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BRIDGEPORT (January 12, 2020) – Character and perseverance weren’t enough to allow the Laval Rocket to overcome a slow start and an early three-goal deficit, losing 6-4 to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Webster Bank Arena Sunday afternoon. 

Otto Koivula registered his first AHL hat trick while line mates Kieffer Bellows and Nick Schilkey each notched a goal and two assists. Phil Varone connected for his first goal with the Rocket this season and tallied an assist. With a goal, Riley Barber has earned 16 points (7 G, 9 A) in his last 13 games. Yannick Veilleux’s secondary assist brought his impressive point total to eight (4 G, 4 A) in nine outings. Newcomer Laurent Dauphin recorded his first goal since joining the Rocket. 

The Sound Tigers jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first period with a shorthanded goal from Ryan Bourque and two goals from Otto Koivula, the first of which came on the powerplay. Cayden Primeau was replaced by Keith Kinkaid, a goaltending change that provided the Rocket with a much-needed spark. Alexandre Alain netted his ninth of the season before the end of the frame, his second in three games. 

Trailing by two, Riley Barber took advantage of a generous rebound to cut the Sound Tigers lead by one early in the second period, but Koivula completed his hat trick and restored Bridgeport’s two-goal cushion. Bellows then gave the Sound Tigers a 5-2 lead. Dauphin sent a slapper past Jared Coreau and allowed the visitors to end the period down by two. In the final frame, Varone scored from the high slot to bring the score to 5-4. With less than a minute left in the game, Schilkey scored the insurance marker in an empty net to snap the Sound Tigers’ seven-game losing skid. 


LAV: Alain | Barber (Varone, Jevpalovs) | Dauphin (McEneny, Veilleux) | Varone (Ouellet) 

BRI: Bourque (Kubiak) | Koivula (Bellows, Aho) | Koivula (Schilkey, Wotherspoon) | Koivula (Bellows, Schilkey) | Bellows (Carpenter) | Schilkey 

Unités spéciales/Special teams 

LAV | AN/PP: 0/5 | IN/PK: 2/3 

BRI | AN/PP: 1/3 | IN/PK: 5/5 


LAV: Primeau (2/5) Kinkaid (15/17) | BRI: Coreau (26/30) 

Trois étoiles/Three stars 

1. Koivula – BRI 2. Bellows – BRI 3. Bourque – BRI