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Laval Slides Past Marlies in Third Period

Laval Slides Past Marlies in Third Period

TORONTO – It’s a tale of two relatively hot teams where the Laval Rockey have proved themselves over the past few weeks. The last time Laval lost at home came in a game against Texas, but their recent 6-5 record on the road didn’t mean much against the Marlies. On the other hand, Toronto was 6-2-2 through 10 heading into the Wednesday night game, making for the hockey we come to expect between the two.

The game wouldn’t be long underway before Laval tallied first. Less than five minutes in, it was rush hour traffic in front of Joseph Woll. Then, with nearly two minutes of zone time, a squeaker blew through a log jam in front of the net for the first of the game.

Less than ten minutes later, the Marlies would respond with a tuner over in the Laval zone. A long stretch pass from Alex Steeves found Kyle Clifford found the tying goal against Cayden Primeau.

But the Rocket would respond, and a missed assignment by the Marlie defence would push the Rocket ahead with a pass from Jean-Sébastien Dea and the laser from Rafaël Harvey-Pinard. 

Their lead was foiled just 12 seconds later, and Jack Kopacka tied it.

The old adage of driving to the net is mostly always welcomed, but such isn’t the case for the Toronto Marlies and Mac Hollowell. Hot off the penalty kill, the Marlies were crowding the net. When Xavier Ouellet took the floated a low shot in the feet, Hollowell banked the puck past Woll to have things sit in at 3-2 for the second period.

And by the time the first intermission rolled around, it proved to be a defensive nightmare, accumulating five goals combined. Someone forgot to mention the defensive letdown for a game with offensive promise. No doubt, missed defensive assignments will be the first tape played tomorrow morning.

The back and forth second period led to a goalless second period, setting up a photo finish.

One thing about the clash between the two is the skill level really showed for Steeves. So much of the sport of hockey is on-ice awareness. Steeves made seeing-eye passes throughout the night before polishing the scoring tab just 2:52 on the power play. Finally,  Steeves made space and headway near the circles for the pass from Brett Seney to tie things.

Alexandre Fortin’s fourth goal of the game provided the Rocket with the lead crossing the midway point of the third period. By this point, Toronto had the slight advantage in puck possession. But, from that point, things looked slightly brighter for Laval, pushing the bench a little to perform.

When Hollowell threw the puck at the net and scored, it pushed things tied- but only for a brief period of time.

It was Joël Teasdale who would give the puck some mustard to score the 5th goal on nearly 34 shots to put Laval slightly ahead in the final moments of the game.

The empty netter would prove to be the final demise of the Marlies in a 6-4 final.

At best, the game was splitting hairs; it wouldn’t take long for the other to come back when one scored. Nevertheless, the Rocket continues their Wednesday confidence with now a 10-0-2 record on hump day.

One may say the early defence could have been the Achilles heel, but the reality is, both teams’ mistakes were equal – and it could have gone either way.

Both teams will be back in action this weekend.

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    Zack Power covers the Toronto Marlies for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHMarlies.

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