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ROCKFORD, IL (October 14, 2019)The Laval Rocket earned their first win of the season with a 3-1 triumph over the Rockford IceHogs in a game that featured exciting scoring chances from all four lines. Backstopped by Cayden Primeau who earned his first win in the professional ranks, the Rocket were dominant on both ends of the ice, outshooting their rivals 43-22 and stifling the IceHogs’ offense to come back to Laval victorious.

The first scoring chance of the afternoon came off the stick of Charles Hudon. The speedy forward released a quick shot from the high slot but goaltender Collin Delia flashed his glove to make the save. However, the IceHogs kicked the scoring off soon after Hudon’s chance. Defenseman Philip Holm received a perfect pass from Jacob Nilsson to then defeat Rocket netminder Cayden Primeau glove side. Near the end of the first period, Lukas Vejdemo’s and Jake Evans’ respective lines earned good opportunities in the offensive zone but couldn’t solve Delia. The IceHogs netminder made key save on Nikita Jevpalovs as the Latvia native used his speed to shake off his defender before unleashing a powerful shot from the slot. The IceHogs’ netminder shut the door on Evans who received a crisp pass from Riley Barber. After 20 minutes, the Rocket dominated the shot-clock with a 14-7 advantage.

The Rocket were a force to be reckoned with seconds into the middle frame. Ryan Poehling’s line created two, back-to-back quality scoring chances in the first minute of play but Belzile and Hudon were denied by Delia. It was only a matter of time before the Rocket’s efforts were rewarded. On the powerplay, Belzile found the back of the net to tie the game. Captain Xavier Ouellet and Charles Hudon earned assists on the game-tying goal. The Rocket, who went on to play a near-perfect period of hockey, were given new life after Belzile’s tally. Lukas Vejdemo connected for his first of the season to give the Rocket the lead. Defenseman Otto Leskinen collected his third helper of the season on his teammate’s goal. Playing his first game with the Rocket this season, Michael Pezzetta did not disappoint as he landed several shoulder checks and was a strong presence in front of the opponent’s net. After 40 minutes of play, the Rocket remained dominant in the shots department, leading 30-17.

For the final frame, the Rocket picked up exactly where they left off, generating multiple scoring chances while brilliantly stifling the IceHogs’ counterattacks. The home team earned two powerplay opportunities, but Laval’s penalty-kill shut the door and allowed but a few scoring chances. With only five minutes left in the game, Hudon retrieved the puck after Poehling won a faceoff in the IceHogs’ zone only to pass it to Leskinen. The latter went on to set the table for the Alma, QC native who shot a brilliant one-timer past Delia. Pulling their goalie for an extra attacker, the IceHogs’ offensive attempts were once again shut down by the Rocket who went on to win 3-1.


LAV: Belzile (Ouellet, Hudon) | Vejdemo (Cox, Leskinen) | Hudon (Leskinen)

RFD: Holm (Nilsson, Wedin)


LAV: Primeau (21/22) | RFD: Delia (40/43)

Three stars:

  1. Philip Holm – RFD   2. Otto Leskinen – LAV    3. Ryan Poehling – LAV