LAVAL (December 29, 2018) – The Laval Rocket concluded their three games in three days on
Saturday afternoon at Place Bell, where the 6,295 fans in attendance fell just short of seeing the
Rocket sweep the first place overall Charlotte Checkers twice in two days. Jake Evans and Nikita
Jevpalovs each picked up two points in their team’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Checkers, and
goaltender Étienne Marcoux turned away 28 of the 33 shots he faced.
In a similar fashion as the night before, Joël Bouchard’s troops gave themselves a multiple-goal
lead over the Checkers in the opening period. Jevpalovs beat Charlotte netminder Scott Darling
with a perfect shot over his shoulder and just under the crossbar with six minutes left in the
period, and Alexandre Alain scored his fifth of the season just eight seconds later while on a
breakaway to make it 2-0 Laval after twenty minutes.
Charlotte tied the game before the halfway mark of the second period with an early powerplay
goal from Maenalanen and another goal that deflected right in front of Marcoux, giving the
netminder no chance to make the save. Shortly after Charlotte’s two goals however, Xavier
Ouellet’s slap shot on a powerplay was turned away by Darling but Michael McCarron poked the
rebound to Evans, who was open to sink his ninth of the season on the play. Laval’s lead was
erased by period’s end with Morgan Geekie’s ninth of the season as well, sending the teams into
the final frame tied 3-3.
A slap shot from Dennis Robertson that beat Marcoux down low at 7:09 of the third was looking
like it would hold to be the game-winner for the visitors, but Vejdemo struck with his sixth of the
season with three minutes remaining to send the teams to overtime and to secure a point in the
standings. The Rocket dominated the visitors 18 shots to two in the final 20 minutes. However,
it was the Checkers who skated away with the extra point as Andrew Poturalski gave the Checkers
a 5-4 victory 1:08 into the extra frame.
“We played pretty hard. The guys played [with] a lot of character, a lot of caring about each other
all weekend,” explained Bouchard after the game. “Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose
but I’m sure proud of what we did in less than three days in three games.”
LAV: Jevpalovs | Alain (Lamarche, Evans) |Evans (McCarron, Ouellet) | Vejdemo (Jevpalovs,
CHA: Maenalanen (Geekie, Schilkey) | Brown (Schilkey, McKeown) | Geekie (Bean, Schilkey) |
Robertson (Geekie, Brown) | Poturalski (McKeown, McKegg)
Goaltenders: LAV: Marcoux (28/33) | CHA: Darling (33/37)
Rocket Powerplay: 1/1| Rocket Penalty Kill: 0/1
Three Stars: 1. Morgan Geekie – CHA | 2. Nick Schilkey – CHA | 3. Nikita Jevpalovs – LAV