Powerplay Propels Rocket to 3-2 Victory over Monsters
LAVAL - The Rocket faced division foe Cleveland Monsters for a fifth time this season, their third clash at Place Bell, on Wednesday night. Ranked eighth in the American Hockey League, Laval's powerplay produced three goals en route to a 3-2 victory over the Monsters. Charlie Lindgren made 26 saves in the win.
First-star Ryan Poehling assisted on all three powerplay goals. In their first games back since sustaining injuries, Alex Belzile and Xavier Ouellet both found the back of the net. With a goal and an assist, Belzile is in a three-way tie with teammates Lukas Vejdemo and Riley Barber with 14 points. The St-Ãloi, Quebec native is particularly successful against the Monsters this season, tallying seven points (5 G, 2 A) in five meetings.
The Rocket's trio of powerplay goals were recorded in the first half of the game. In the opening frame, Alexandre Alain notched his fifth goal of the season - his second in three games. Credited with the primary helper, Jake Evans has tallied seven points (3 G, 4 A) in his last eight outings.
Belzile and Ouellet took advantage of a 5-on-3 powerplay in the middle frame to give the Rocket a two-goal lead. Barber earned the primary assist on the second goal, good for his third point (1 G, 2 A) in as many games.
"On the 5-on-3, it's always good to execute, and it's part of the game plan. I think that helped a lot. When you are doing the right thing as a team, it's a matter of time before it pays off. We have played well the last two weeks, so it's good to see the results tonight," said Poehling after the game.
The Monsters' Markus Hannikainen scored his team's two goals, both on the man-advantage.
LAV: Alain (Evans, Poehling) | Belzile (Barber, Poehling) | Ouellet (Belzile, Poehling)
CLE: Hannikainen (Clendening, Gerbe) | Hannikainen (Stenlund, Gerbe)
Unités spéciales/Special teams
LAV | AN/PP: 3/7 | IN/PK: 3/5
CLE | AN/PP: 2/5 | IN/PK: 4/7
LAV: Lindgren (26/28) | CLE: Kivlenieks (27/30)
Trois étoiles/Three stars
1. Poehling - LAV 2. Ouellet - LAV 3. Alain - LAV
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