Rochester Steals Two Points in 3-2 Victory over the Rocket
LAVAL - A shorthanded Rocket squad had a stiff test awaiting them at Place Bell on Friday night with the Rochester Americans in town, the team that led the AHL's North Division with a 16-4-2-2 record prior to the game. The Rocket put up a commendable fight, outshooting their opponents 37-20, but fell short, losing 3-2, in the first leg of a back-to-back that will wrap up on Saturday afternoon.
Eric Cornel's goal at 1:57 of the third period stood as the game winner in Rochester's triumph over the Rocket. He, and teammate Sean Malone, each contributed a goal and an assist in the win; Casey Nelson had the American's other marker. Nikita Jevpalovs scored in the third period as the Rocket tried to mount a comeback, but Jonas Johansson's 17 saves in the final frame were enough to secure the two points.
Nelson opened the scoring less than a minute into the game, but the Rocket were quick to respond with a powerplay marker just 1:34 later. Charles Hudon's team-leading 11th goal of the season - and sixth in his last four games - brought the Rocket back on level terms with the Americans. Sean Malone's tally later in the frame, however, gave Rochester a 2-1 advantage at the break.
In the third, Cornel profited from a rebound off the pad of Charlie Lindgren - who was making consecutive starts for the first time this season - to give the Americans a two-goal cushion. Twenty-eight seconds later, Jevpalovs rang a laser off the post and in to spark some life into the Rocket, but that was all the offence Laval would get in the loss.
The Rocket welcomed a pair of new faces to their lineup on Friday night - both of which are on professional try-out contracts. Ralph Cudemmi - who led the ECHL in points before being called up - made his AHL debut and Evan McEneny saw his first game action since March 3, 2019, as a member of the Utica Comets.
"We got really good hockey players in this team; we had some guys who stepped up tonight. It's good to see guys getting opportunities and doing well. It could have gone either way and I think we played well," said Lindgren after the game.
LAV: Hudon (Weise) | Jevpalovs (Lynch)
ROC: Nelson (Oglevie, Porter) | Malone (Cornel) | Cornel (Malone, Bryson)
Unités spéciales/Special teams
LAV | AN/PP: (1/5) | IN/PK: (2/2)
ROC| AN/PP: (0/2) | IN/PK: (4/5)
LAV: Lindgren (17/20) | ROC: Johansson (35/37)
Trois étoiles/Three stars
1. Cornel - ROC 2. Jevpalovs - LAV 3. Déa - ROC
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