Rocket struggle in three game home set

It was an Americans’ revolution at Place Bell as Rochester claimed both games over the Rocket.

It was a tough trio of games for the Laval Rocket as they dropped all three matches to the visiting clubs but did manage a point on Tuesday night as they lost 3-2 to the Rockford IceHogs in a shootout. Over the weekend, the Rocket were victims of an Amercians revolution as the Rochester Americans, tops in the AHL’s North Division, squeaked out a 3-2 win on Friday night and had a dominating 5-0 victory Saturday afternoon. In Friday’s loss, Laval outshot the Americans 27-20 but came up short on the score sheet. Charles Hudon continued to hold a hot hand as his powerplay tally in the first knotted the score at 1-1, that was his 11th of the season and sixth in the last four games. With Rochester holding a two-goal advantage in the third, Nikita Jevpalovs pulled the Rocket to within one but the Americans’ netminder Jonas Johansson’s turned aside 17 Rocket shots to preserve the lead and the win. Laval had a pair of players in the game on professional try-out contracts. Ralph Cudemmi, who led the ECHL in points before being called up made his AHL debut and Evan McEneny saw his first game action since March 3, 2019, as a member of the Utica Comets. Saturday afternoon featured the popular Star Wars game, which attracted 6,000 fans for the matinee match-up with Rochester. The force was with the visitors as the Americans capitalized for three powerplay markers to take the 5-0 decision. The only celebration was the fact that Alexandre Alain logged his 100th game in the American Hockey League.

Laval got off to a great start on Tuesday night as the Rocket established a 2-0 lead over the IceHogs. Hudon hit on the powerplay and Alain notched a shorthanded tally on a pass from Josh Brook. Rockfordbattled back with their own shorthanded goal in the second by Joseph Cramarossa and then pulled even at 2-2 in the third on Dimitry Osipov’s goal. Nothing was solved in the extra-session, setting the stage for the shootout. Laval’s Keith Kinkaid and IceHog Collin Delia stoned the first four shooters they each faced. Delia also denied the fifth Rocket player, Joe Cox while Rockford’s Anton Wedin managed to get the puck past Kincaid for the victory. “We are all trying to play our best; we are not finding excuses,” said William Pelletier. “Our team works hard, and we can win some games. I think we got scared at the end of the game and that is why they were able to come back.” Tomorrow night Laval will make a quick trip to Utica to face the Comets before heading into the holiday break. The Rocket will close out 2019 at Place Bell with a pair against their rivals from Toronto, as the Marlies will hit the ice Friday, December 27 for a 7:30 contest and go at it again on Saturday, the 28th with a 3:00 pm puck drop.

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