MISSED OPPORTUNITIES PROVE COSTLY FOR THE ROCKET IN A 4-2 LOSS TO THE COMETS IN TEDDY BEAR TOSS NIGHT
LAVAL (November 23, 2019) – It was the annual Teddy Bear Toss game on Saturday afternoon in Laval and the 7748 fans delivered, littering the ice with 6768 stuffed animals – doubling last year’s total. Unfortunately, for the Rocket and their fans, they couldn’t couple it with a win. The effort was certainly there, but missed opportunities came back to bite the Rocket in a 4-2 loss to the Utica Comets.
Utica’s Jonah Gadjovich was the lone scorer in a first period that, ironically, was dominated by Laval. The Comets held the Rocket in check in the first half of the opening period, but Laval turned it on at the midway point creating a flurry of scoring chances. Mike DiPietro stood tall in the Comets’ net, however, turning aside everything that came his way. Despite a 10-5 shot advantage, it was the Comets who held a 1-0 lead after the first.
In the second, it was David Sklenicka scoring the Rocket’s first goal to ignite the annual Teddy Bear Toss. Less than a minute after Nikolay Goldobin doubled the Comets’ lead, Sklenicka fired a missile from the point past DiPietro and celebrated his first of the season as the stuffed animals came raining down onto the ice. The added energy was felt all around Place Bell and the Rocket used it to their advantage to score the equalizer. In all alone with a Comets defender on his back, Matthew Peca spotted the trailing Riley Barber who filled the vacant cage tying the game at two apiece after 40 minutes.
Laval threw everything they had at the Utica net in the final frame, but the persistent pressure was not enough to push them over the edge. Goldobin’s game winner at 8:41 of the third and DiPietro’s 18 third period saves were the difference makers in the 4-2 result.
LAV: Sklenicka (Olofsson, Peca) | Barber (Peca, Leskinen)
UTI: Gadjovich (Lind, Camper) | Goldobin (Camper, Lind) | Goldobin (Eliot, Boucher) | Goldobin (Bailey)
Unités spéciales/Special teams
LAV | AN/PP: (0/1) | IN/PK: (1/2)
UTI | AN/PP: (1/2) | IN/PK: (1/1)
LAV: Lindgren (22/25) | UTI : DiPietro (41/43)
Trois étoiles/Three stars
1. Goldobin – UTI 2. Peca – LAV 3. DiPietro – UTI