BELLEVILLE (December 7, 2018) – In the third matchup of the North Division rivalry between Laval and Belleville this season, the Senators defeated the Rocket 7-2 Friday night at CAA Arena. Jake Evans and Nikita Jevpalovs notched two points each in the loss, while defenseman Simon Després collected his first point in his debut with Laval.
Joël Bouchard’s troops had an excellent start to the game, setting the pace and getting most scoring chances during the opening frame. The Rocket got on the board first just before five minutes had trickled off the clock with an even-strength tally from Jake Evans to give the Rocket an early 1-0 lead on the road. Captain Byron Froese and Nikita Jevpalovs picked up assists on Evans’ seventh goal of the year. The Senators immediately tied the contest less than a minute later with a power-play goal from Rudolfs Balcers. The Rocket was not able to reclaim the lead despite dominating shots on goal 9-2, and both teams were tied at one after 20 minutes.
The Rocket had a tough start to the second period and the Sens took advantage of the opportunity to quickly put the game out of reach of the Rocket by scoring five unanswered goals, including two in the first three minutes. Balcers, the game’s first star, picked up four points in the win and goaltender Hogberg backstopped Belleville, making 17 saves in the game and securing the Senators victory. Logan Brown was also a key contributor in Belleville’s victory with a goal and three helpers. The Rocket will be back in action tomorrow afternoon against the Marlies in Toronto (91,9 Sports/RDS)
“I think we had one bad shift and that just killed us after that. We didn’t really respond well, and then we went on giving way too many chances. We definitely let our goalies down tonight,” said Jake Evans after the game.
“We cannot afford to lose focus. We had a good start to the game and a good first period. We didn’t responded well and the early goals in second period made the difference” explained head coach Joël Bouchard to the media following the loss.
LAV: Evans (Jevpalovs, Froese) | Jevpalovs (Evans, Després)
BEL: Balcers (Brown, Percy) | Elliott (Brown, Balcers) | Carey (Rodewald, Chlapik) | Ciampini (Leier) | Rodewald (Percy, Carey) | Balcers (Tambellini, Brown) | Brown (Sieloff, Balcers)
Goaltenders: LAV: Marcoux (8/12) | McNiven (3/6) || BEL: Hogberg (17/19)
Rocket Powerplay: 0/3 | Rocket Penalty Kill: 2/2
Three Stars: 1. Rudolfs Balcers – BEL | 2. Logan Brown – BEL | 3. Paul Carey – BEL