CLEVELAND (November 10, 2018) – The Laval Rocket fell just short of perfecting their three-game road trip due to a 4-2 loss to the Cleveland Monsters Saturday night, which put an end to the three-game win streak of Joël Bouchard and his players.
Contrary to the night before, it was the Monsters who had the quick start Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena as Eric Robinson snuck a puck under the blocker of Laval’s Charlie Lindgren just 2:17 into the game to give his team a lead over their divisional rival. However, Alexandre Alain extended his two-game goal streak to three less than a minute after Robinson’s goal with a backhand shot that also went under the Cleveland goaltender’s blocker to make it 1-1 with less than five minutes played in the game. Though the tie lasted the remainder of the period, the Rocket outshot the Monsters 9-5 in the opening 20 minutes.
Alexandre Grenier disliked a hit that Justin Scott laid on Lukas Vejdemo halfway through the second period and dropped the gloves in defence of his teammate, sending him and Scott to the penalty box in a period that was otherwise free of penalties. The score remained tied at one until the final two minutes of the period, when Calvin Thurkauf tapped a rebound that fell behind Lindgren into the net to make it 2-1 for Cleveland heading in to the final frame.
Byron Froese proved early in the third period that sending the puck on net is never a bad idea, as his shot from behind the goal line bounced off of Cleveland goaltender Jean-Francois Berube’s shoulder and into the net to make it 2-2 just 1:04 into the third. Unfortunately for Bouchard’s troops, the Monsters took advantage of a powerplay shortly after Froese’s goal to regain their lead, and they added to the lead with an empty-net goal late in the period to hold on for the win.
“The guys worked hard, it wasn’t a lack of effort,” explained Bouchard after the game. “It was a lack of investment in certain areas. Mental fatigue entered the picture, but if you want to play in the NHL and get called up to the NHL you can’t allow yourself to make mental mistakes. I think we’re improving in that aspect, but we still have some work to do.”
LAV: Alain (McCarron, Kulak) |Froese (Vejdemo, Lamarche)
CLE: Robinson (Cross, Carlsson) | Thurkauf (Letestu, Cross) |Broadhurst (Letestu, Milano) |Robinson
LAV: Lindgren (21/24) | CLE: Berube (27/29)
Rocket Powerplay: 0/2| Rocket Penalty Kill: 2/3
Three Stars: 1. Eric Robinson – CLE | 2. Alex Broadhurst – CLE | 3. Mark Letestu – CLE