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LAVAL (Sept. 28, 2019) – The Laval Rocket lost their first pre-season game against the Belleville Senators 5-2 in front of an electric crowd at Place Bell Saturday afternoon. 

In the first period, second year forward Alexandre Alain was penalized for holding the stick early in the opening frame. The Senators got on the scoresheet first as forward Jonathan Davidsson scored on a two-on-one advantage down low with less than five minutes played in the first period.  A few minutes later, the Rocket conceded a 3-on-1 odd-man rush and the Senators’ Alex Formenton, who went on to finish the period with 2 goals and 1 assist, doubled his team’s tally.  Formenton scored his second goal of the pre-season halfway through the opening frame to triple his team’s lead after deflecting a shot from teammate Jonathan Aspirot. Down 3-0, the Rocket responded with pressure, drawing two penalties from their rival and generating several scoring chances to close the first period with a 13-6 shot advantage.

The Rocket picked up from where they left, spending much of the second period in the Senators zone, dominating the shot clock 19-4. Several quality chances came off the sticks of forwards Riley Barber, Jake Evans, and Nikita Jevpalovs, to name a few, keeping the fans on the edge of their seats, but netminder Marcus Hogberg shut the door on each occasion. Alain, who totalled six shots on goal after 40 minutes of play, scored with 6:22 left in the period near the edge of the right faceoff circle to bring the score to 3-1. The Rocket capped off a dominant second period with a few more scoring chances heading into the final frame.

The Rocket was off to a tough start in the third period as the Senators reinstated their three-goal lead 2:46 into the frame when Jonathan Aspirot deflected a shot past Cayden Primeau. Belleville added their fifth goal of the game when Mark Kastelic scored off a sharp angle. Physicality between the two division rivals played a key role in this period.After two fights and a series of penalties to both teams, Jevpalovs capitalized on a 5-on-3 powerplay and the Rocket concluded their pre-season opener with a 5-2 loss.

“I think for [most] of the game we played the right way, we worked hard,” said head coach Joël Bouchard.  It’s a benchmark, those games. I think we’re ahead of where we were last year in Belleville during the pre-season for sure. Now we have some work to do.”


LAV: Alain (Pelletier, Jevpalovs) | Jevpalovs (Brook, Barber)

BEL: Davidsson (Formenton, Norris) | Formenton (Davidsson) | Formenton (Aspirot) | Aspirot (Reinhart) | Kastelic (Klimchuk)

Goaltenders:  LAV: Primeau (12/17) | BEL: Hogberg (40/42)Three stars: 1. Alex Formenton – BEL | 2. Jonathan Aspirot – BEL | 3. Alexandre Alain – LAV