Rocket return from grind of a road trip

Charles Hudon continued his torrid pace as he had a pair of goals in the 7-5 win over Syracuse, which gave him 13 tallies in his last dozen games.

It was a tough week for the Laval Rocket, not from the fact that the club dropped two of the three games but from three games in three days in three different cities. On Friday night at the Upstate Medical University Arena Laval opened with a7-5 win over the Syracuse Crunch to extend their win streak to five games. Then it was on the bus and off to Lehigh Valley where the win streak snapped following a 2-0 loss to the Phantoms. Back on the bus and over to Bridgeport for a Sunday meeting with the Sound Tigers, which the home side wone6-4 at the Webster Bank Arena. The team showed plenty of grit and character as well as picking up a couple of milestones on the trip. In the win over the Crunch, head coach Joël Bouchard earned his 50th AHL victory behind the bench. Phil Varone returned to the lineup for the first time since his injury back on October 30th and that was Varone’s 500th game in the AHL. Also in that win, Charles Hudon continued his torrid pace as he had a pair of goals, which gave him 13 tallies in his last dozen games. In the 2-0 loss to the Phantoms it was payback as the Rocket had shutout Lehigh Valley the week before at Place Bell. Phantom netminder Alex Lyon turned aside 37 Laval shots for the clean sheet. The game stood scoreless for close to two periods as Lyon and Laval’s Keith Kinkaid held off each attack. I took goals by Kyle Criscuolo and Tyler Wotherspoon to deliver the win to the Phantoms. That was Laval’s first setback dating back to December 27. The Rocket showed they are battlers in Sunday’s matinee against the Sound Tigers. Bridgeport took a 3-0 advantage but Alexandre Alain got one back before the end of the opening frame. Riley Barber’s tally early in the middle stanza made it a 3-2 contest. The Sound Tigers went up by a 5-2 score and Laurent Dauphin’s goal before the end of the second got the visitors back to within two. Phil Varone made it a one goal game at 5-4 but the Sound Tigers got the empty netter with less than a minute to play to seal the deal. Laval presently sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 44 points but the teams are stacked tight and the Rocket are a mere four points away from jumping up to third place, presently held by the Utica Comets. Laval continues on the road this weekend as they head to Winnipeg to face the Manitoba Moose for a pair on Saturday and Sunday. sports@thesuburban.com

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