LAVAL (October 31, 2018) – The Laval Rocket’s third period comeback fell just short of taking down the divisional rival Belleville Senators at Place Bell on Wednesday night, as the Senators beat the Rocket 2-1 in the first of 12 games against one another this season.
The rivals were neck and neck in the first period, with each team spending some time on the powerplay and on the penalty kill, and with each team registering seven shots on goal. Of the combined 14 shots, only one found the back of the net—Drake Batherson one-timed his fourth of the season behind Laval’s Charlie Lindgren to get the Senators on the board after eight minutes of play.
Lindgren prevented Batherson from getting his second goal of Halloween night at the start of the second, as the Belleville forward found himself alone in front of the Laval netminder who stopped him point-blank with less than three minutes played in the period. Though the shots once again stayed close in number between the Senators and Joël Bouchard’s players in the period, Chase Balisy snuck a second puck behind Lindgren to make it 2-0 for Belleville after two.
The Rocket dominated the third period with 18 shots on goal and did not allow Belleville a single one, which resulted in Jake Evans putting the home team on the board with a laser of a shot that took Belleville netminder and the game’s first star Filip Gustavsson by surprise. A late third period penalty against the Senators gave the Rocket a chance to send the game to overtime, but Gustavsson held down the fort for his team to keep the Rocket goal total to one.
“As a coach, you have to coach the process. I’m not happy with the result and I don’t find it funny,” explained Bouchard after the game. “But in reality, I think tonight we were the best team on the ice. It’s been ten games that I think that. Do we play perfectly? No. But I think it regardless.”
LAV: Evans (Agostino, Sproul)
BEL: Batherson (Bergman, Paul) | Balisy (Carey, Murray)
LAV: Lindgren (17/19) | BEL: Gustavsson (34/35)
Rocket Powerplay: 0/4| Rocket Penalty Kill: 2/2
Three Stars :
- Filip Gustavsson – BEL | 2. Drake Batherson – BEL | 3. Jake Evans – LAV