THE ROCKET COME UP BIG IN CRUNCH TIME, KNOCK OFF SYRACUSE 3-2
LAVAL (January 4, 2020) – Keith Kinkaid made 33 saves as the Rocket and defeated the Syracuse Crunch 3-2 on Saturday night at Place Bell. The win prolongs Laval’s winning streak to four games; it is the second time that they have completed the feat this season with their longest winning streak reaching six games.
Kinkaid stood tall in the first period, making a series of timely saves to give his team a chance and they paid it back to their netminder, grabbing a three-goal lead, which was enough to push them past the Crunch and five points clear of the division rival.
“I’ve been feeling really good lately. The past three games have been pretty sharp, and they’ve been pretty close together, so you kind of get in a rhythm and it shows on the ice. I’ve been putting in the work on and off the ice, so it’s good to see it come to fruition,” said Kinkaid.
Xavier Ouellet extended his career-long scoring streak to four games, beating former Rocket netminder, Zachary Fucale, on the team’s first shot of the game. The power play marker was Ouellet’s fifth of the season. He now sits alone atop the league in powerplay goals for a defenseman, surpassing Chris Wideman, with whom he shares the overall lead (8).
Michael McCarron and Yannick Veilleux have been firing on all cylinders since being linked as line mates and the chemistry was evident again on Saturday night. The pair – along with Otto Leskinen – teamed up to score the Rocket’s second goal of the game. Veilleux’s goal and McCarron’s two-point performance give the duo each six points in their last six games.
Ouellet’s point shot, nearing the end of the opening frame, found its way through a lane and past Fucale – making his first start of the season, fresh off winning a Spengler Cup for Team Canada. Less than a minute into the third, Leskinen found a wide-open Veilleux, who fired one past the Crunch netminder to put the Rocket up 2-0. Soon after, Ralph Cudemmi sprung free and snapped a wrister bar-down over the shoulder of Fucale to give Laval a three-goal cushion.
Alex Barre-Boulet – one of six Quebec natives in the Syracuse lineup on Saturday – got the Crunch back in the game on the power play just past the halfway mark of the third. Barre-Boulet’s goal snapped the Rocket’s shutout streak at 125:06, dating back to the third period of the December 31st game against Belleville. Boris Katchouk tallied one late for the Crunch, but the Rocket were able to hold them off for the win.
LAV: Ouellet (McCarron) | Veilleux (Leskinen, McCarron) | Cudemmi (Lynch)
SYR: Barre-Boulet (Foote, Martel) | Katchouk (Joseph, Foote)
Unités spéciales/Special teams
LAV | AN/PP: (1/1) | IN/PK: (3/4)
SYR| AN/PP: (1/4) | IN/PK: (0/1)
LAV: Kinkaid (33/35) | SYR: Fucale (12/15)
Trois étoiles/Three stars
1. McCarron – LAV 2. Kinkaid – LAV 3. Joseph – SYR