With Joe Cox leaving the game early in the first period due to an injury, Joël Bouchard’s players were forced to adjust and play against the Bruins with just 11 forwards. Despite being down a player however, the Rocket managed to play a physical opening period in which they outshot Providence 11-5. Unfortunately for Laval, one of the Bruins’ five shots found the back of the net, giving Providence a 1-0 lead after twenty minutes of play.
Jake Evans set up the play that brought the game back to square one less than five minutes into the second period, which was also the play that allowed Audette to net his 13th of the season. Evans drove to the net hard with the puck which gave Audette the opportunity to pick up the rebound in the slot, effectively tying the game at one. Despite still outshooting their opponents 22-15 by the end of the second period, a powerplay goal for the Bruins a little more than halfway through gave the Rocket another one-goal deficit heading into the third.
Audette nearly erased that deficit by beating Providence netminder Zane McIntyre early in the third period but he was unable to beat the crossbar, which kept the Rocket down by a goal. The Bruins may have taken two penalties in the final frame but it was while the teams were playing at even-strength that Cale Fleury tied the game with his 8th of the season, making the score 2-2 with less than five minutes remaining in the period. The five minutes of extra time solved nothing however and the two teams eventually went to a shootout, where Hunter Shinkaruk netted the game-winner in round eight.
“It was awesome,” said LaCouvee after the game. “It’s just exciting. The guys are playing so well. I think we outplayed them for sure, I’m not sure of the final shots, but I think we had probably ten to 15 more shots than them. I thought we had some great looks, and I only had to make a couple of saves, I think 20, and that’s not so many. I think we’ve been playing really well as a team and finding goals.”
LAV: Audette (Evans, Grenier) | Fleury (Jevpalovs, Sklenicka)
PRO: Percy (McNeill, Smith) | Forsbacka-Karlsson (Zech, Stempniak)
Goaltenders: LAV: LaCouvee (20/22) |PRO: McIntyre (28/30)
Rocket Powerplay: 0/4 | Rocket Penalty Kill: 3/4
Three Stars: 1. Daniel Audette – LAV | 2. Zane McIntyre – PRO | 3. Cale Fleury – LAV