UTICA (November 7, 2018) – In the game that concluded three consecutive matchups between the Laval Rocket and the Utica Comets, Alexandre Grenier and Byron Froese each picked two points to give the Rocket a 4-3 victory and to allow them to pick up four out of a possible six points against the divisional rival this past week.
Penalty woes got the better of the Rocket in the first period, which saw Froese take a five-minute major penalty for boarding and Grenier a two-minute minor for high-sticking. It was on these two penalties that Utica’s Tanner Kero was able to score twice— once while on a five-on-three powerplay due to Grenier and Froese being in the box simultaneously, and again on a one-man advantage to give the Comets a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
An offensive storm from Laval allowed the Rocket to take the lead away from the Comets and give it to themselves before the halfway mark of the second was reached, as Joël Bouchard’s troops managed to score three goals in just 4:07. The first goal came from Grenier three minutes into the period, the second from Daniel Audette’s at 6:53, and the third from Alexandre Alain, his first professional goal less than a minute later. Zack MacEwen tied things up for the Utica about a minute and a half later however, and Charlie Lindgren entered the game in relief of Michael McNiven.
Lindgren turned away all seven shots he faced in the end of the second as well as all the shots faced in the third period which meant that Michael Chaput’s fourth of the season that he snuck by a screened Ivan Kulbakov in the third period served as the game-winner, earning him the game’s first star honours.
“They’re a hardworking team. Since the beginning of the year, they’re the most hardworking [we’ve seen] in my opinion,” said Bouchard of their opponents after the game. “I respect their effort. They skate, they’re fast, but I find our guys handled the third period very well. They controlled the play well.”
LAV: Grenier (Froese, Lamarche) | Audette (Grenier, Froese) | Alain (Vejdemo) | Chaput (Evans, Kulak)
UTI: Kero (Dahlen, Juolevi) | Kero (Brisebois, Carcone) | MacEwen (Juolevi, Kero)
LAV: McNiven (14/17) | Lindgren (7/7) || UTI: Kulbakov (18/22)
Rocket Powerplay: 1/6 |Rocket Penalty Kill: 2/4
Three Stars :
- Michael Chaput – LAV | 2. Tanner Kero – UTI | 3. Jonathan Dahlen– UTI