Rocket Overcome Two Goal Deficits to Defeat the Marlies 6-5 in a Shootout
LAVAL - The Laval Rocket earned a hard-fought, 6-5 (SO) victory against the Toronto Marlies at Place Bell Saturday afternoon. During a classic division rivalry, the Rocket kept fans on the edges of their seats after overcoming two, two-goal deficits to capture their fourth consecutive victory, showing a tremendous amount of grit and character to complete a perfect, three-game homestand.
For the first time in team history, the Rocket shot more than 50 times in a game, outshooting the Marlies 53 to 26. Charles Hudon (7), Dale Weise (7), Gustav Olofsson (6) and Xavier Ouellet (8) accounted for 28 of Laval's shots.
Coming into the weekend tilt, the Rocket maintained a 6-3-1-0 record in their last 10 outings, while the Marlies were 7-0-2-0 through nine games. The visitors struck first when Egor Korshkov took advantage of a powerplay in the opening frame to grab a 1-0 lead. Off to a fast pace, the Rocket peppered netminder Joseph Woll with 14 shots in the first period but did everything but score. Four players, including Weise, Ouellet, Jake Evans and Michael McCarron, accounted for eight of Laval shots in the first 20 minutes of play. Prior to Saturday's game, the captain led all AHL defencemen in the shots' category with 41.
The Marlies doubled their tally when Rasmus Sandin unleashed a one-timer midway through the second frame. The Rocket showed character, climbing their way back from a 2-0 deficit. With 5:27 left in the period, Joe Cox deflected Noah Juulsen's shot from the point to get the Rocket on the scoreboard. Juulsen earned the primary assist while Vejdemo, who dove to keep the play alive in the Marlies zone and pass the puck over to the defenseman, earned the second assist. Less than two minutes later, Weise, who would go on to record three points (1 G, 2 A) in the game, scored the equalizer after defeating Woll top shelf from the left faceoff circle.
Darren Archibald restored the Marlies' lead 2:35 into the third period. Jeremy Bracco added his team's fourth goal near the halfway mark of the final frame, scoring on a breakaway down low. Down by two goals again, the Rocket's relentless pursuit of the puck and sustained pressure led to Vejdemo's fourth tally of the season as he tipped in shot past Woll and outskated a Marlies defender. Pontus Aberg scored the Marlies' fifth goal of the game but even at 5-3, the Rocket remained poised and in control. Charles Hudon scored two big goals, including a slapshot from inside the blue shot that tied the game.
After a scoreless overtime that featured an impressive penalty kill by the Rocket, the game required a shootout. For a second game in a row, Alex Belzile scored the game-winning goal and Lindgren turned away three Marlies shooters to lead the Rocket to a fourth-consecutive victory.
"We got four big wins where we put in the work to show JoÃ«l [Bouchard] and everyone else that we can play his system. We like to be in [our opponents] face and get under [their] skin on the ice and we proved it again today," said Hudon.
LAV: Cox (Juulsen, Vejdemo) | Weise (Olofsson) | Vejdemo (Olofsson, Cox) | Hudon (Weise, Peca) | Hudon (Leskinen, Weise)
TOR: Korshkov (Bracco, Sandin) | Sandin (MacMaster, Liljegren) | Archibald (Wilson) | Bracco (Petan, Agostino) | Aberg (Lijlegren, Engvall)
Unités spéciales/Special teams
LAV | AN/PP: (1/4) | IN/PK: (1/3)
TOR | AN/PP: (2/3) | IN/PK: (3/4)
LAV: Lindgren (21/26) TOR: Woll (47/52)
Trois étoiles/Three stars
1. Alex Belzile - LAV 2. Charles Hudon - LAV 3. Lukas Vejdemo - LAV
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