LAVAL (December 15, 2018) – Phélix Martineau earned his first career American Hockey League point and Victor Mete extended his point streak to three games in the Laval Rocket’s dominant 4-0 victory over the Syracuse Crunch at Place Bell Saturday afternoon, in a game where an effective forecheck paired with strong defending and a physical style of play led the Rocket to victory and that saw Alex Belzile and Michael McCarron start point streaks of their own.
The Rocket dominated the first period from the get-go by killing off a Syracuse powerplay and limiting them only one shot during that time, and by going on to score two goals by period’s end. The first came when Mete made a perfect cross-zone pass to the stick of Belzile, setting him up to one-time his fifth of the season behind Connor Ingram. Captain Byron Froese notched his tenth by picking up a loose puck from a scrum behind the net and sending it over Ingram’s shoulder on a wraparound.
Laval’s defensive domination stood out in the second period as the Crunch were only able to get two shots of goal, with the first of those coming almost 13 minutes in and both of which were easily turned away by netminder Étienne Marcoux. Offensively the Rocket dominated as well with 11 shots on goal, though the score remained unchanged.
Nikita Jevpalovs put the game out of reach for Laval’s divisional rival with his sixth of the season halfway through the third as David Sklenicka’s shot hit Ingram’s shoulder and fell for Jevpalovs to put in. In attempt to get back in the game the Crunch pulled their goaltender with four and a half minutes remaining, but it was Brett Lernout who was able to score his first of the season in the empty Syracuse net to lock in the final score of 4-0.
“This was by far our best game of the year,” said Joël Bouchard after the game. “Especially considering it was during a back-to-back. It was a character game, but it was also a total buy-in from everyone. Everyone participated in the game plan, they understood their opponent, and understood what they needed to do.
LAV: Belzile (Mete, Martineau) | Froese (McCarron) | Jevpalovs (Sklenicka)| Lernout
Goaltenders: LAV: Marcoux (12/12) | SYR: Ingram (23/26)
Rocket Powerplay: 0/3 | Rocket Penalty Kill: 4/4
Three Stars: 1. Michael McCarron – LAV | 2. Alex Belzile – LAV | 3. Victor Mete – LAV