SYRACUSE (April 12, 2019) – The Laval Rocket played their second to last game of the season against the Syracuse Crunch at Onondaga County War Memorial Arena on Friday night, where the Crunch proved why they are one of the teams atop the league and defeated the Rocket by a score of 5-1.
After a difficult start for the Rocket that saw the Joël Bouchard’s troops down two goals less than three minutes into the game, the visitors demonstrated their poise and maturity yet again by staying calm and working towards a comeback against the second place overall Crunch. Though the goals from Alexander Volkov and Andy Andreoff gave Syracuse a two-goal lead, Matthew Struthers was able to bring the Rocket back to within one with his first professional goal. His shot from the top of the faceoff circle on the powerplay snuck by Eddie Pasquale, who made 20 saves in his team’s victory.
Carter Verhaeghe netted another early goal for the Crunch in the second period while his team was on the powerplay to make it a 3-1 game. Rocket netminder Connor LaCouvee was screened on the play that lead to Verhaeghe’s goal, and Michael McNiven entered the game in relief of LaCouvee thereafter. The rising tension between the divisional rivals lead to Hayden Verbeek and Hubert Labrie dropping the gloves mid-period and though the Rocket attempted to build from the fight’s momentum, Verhaeghe netted his second of the period two minutes later to make it 4-1 after forty minutes of play.
Eight penalties were distributed in the final frame but it was only in the final five minutes of play that one of them resulted in a goal. Syracuse’s Alex Barre-Boulet slapped a one-timer past McNiven at 16:23, giving the Crunch a 5-1 lead while Alex Kile was serving a roughing penalty for Michael Pezzetta. The fifth goal ended up being the last of the night for either team, locking in the final score of 5-1.
The Rocket will play their final game of the season Saturday night against the Binghamton Devils.
LAV: Struthers (Alain, Fleury)
SYR: Volkov | Andreoff (Raddysh, Gaunce) | Verhaeghe (Gaunce, Conacher) | Verhaeghe (Dumont, Barre-Boulet) | Barre-Boulet (Conacher)
Goaltenders: LAV: LaCouvee (8/11), McNiven (14/16) | SYR: Pasquale (20/21)
Rocket Powerplay: 1/4 | Rocket Penalty Kill: 3/5
Three Stars: 1. Carter Verhaeghe – SYR | 2. Alex Barre-Boulet – SYR | 3. Cameron Gaunce – SYR