LAVAL (January 19, 2019) – Daniel Audette and Xavier Ouellet each picked up three points in the Laval Rocket’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Cleveland Monsters at Place Bell on Saturday afternoon, where the 6,732 fans in attendance got to see a tight, back-and-forth game between two divisional rivals fighting for a playoff spot.
Kole Sherwood picked up a puck that trickled under the arm of Connor LaCouvee early in the first period to put Cleveland on the board, but the Monsters’ lead didn’t last long. Belzile netted his second goal in as many games and his 10th of the season by finding a loose puck and putting it in the open net, as Cleveland’s Jean-Francois Berube was out of position due to an earlier blocked shot on the play. Cleveland would go on to add a powerplay goal by period’s end to make it 2-1 after one.
LaCouvee and Berube were both busy in the second period, with the Monsters sending 14 pucks at LaCouvee and Joël Bouchard’s troops firing 18 on Berube. Of those shots, each team netted another goal—Audette fed Ouellet on an offensive rush allowing Ouellet one-time his first as a member of the Rocket, and Vitaly Abramov scored his seventh of the season to give the Monsters a 3-2 lead heading into the third.
Audette picked up his third point of the game by scoring a powerplay goal and Alexandre Grenier whacked the puck by Berube from a steep angle to give the Rocket a 4-3 lead in the third period, but the Monsters would tie the game with a little more than three minutes remaining to send the divisional rivals to overtime and eventually to a shootout, where Alex Broadhurst scored for Cleveland to give the Monsters a 5-4 victory.
“It was a good game for the fans and the fans were very fun,” explained Bouchard after the game. “They were present tonight and they created the ambiance. People will say that this was game for the fans but not for the coach, but for me it was a good game for a coach. When your team fights like that, it’s encouraging. We’re maturing and we’re growing.”
LAV: Belzile (Froese, Audette) | Ouellet (Audette, Waked) | Audette (Ouellet, Belzile) | Grenier (Ouellet, Verbeek)
CLE: Sherwood (Robinson, Dalpe) | Letestu (Scott, Broadhurst) | Abramov (Fortier, Vigneault) | Collins (Scott, Abramov)
Goaltenders: LAV: LaCouvee (34/38) | CLE: Berube (36/40)
Rocket Powerplay: 1/3|Rocket Penalty Kill: 3/4
- Vitaly Abramov – CLE | 2. Jean-Francois Berube – CLE | 3. Xavier Ouellet – LAV