MONTRÉAL – The Laval Rocket and the Belleville Senators met up once more at the Bell Centre Monday evening. The Rocket bested the Senators as the game devolved into a penalty-killing showcase.
The Rocket started the game on the tail end of a back-to-back, having played the Toronto Marlies Sunday night; the Senators are well-rested – their last game was against the Rocket on March 10 in Ottawa.
The home team showed no signs of letting their schedule affect their play, starting with their trademark energy and intensity on full display while the visitors matched their pace. The game’s first penalty was assessed early on when Sunday night’s hero Yannick Veilleux was sent to the box for interference. The Senators used their opportunity on the power play to test goalie Cayden Primeau; they failed to capitalize on the man advantage.
Belleville’s best chance of the period was narrowly saved by Primeau when a puck rang off the cross-bar, and the Rocket netminder recovered it through the chaos. The play was blown dead when the net came off its moorings, and the Rocket took play right back into the Senators’ end. The Rocket drew first blood close to the halfway mark of the period – Jordan Weal finished a play from Tobie Paquette-Bisson and Cale Fleury to give the Rocket the lead.
Going into the last five minutes of the period, the game’s pace picked up, with Belleville launching as many shots as possible toward Primeau. The Rocket took their first stab at the power play when Jonathan Davidsson was assessed a tripping minor but came up short. As the period came to an end, the Senators built on their momentum from killing the penalty, desperately trying the equalizer.
The Rocket took a 1-0 lead with them into the intermission.
Le mur Primeau permet au Rocket de mener 1-0.
The Primeau wall allowed the Rocket to lead 1-0 after 20 minutes. pic.twitter.com/MlunSNeH19
— Rocket de Laval (@RocketLaval) March 15, 2021
Ten seconds into the second, Alex Belzile went off for a hooking minor. Belleville set up to take another swing at the man advantage. Cole Reinhardt (assisted by Lassi Thomson and Vitaly Abramov) capitalized on the man advantage and evened up the score. Shortly after, Joël Teasdale regained the lead with some help from Ryan Poehling and Otto Leskinen. The rest of the period was a penalty-killing clinic. The senators took three more penalties, and the Rocket took another of their own.
Parker Kelly took a boarding minor, Joseph Blandisi sat on a high-sticking minor, Alex Formenton visited the box for slashing, and Cody Goloubef served two for tripping Belzile late in the period. Their respective teams killed the first three penalties, but the Rocket carried over the penalty on Goloubef to the third.
The Rocket once again took a one-goal lead down the tunnel with them.
Le Rocket mène 2-1 après deux périodes et il restera 78 secondes à notre avantage numérique en début de 3e.
The Rocket is leading 2-1 after 2 and we'll still have 78 seconds of power play time when the 3rd starts back. #GoRocket pic.twitter.com/EeUylAoZNv
— Rocket de Laval (@RocketLaval) March 15, 2021
The Senators killed the remaining penalty to Goloubef. Shortly afterward, Belzile decided he wasn’t done with the Senators defenseman. The two of them dropped the gloves for a short scrap. Goloubef took a fighting major, and Belzile took the following four penalties, two of which were served by Cameron Hillis:
- Instigating, served by Hillis
- Interference, served by Hillis
The Rocket staved off the resulting four-minute power play. They held on to the lead until Joseph LeBate – with helpers from Robert Calisti and Jean-Cristophe Beaudin – leveled the score out once more. Goloubef found himself in the penalty box one last time for high-sticking in the final minutes of the frame. Poehling – assisted by Fleury and Corey Schueneman – made his presence known on the score sheet in a bid to ensure victory for his team, scoring the Rocket’s first power-play goal of the game. With six seconds left in the game, Weal was given one final penalty for good measure. With such little time left to make an impact, the Senators’ power play failed to capitalize.
The Rocket won both games on their back-to-back set while the Senators dropped their third game against a formidable opponent in Laval – the fourth at the Bell Centre.
Le Rocket a gagné un match chaudement disputé contre les Sénateurs de Belleville!
That was a close one against Belleville but the good guys won! #GoRocket pic.twitter.com/lq0TilnOhI
— Rocket de Laval (@RocketLaval) March 16, 2021
The Rocket play next on Thursday, March 18 (8 pm EDT), when they take on the Stockton Heat for the first time this season at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB.
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