PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Fights and physical play dominated the ice in Saturday’s contest between the Laval Rocket and the Providence Bruins, but only one team was able to put the puck in the net.
The Rocket defeated the P-Bruins 4–0 in a game that had various momentum shifts. This was the first game since March of 2020 that the P-Bruins had faced a team other than the Bridgeport Sound Tigers/Islanders, Hartford Wolf Pack, or Utica Comets. Additionally, this was the first game that Laval had ventured over the Canadian border for in that same time frame.
The Rocket grabbed a lead early off of the stick of defenseman Gianni Fairbrother only five minutes into the game, and this led to Rocket dominance at the very beginning. The shot count didn’t necessarily reflect this, but the quality chances between the two teams was heavily in favor of the Rocket. Defenseman Xavier Ouellet increased that lead to two off of a nifty passing play that included forwards Gabriel Bourque and Lucas Vejdemo. This goal, which came a little over the halfway point of the period, would be the extent of the scoring in the first frame, and Laval would continue to see the best chances in the period.
The P-Bruins came out firing in the second period and controlled play. This led to numerous chances, including near-goals for forwards Jakub Lauko and Steven Fogarty, but the Rockets goalie play gave the P-Bruins nothing and kept the shutout alive. Two fights did occur in the frame, with Rocket winger Brandon Barrock defeating P-Bruins defenseman Tyler Lewington, and P-Bruins forward Ian McKinnon taking down Michael Pezzetta.
The Rocket and P-Bruins battled back and forth for the early stages of the third period but Rocket forward Laurent Dauphin tipped one past Providence goaltender Callum Booth for a massive insurance marker. The Rocket completely took over from this point, and an empty-net goal from forward Brandon Gignac sealed the deal and gave the game its final 4–0 score.
The story of this game was power play inefficiency on both sides, as the two teams were a combined 0–11 on the day. The P-Bruins ended with a slight 29–28 shot advantage, but in the end Rocket goaltender Michael McNiven was just too much for the P-Bruins to handle.
Providence (1–1–1–1) is back in action Oct. 24th at home when they host the Springfield Thunderbirds. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:05 E.T.
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