Rocket Drop 5-4 Shootout Decision to Moose
LAVAL - An up-and-down, rollercoaster ride landed in favour of the Manitoba Moose in their 5-4 shootout win over the Rocket on Wednesday night. Michael Spacek scored the equalizer with 1:18 remaining to force overtime and Seth Griffith scored the lone goal in the shootout to propel the visitors to victory.
Griffith also scored in regulation for the Moose - his team-leading 20th goal of the season. David Gustafsson and Leon Gawanke recorded the other Manitoba goals, on top of Spacek's late-game marker.
Charles Hudon and Jake Evans each had a goal and an assist for the Rocket. Jesperi Kotkaniemi contributed two helpers, bringing his total to nine in eight games since joining Laval. Cale Fleury and Yannick Veilleux also scored for the Rocket in their return home from a season long 10-day road trip.
Before the game was seven minutes old, Griffith and Gustafsson had each found the back of the net, granting the Moose a 2-0 lead after the first period.
In the second, the Rocket responded with a trio of goals in under six minutes. Fleury snapped one past Mikhail Berdin to get the Rocket on the board. Veilleux then capitalized on a Manitoba turnover right in front of their own net to knot things at two apiece, before Evans gave the Rocket their first lead of the night off a scramble in front.
Gawanke recreated a deadlock near the halfway mark of the third. Soon after, Kotkaniemi spotted Hudon alone in front for the tap-in to regain the Rocket lead. With 78 seconds to spare, Spacek scored to tie the game at 4-4.
The Rocket were unable to solve Berdin in the shootout, leaving Griffith's lone goal as the game-winner.
"It's one mistake here and there and it seems like that's always costing us. The other team makes mistakes and we are not quite able to bury our chances. We had four goals tonight, that's enough to win. Keith [Kinkaid] played well, it's just that we have to eliminate a couple mistakes," said Phil Varone in the post-game scrum.
LAV: Fleury (Evans) | Veilleux | Evans (Hudon, Kotkaniemi) | Hudon (Kotkaniemi, Alzner)
MB: Griffith (Spacek, Poirier) | Gustafsson (Vesalainen, Lipon) | Gawanke (Lipon, Vesalainen) | Spacek (Schilling Gawanke)
Unités spéciales/Special teams
LAV | AN/PP: (0/3) | IN/PK: (1/1)
MB | AN/PP: (0/1) | IN/PK: (3/3)
Kinkaid: (25/29) | Berdin: (27/31)
Trois étoiles/Three stars
1. Gawanke - MB 2. Evans - LAV 3. Lipon - MB
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