LAVAL (November 16, 2018) – Coming off a victory against the defending champions earlier this week, the Laval Rocket continued their strong play at Place Bell Friday night where they fell just short of putting an end to the to the six-game win streak of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who defeated them 2-1 in a four-round shootout.
Building off the momentum from their dominant victory over the Toronto Marlies on Tuesday night, Joël Bouchard’s Rocket came out of the gate with speed and physicality that was matched by the Sound Tigers. The teams finished the first period tied 8-8 in shots on goal and 0-0 on the scoreboard, with both Charlie Lindgren and Jeremy Smith making quality saves to keep the game scoreless.
With the game still locked at zero halfway through the second, Michael McCarron dropped the gloves with and ultimately took down Bridgeport’s Parker Wotherspoon in a brief but decisive fight that the players hoped would give their teams the extra energy required to score the game’s opening goal. However, despite the fight and despite both teams having multiple powerplay opportunities in the second, the Rocket and Sound Tigers headed to the dressing room in preparation of the final 20 minutes still tied 0-0.
A five-on-three powerplay for the Sound Tigers is what allowed them to open the scoring seven minutes into the third as Bridgeport capitalized on their two-man advantage by sniping a shot from the slot behind Lindgren, who made 26 saves in the loss which earning him the game’s second star honours. Bridgeport attempted to hold on for the regulation victory, but with just 36 seconds remaining, Jake Evans sent his sixth of the season behind Smith to tie the game — sending the teams to overtime and eventually to a shootout, where a goal from Kieffer Bellows lifted the Sound Tigers over the Rocket.
“I think we had good intentions, we came to play tonight” said Bouchard after the game. “From the start Bridgeport played a good game. They’re a good hockey team, they play very well — I think it was a game that was more or less equal for a big part of the game, but the penalties hurt us.”
LAV: Evans (Audette, Shinkaruk) || BRI: Toews (Fritz, Ho-Sang) | Bellows (SO)
LAV: Lindgren (26/27) | BRI: Smith (25/26)
Rocket Powerplay: 0/4 | Rocket Penalty Kill: 1/7
Three Stars: 1. Kieffer Bellows – BRI | 2. Charlie Lindgren – LAV | 3. Jake Evans – LAV