Rocket Win 2-1 in a Shootout against the Wolf Pack to Earn Their Third Consecutive Victory
LAVAL - First star Alex Belzile scored the game-winning goal in the shootout and the Laval Rocket defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack for a second time in a row to earn a third consecutive victory Friday night at Place Bell. During the team's annual Halloween-themed game, Cayden Primeau was outstanding in net, turning away 27 shots in 65 minutes of play and saving all three shots in the shootout.
After being called up from the ECHL's Adirondack Thunder earlier in the week, Antoine Waked notched his first goal in his first AHL game of the season. He beat goaltender Adam Huska five-hole after receiving a perfect pass from linemate Matthew Peca in the crease to give the Rocket a 1-0 lead in the first period. Peca earned his first point in the Rocket uniform after missing a few games at the beginning of the season. The Rocket hold a 4-2-0 record when leading after 20 minutes of play.
"It was a good game for me. I think our line played well together; we created a lot of scoring chances and our zone exits were smooth. I was really happy that we got the win in my first game," said Waked in the post-game scrum.
The Wolf Pack scored the equalizer less than a minute into the second period when Joey Keane's shot from the point snuck past Cayden Primeau. The Rocket continued to impress on their first-ranked penalty kill, stifling five Wolf Pack powerplays. Both netminders remained sharp as Primeau tossed away 27 shots while Huska shut the door the same number of times as the Rocket's relentless pressure generated several quality scoring chances.
After a disallowed goal for Hartford, the game remained tied at one-a-piece heading into overtime. The Rocket started the 3-on-3 period on the penalty kill but managed to kill that man-advantage too. Primeau was masterful in extra time, shutting the door on four shots in overtime and then three more in the shootout. Belzile was the sole goal scorer in the shootout.
"For me, tonight was a great hockey game. If we take out three or four minutes in the second period, I think we played really well. The guys were in control and there was a lot of emotion in the game. It was not far from a playoff-like atmosphere against an excellent team. I think we could have won this game in regulation, we had a lot of good scoring chances and hit a couple of post. The goalie on the other side [Adam Huska] and Cayden were solid, and I think overall it was a great game," said head coach Joel Bouchard after the game.
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