ROCKET GIVE UP THREE-GOAL LEAD IN FINAL PERIOD, LOSE 5- 4 (OT) AGAINST SENATORS
LAVAL (February 1, 2020) – In their second back-to-back tilt, the Laval Rocket and the Belleville Senators offered another exciting game in front of 7613 fans at Place Bell on Saturday night. The Rocket held a commanding 4-1 lead in the final frame, but the Senators climbed their way back up to capture the 5-4 victory in overtime.
Phil Varone (1 G, 1 A), Riley Barber (1 G, 1 A) and Xavier Ouellet (2 A) earned two points each in the loss. Varone has tallied nine points (4 G, 5 A) in his last eight outings. In his first game in the American Hockey League, Jesperi Kotkaniemi registered an assist.
Through 40 minutes of play, the Senators dominated the shot clock 26 to 12. However, the Rocket were opportunistic, tallying the first of the game in the second stanza off the stick of Jake Evans, who leads the team with 31 points. On a two-on-one down low, the centreman accepted a backhand pass from Kevin Lynch before placing the puck past Filip Gustavsson. The Senators tied the game with a goal from Michael Carcone but the Rocket were up 2-1 after 40 minutes of play when Phil Varone notched a powerplay marker.
Brimming with confidence, the home side took a 4-1 lead in the third period. Early on, Riley Barber tipped in Xavier Ouellet’s bullet from the blue line. Charles Hudon then connected for his 21st goal of the season, scoring from the right faceoff circle on the man advantage. The Senators battled back though, scoring three goals off the sticks of Logan Brown, Josh Norris and Rudolfs Balcers, the latter of which came with 8.2 seconds left in the tilt. Jordan Murray sealed the win for the Senators in overtime.
“It is always better to play in a packed barn and the atmosphere this weekend was awesome. It was really fun when we were scoring goals. Our fans know hockey really well and they know that there is a lot of hockey left. I thank them for coming and it’s not over yet,” said Riley Barber after the game.
LAV: Evans (Lynch, Veilleux) | Varone (Barber, Alain) | Barber (Ouellet, Varone) | Hudon (Ouellet, Kotkaniemi)
BEL: Carcone (Formenton, Norris) | Brown (Murray) | Norris (Formenton, Carcone) | Balcers (Norris, Brannstrom) | Murray (Formenton)
Unités spéciales/Special teams
LAV | AN/PP: 2/3 | IN/PK: 6/6
BEL | AN/PP: 0/6 | IN/PK: 1/3
LAV: Kinkaid (32/37) | BEL: Gustavsson (18/22)
Trois étoiles/Three stars
1. Murray – BEL 2. Ouellet – LAV 3. Varone – LAV