Rocket cruising until struck by Comets

Laval’s Corey Schueneman advances the puck as Utica captain Ryan Schmelzer moves in.

The Laval Rocket were enjoying a pair of wins at Place Bell last week and were looking to extend it to three until they were struck by the Utica Comets last Saturday afternoon to close out a three game home set.

Laval opened with a 3-0 victory over the Belleville Senators the previous Wednesday evening then followed that up with a hard fought 5-4 overtime win over the Bridgeport Islanders Friday night. The Saturday afternoon match saw Utica take a 5-3 decision over the Rocket.

In the win over the Sens, Laval was good for a goal per period but it was Alexandre Fortin’s first goal of the season 15:26 into the first that would stand as the game winner. Ryan Poehling, with an assist from Cole Caufield made it 2-0 at the 12:29 mark of the middle period. With 29 seconds remaining in the game Gabriel Bourque hit for the empty netter to make it a 3-0 win for the home team. Cayden Primeau turned aside 32 shots for the clean sheet and earned first star honours.

In the 5-4 OT thriller there was a flurry of five goals in the first that ended with the Islanders holding a 3-2 edge heading into the break. Laval led off the scoring with Danick Martel notching his first of two in the game a mere 27 seconds from the start of the second. Kevin Roy’s tally made it 2-2 but Bridgeport struck again to take the lead. Martel’s second goal pulled the Rocket even at 3-3 only to see Chris Terry return the lead to the visitors with 2:05 left in the second. The lone goal of the third came off the stick of Laval’s captain Xavier Ouellet. Play in the fourth period was short and sweet as Laurent Dauphin’s eighth goal of the campaign cam 80 seconds into the extra session to give the Rocket the win.

Laval held a 3-2 lead in Saturday afternoon’s loss as second period goals by Jean Sébastien Dea and Cole Caufield tied the match at 2-2. The 3-2 lead came 43 seconds into the third on Jesse Ylönen’s tally. Unfortunately the Comets reeled off three unanswered goals to close the third period and earn the win.

Last night Laval faced the Toronto Marlies in their first of two road games this week. The Rocket will then take on the Senators in Belleville Saturday night with a 7 pm puck drop.

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