas finally gave the Checkers the lead, as he was able to jump on a fortunate rebound in the slot. Despite repeated waves of attack, the game-tying goal eluded the Rocket players and their efforts went unrewarded. The Checkers added an empty net goal with a couple of seconds left on the clock.
LAV: McCarron (Belzile, Alain)
CHA: Saarela (Necas, Bean) | Necas (Roy, Kuokkanen) | McKeown (Brown, McKegg)
Goaltenders: LAV: McNiven (18/20) | CHA: Booth (26/27)
Rocket Powerplay: 0/3| Rocket Penalty Kill: 4/5
Three Stars: 1. Callum Booth – CHA | 2. Martin Necas – CHA | 3. Aleksi Saarela – CHA