CLEVELAND COMPLETES WEEKEND SWEEP OF THE ROCKET
LAVAL (October 5, 2019) – The Laval Rocket lost to the Cleveland Monsters 4-1 Saturday afternoon at Place Bell.
The Rocket, playing for the second time in less than 24 hours, showed no signs of fatigue in a scoreless but fast-paced first period. Midway through the frame, Charles Hudon nearly sent the Rocket crowd into a frenzy, but Monsters’ goalie Veini Vehvilainen had different ideas, making a nice stop to keep the game tied 0-0. Later in the frame, it was Jake Evans making some noise in the Monsters’ zone but was denied on each of his three occasions. Defensively, the Rocket were sound, holding their ground in front of rookie netminder Cayden Primeau, who was making his AHL debut on Saturday afternoon. Cleveland led 9-6 in the shot department after 20 minutes.
The rapid pace was maintained in the second, creating more scoring chances but only the Monsters were to show for on the scoreboard. Just past the midway point of the period, Eric Robinson snuck out in front of the Rocket net and beat Primeau from in tight to open the scoring. At 16:32 of the second frame, Kevin Lynch headed to the box for hooking, giving Cleveland their first man advantage of the game. On the ensuing powerplay, Adam Clendening teed one up for Zac Dalpe who made no mistake, firing one past the Rocket netminder, to double the Monsters’ lead. At the second intermission, the visitors led 2-0 and 26-19 in shots. Shots were 26-19 in favour of Cleveland.
Alex Belzile, as he did in last night’s opener, brought Place Bell to their feet when he lit the lamp near the midway mark of the final stanza. Belzile poked the puck into open ice at the red line, sprung free and sniped one top corner past Vehvilainen to cut the Monsters lead in half. Though Cleveland got themselves into some penalty trouble, Laval was unable to convert before Markus Hannikainen put an end to the comeback bid with an empty net goal. Dalpe added an extra in the final minute to make it 4-1 Cleveland and that is how the game ended.
“We understand that we need team chemistry. […] And adversity is sometimes the best team chemistry. We’ll go through it together. […] It’s our job to work together,” said head coach Joël Bouchard.
The Rocket travel to Milwaukee next weekend where they will meet the Admirals on Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
CLE: Robinson (Scott), Dalpe (Clendening, Stenlund), Hannikainen (Gerbe, Stenlund), Dalpe (Thurkauf, Dano)
Goaltenders: LAV – Primeau (29/31) | CLE – Vehvilainen (30/31)
Three stars: 1. Zac Dalpe – CLE | 2. Alex Belzile – LAV | 3. Veini Vehvilainen – CLE