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Rocket Special Teams Shine in 4-2 Victory over Senators

January 3, 2019 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Laval Rocket News Release

LAVAL - The Laval Rocket earned two important points in the standings at Place Bell on Wednesday night when Joël Bouchard's players defeated the Belleville Senators by a score of 4-2. Special teams were a big factor in the game as the Rocket killed off all six of Belleville's powerplays and scored on two of their own in the victory. Daniel Audette and Byron Froese both picked up two points in the win.

The Rocket limited the divisional rival Senators to just two shots on goal during the opening frame and took advantage of their lack of discipline to net two powerplay goals. Captain Froese slapped his eleventh of the season by Belleville netminder Filip Gustavsson halfway through the period with assists from Audette and Alexandre Ouellet, and Alex Belzile added the Rocket's second tally with a bomb from the blue line in the final five minutes of the period. Belzile's goal was assisted by Froese and Audette, making it a two-point period for them both.

Antoine Waked added to Laval's lead midway through the second period as Hayden Verbeek stole the puck off the stick of Belleville defender Erik Burgdoerfer behind the net and passed it to Waked, who tapped it five-hole for his first goal of the season. Gabriel Gagné took away the shutout of Connor LaCouvee by period's end to put the visitors on the board however, making it a 3-1 game heading into the final frame.

Gagné's second of the game brought the visitors back to within one in the third but before the Senators could pull their goaltender in favour of the extra attacker, Lukas Vejdemo fed Alexandre Grenier alone in front of the Belleville net and he roofed his sixth of the season to lock in the Rocket's 4-2 victory.

"Of course [it feels good to win against a divisional rival]," said Bouchard after the game. "We're fighting and we're climbing. It's a battle. There's half the season and a lot of hockey left, and I like the way the guys are jelling."

Goalscorers:

LAV: Froese (Audette, Ouellet) | Belzile (Froese, Audette) | Waked (Verbeek) | Grenier (Vejdemo)

BEL: Gagne (Carey, Englund) | Gagne (Beauchemin, Bergman)

Goaltenders: LAV: LaCouvee (19/21) | BEL: Gustavsson (22/26)

Rocket Powerplay: 2/6| Rocket Penalty Kill: 6/6

Three Stars: 1. Byron Froese - LAV | 2. Gabriel Gagné - BEL | 3. Daniel Audette - LAV


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