BELLEVILLE (September 28, 2018) – The Laval Rocket were back in action Friday night as the team disputed the first of two preseason games against the Senators at the CAA arena in Belleville, where Joël Bouchard’s troops fell to the home team 5-0.
The first period had strong and physical gameplay from the get-go, with the divisional rivals distributing numerous hits and dropping the gloves on two occasions. Goaltender Michael McNiven shone during the first period, turning away the 14 shots that came his way. He finished his game halfway through the second period as planned with 22 saves.
The Senators quickly opened the scoring in the second period. Taking advantage of a power play, Drake Batherson and Nick Paul set up Logan Brown who was able to beat McNiven. Paul added to the Belleville lead three minutes later on a nice play orchestrated by Jordan Murray and Stuart Percy, allowing the home team to head back to the dressing room with a three-goal lead after the second period.
When Quebec goaltender Étienne Marcoux took over the crease halfway through the second, he kept his team in the game with multiple big saves. Despite this, Jim O’Brien – who was the first star of the game – scored twice in the final 20 minutes to put the game out of reach for the visitors. Belleville netminder Marcus Hogberg thwarted all of the Rocket’s scoring attempts and earned himself the game’s second star honors. Laval’s players will have the chance to avenge their loss on Saturday night, when the two teams will face each other once again at the CAA arena.
BEL: Brown (21, 7) | Paul (4,10) | Stallard (4, 20) | O’Brien (16,3) | O’Brien (37,34)
LAV: McNiven (22/25) | Marcoux (12/14)
BEL: Hogberg (18/18)
Rocket Power Play : 0/3
Rocket Penalty Kill : 2/4
Three Stars :
- Jim O’Brien – BEL / 2. Marcus Hogberg – BEL / 3. Nick Paul – BEL