Rocket Triumphant in 5-4 Shootout Win over the Providence Bruins
LAVAL - The Rocket were victorious in a 5-4 shootout win over the Providence Bruins Wednesday evening at Place Bell.
After a relatively quiet 10 minutes of play, the Rocket's offense got to work. Past the halfway mark of the frame, Michael Pezzetta scored his first goal of the season assisted by Gustav Olofsson, who also earned his first point of the season on the play with an assist. Soon after, Lukas Vejdemo capitalized on a turnover and beat Lagace with a nifty shot during a penalty kill. With less than five minutes left in the opening period, Phil Varone skated past two Bruins players to create a three-on-one chance down low with linemates Jake Evans and Riley Barber. The latter received Varone's cross-ice pass to score in a wide-open net to triple the Rocket's tally. To close the period, Joe Cox sent a snipe past Lagace from the left faceoff circle to give the home team a 4-0 lead on the powerplay.
The Rocket were eager to maintain their dominant lead, preferring a more defensive style of play in the second period. The Bruins, backed by goaltender Dan Vladar who relievedof his duties, got on the scoreboard past the halfway mark of the game when Peter Cehlarik netted a rebound. Goaltender Charlie Lindgren stopped 18 of 19 shots in the second frame, keeping the Rocket in the game and providing a calm presence in net.
The Bruins' Paul Casey reduced the Rocket's lead to two goals near the halfway mark of the final frame. That goal gave Providence new life as they set up shop in Laval's end. Cehlarik and Brendan Gaunce tallied two more goals to send the game into overtime.
After five minutes of 3-on-3, the game required a shootout. Fans were treated to a battle of the goalies as both Lindgren and Lagace, who started the third period, made key saves to keep their teams in the game. Jake Evans finally defeated Lagace to give the Rocket a 5-4 shootout victory.
"I like the way the guys came out. They respected the game plan. They really came like a freight train. They're tough games and I think toward the end the guys were mentally tired and physically its been a tough week. [...] I'm glad Jake made a great move; I think we did good in shootouts and let's take the two points. Let's take a step back, lets rest a bit and let's see if we can go forward to be better, said head coach JoÃ«l Bouchard.
LAV: Pezzetta (Olofsson) | Vejdemo (Jevpalovs) | Barber (Varone, Evans) | Cox (Poehling)
PRO: Cehlarik (Didier, Lauzon) | Carey (Studnicka, Breen) | Cehlarik (Gaunce, Petrovic) | Gaunce (Bjork, Carey)
LAV: Lindgren (34/38) | PRO: Lagace (14/18), Vladar (8/8)
Three Stars: 1. Jake Evans - LAV 2. Lukas Vejdemo - LAV 3. Peter Cehlarik - PRO
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