ROCKET’S STRONG EFFORT NOT ENOUGH TO BEST AMERKS, LOSE 4-2
Despite showing tremendous character and effort, a lack of finish ultimately hurt the Rocket in a 4-2 loss against the Rochester Americans on Friday night at the Blue Cross Arena.
Nikita Jevpalovs notched his third goal in two games since returning the lineup while third star Laurent Dauphin extended his point streak to four games with a goal. The Repentigny native has tallied five points (3 G, 2 A) in that stretch. Alexandre Alain recorded a third consecutive assist in as many games. Casey Mittelstadt (1 G, 1 A), Taylor Leier (2 A) and first star Eric Cornel (2 G) enjoyed two-point nights.
Despite outshooting the Amerks 14-12, the Rocket couldn’t find the back of the net and the home team escaped the first period with a 2-0 lead with goals from Remy Elie and Casey Mittelstadt.
In a wild second period that featured a game misconduct to Amerks’ captain Kevin Porter and a missed penalty shot awarded to Rasmus Asplund, the Rocket climbed their way out of their twogoal deficit after 40 minutes. Behind the net, Jevpalovs batted down a loose puck in mid-air past netminder Andrew Hammond 2:04 into the middle stanza. With less than three minutes left in the period, Joe Cox, who played his first game since Feb. 1, took advantage of a turnover at the Amerks’ blueline and fed a pass to Alain stationed in the high-slot. The latter showed tremendous patience before sending the disk to Dauphin who took advantage of a wide-empty net.
The visitors came out firing on all cylinders in the third period, but Cornel gave the Amerks a 3-2 lead with less than six minutes left in the game. The Rocket scrambled to notch the equalizer as Cornel scored his second of the night in an empty net with netminder Cayden Primeau pulled for an extra forward.
“I’m happy with the how the guys fought back. Going down two goals isn’t easy to come back from but the guys really dug in and put a couple of good shifts together. […] With 18 games [left],
there’s no quit with these guys. […] We’re going out there and working hard every game for 60 minutes and it’s going to give us a good chance to make the playoffs,” said Cox after the game.