UTICA (February 13, 2019) – The Laval Rocket played their first of six consecutive road games at the Adirondack Bank Center on Wednesday night, where Joël Bouchard and his troops fell to the Utica Comets by a score of 4-1. Michael Pezzetta netted the lone goal for the visitors, with Jake Evans and Nikita Jevpalovs picking up the assists.
The Comets took a 2-0 lead over the Rocket in the opening period with Jonah Gadjovich deflecting his second of the season behind Charlie Lindgren and with Lukas Jasek netting a powerplay tally 15 minutes in. Lindgren, who made 24 saves in the loss, flashed his glove late in the period on Tanner Kero however to prevent his team from going down 3-0 after one.
Though Utica netminder Michael Leighton led his team through the first penalty he took in the period, he was unable to do it a second time as a tripping penalty called against him allowed Pezzetta to net his fourth of the season. Pezzetta deflected Fleury’s shot in the net on the play, bringing their team back to within two.
Another goal for the Comets less than halfway through the third period put the game out of reach for the Rocket, as Lindgren was screened and unable to see Evan McEneny’s wrist shot coming his way which made the score 4-1 for the Comets. Despite the score Hayden Verbeek came close to scoring his first professional goal in the period, but Leighton stuck out his pad at the last second to deny him.
“Our problem was the first period. I think we played the right way in the second and third period and we played the way that we’re able to play,” explained the newly appointed captain after the game. “The second and the third were really tight periods, but with the young team we have we can’t let ourselves take a whole period to play the right way. We need to learn from and grow from this.”
LAV: Pezzetta (Fleury, Jevpalovs)
UTI: Gadjovich (Sifers, Leblanc) | Jasek (Schenn) | Kero (Dahlen, Boucher) | McEneny (Chatfield, Arseneau)
Goaltenders: LAV: Lindgren (24/28) | UTI: Leighton (20/21)
Rocket Powerplay: 1/5| Rocket Penalty Kill: 5/7
Three Stars: 1. Lukas Jasek – UTI | 2. Jonah Gadjovich – UTI | 3. Michael Leighton – UTI