PRIMEAU MAKES 38 SAVES AND THE ROCKET LEAVE PROVIDENCE WITH A 3-2 SHOOTOUT WIN
PROVIDENCE (October 26, 2019) – The Laval Rocket concluded their three-game road trip with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Saturday night. The visitors showed character as they tied the game twice. The Rocket’s special teams were important factors in the win as the team maintained a perfect record on the penalty kill and scored once on the powerplay. Cayden Primeau was a force between the pipes, making 38 saves on 40 shots.
Ranked first in the league with a 96.9 % efficiency rate on the penalty kill, the Rocket were down a player 20 seconds into the game but held off the Bruins. The latter opened scoring near the halfway mark of the opening frame when Peter Cehlarik took advantage of a rebound to defeat goaltender Cayden Primeau. The Rocket immediately responded with pressure. Jake Evans fired a laser from the left faceoff circle, but Kyle Keyser flashed the leather. With 3:04 left in the period, Phil Varone deked past Pavel Shen to feed Alex Belzile who made no mistake and tied the game. Varone and David Sklenicka earned primary and secondary assists on the goal, respectively. Soon after, Evans had another great scoring chance but hit the post. Primeau made 12 saves after 20 minutes of play.
Paul Carey broke the tie to restore Providence’s lead 6:38 into the second frame. The Bruins’ second goal led to a shift in momentum in favour of the home team as they shot at Primeau 14 times, but the young netminder kept the Rocket in the game. With less than five minutes left in the frame, the Rocket capitalized on their first powerplay. Captain Xavier Ouellet’s shot from the blue line beat Keyser to tie the game once more. Evans earned a helper on the goal, which gave the Rocket an energy boost as the visitors drew a second powerplay. Matthew Peca, who made his return to the lineup after missing a few games due to injury, and Dale Weise had two great scoring chances, but Keyser had the last word. After 40 minutes of play, the game remained tied at two-a-piece.
Both teams established a fast pace in the third period as the Rocket continued to gain steam but lacked finish. Earning their third powerplay with 7:55 left in game, Varone unleashed a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle but Keyser made the save. He then set up Poehling but the latter couldn’t bury the puck past the Providence netminder. The Rocket’s pressure led to several scoring chances and a dominant finish to the third frame, but Keyser continued to be the difference, making two notable glove saves on Michael McCarron and Evans late in the period.
Tied after 60 minutes, the game required overtime. After two, back-to-back odd man rushes to start the five-minute period, the Rocket’s offense was on full display. Varone and Evans had one breakaway each, but Keyser shut the door. Soon after, Ouellet, who played an exceptional game, used his speed down the wing and drew a penalty. The Rocket were dominant with the man advantage but couldn’t find the back of the net. In the shootout, Hudon beat Keyser with a wrist shot and Varone dangled past the Bruins goaltender and scored. Primeau made two key saves on Paul Carey and Cameron Hughes to lead the Rocket past the Bruins with a 3-2 (SO) victory.
“This is a really important [win]. Looking back on our last two games, I think we played really well. If we play like this each night, we’re going to win more than we lose. It’s fun to see the guys together, working hard and getting points like these [tonight],” said Ouellet after the game.
LAV: Belzile (Varone, Sklenicka) | Ouellet (Evans)
PRO: Cehlarik |Carey (Studnicka)
LAV: Primeau (38/40) | PRO: Keyser (26/28)
1. Varone – LAV 2. Ouellet – LAV 3. Keyser – PRO