LAVAL (October 12, 2018) – Ten different players picked up at least a point for the Laval Rocket during their home opener at Place Bell on Friday night, where the Rocket defeated the divisional rival Binghamton Devils 5-2 in front of a crowd of 8,257.
The Rocket offense dominated the first period with three goals in under three minutes and four goals on 16 shots, of which one came while shorthanded and another while on the powerplay. Byron Froese
netted the first goal on home ice of the season by going five-hole on Binghamton netminder Cam Johnson on a breakaway, and David Sklenicka, Nikita Javpalovs and Alexandre Grenier followed the lead of their captain by scoring their first, first, and second goals of the season respectively. The Devils added two goals of their own to the scoreboard in the opening period to make it 4-2 after one.
“We know that it’s our special teams that make a difference in critical moments,” said Jake Evans after the game. “It was important that in the beginning we were able to get a power play and a shorthanded goal, because sometimes that’s what makes the difference between a win and a loss.” Charlie Lindgren turned away all ten of Binghamton’s shots in the second period and defended against their powerplay twice in order to maintain the Rocket’s two-goal lead. Although they didn’t add to their earlier four goals, Laval forced Johnson to make multiple big saves on the powerplay and came close to adding a fifth goal at the end of the period when the puck rang off the post.
The fifth and final goal ended up coming early in the third when Kenny Agostino picked up the rebound of a perfectly placed shot from Froese to give them each their second points of the game. Though the offense was strong, the defence in the third was what locked in their victory by allowing only four shots on Lindgren during the final frame.
LAV: Froese (Fleury, Moravcik) | Sklenicka (McCarron) | Jevpalovs (Evans) | Grenier (Kenny, Kulak)| Agostino (Froese)
BNG: Lappin (Seney, Kapla) | Bastian (Rooney, Kapla)
LAV: Lindgren (17/19) | BNG: Johnson (27/32)
Rocket Powerplay: 1/6 | Rocket Penalty Kill: 5/6
Three Stars :
1. Byron Froese – LAV | 2. Brett Kulak – LAV | 3. Michael McCarron – LAV