Rocket's Three-Game Win Strea K Snapped by Hard-Fought 4-2 Loss to the Hershey Bears
LAVAL - In a tight game that featured speed and skill, the Rocket fell 4-2 to the Hershey Bears, concluding a stretch of five games in eight days, on Saturday night at Place Bell.
Coming off a 3-2 win from the night before, the Rocket capitalized on their first powerplay opportunity of the night. Down on one knee, Ryan Poehling scored his second goal in as many games, burying a puck in a wide-open net after receiving a crisp, cross-crease pass from Dale Weise. Alex Belzile, who brilliantly set up the play near the right faceoff circle, earned an assist on the goal. The same trio of players came close to doubling the Rocket's lead on a second powerplay chance but Vitek Vanecek made the save. While Charlie Lindgren only faced five shots in the opening frame, the netminder was solid in the crease, making key saves including a nifty glove save on Sgarbossa on the powerplay. The Rocket finished the period with nine shots on goal.
The Bears signed their name on the scoresheet near the halfway mark of the second. Connor Hobbs beat Lindgren with a top-shelf shot near the left faceoff circle. Prior to the goal, Lindgren made several incredible saves, including a clutch save on Brian Pinho who was parked in the slot. The Rocket regained their lead when Nikita Jevpalovs closed in on Vanecek and beat the netminder with a backhander. The Bears spoiled the party once more as Joe Snively tied the game at two-a-piece before the buzzer rang to end the period.
Less than five minutes into the final frame, the Bears earned their first lead of the game when Pinho found the back of the net. The home team responded immediately with pressure as Dale Weise sent a cross-ice pass to Alex Alain who could barely get his stick on the puck but that led to a great presence in the offensive zone. Later on, Jake Evans unleashed a one-timer near the mid-slot area but the shot went wide. The Rocket were hungry for a third goal, earning a powerplay chance but couldn't capitalize. With Lindgren on the bench and an extra attacker on the ice, the Rocket were persistent in the offensive zone, but it was the Bears who got the final word as Liam O'Brien scored an empty-net goal to seal the victory for the visitors.
"I thought we started the third period really well. [...] We had chances that we couldn't take advantage of. We played a lot of hockey in the past eight days. We're taking steps in the right direction," said head coach JoÃ«l Bouchard.
LAV: Poehling (Weise, Belzile) | Jevpalovs (Vejdemo)
HER: Hobbs (Fehervary, Leason) | Snively (Pilon) | Pinho (Jonsson-Fjallby, Alexeyev) | O'Brien (Fehervary, Pinho) - Empty Net
LAV: Lindgren (23/26) | HER: Vanecek (23/25)
Three Stars: 1. Pilon - HER 2. Poehling - LAV 3. Djoos - HER
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