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Rocket Launch Past Senators to Close Series

Rocket Launch Past Senators to Close Series

MONTRÉAL –  The Rocket closed out a four-game series against the Belleville Senators Friday night.  

The Rocket won their third game against the Senators this season on Friday, at home at the Bell Centre. The 5-2 win came after the visiting Belleville squad defeated Laval 4-1 on Tuesday.  

FIRST PERIOD 

Both teams came out strong to start the fourth game in a row against each other – the Senators looking to carry some of the momentum from their win earlier in the week. Ryan Poehling threw a wrench into that plan 1:36 into the period to open the scoring on a greasy rebound with assists from Gianni Fairbrother and Jesse Ylönen.

The Senators were undeterred by the Rocket’s insistence on opening the scoring and continued to push back and match pace with the home team. They were rewarded with a goal of their own, scored unassisted by Cody Goloubef at the 6:14 mark after an egregious defensive zone turnover.

The Rocket came back just over a minute later with a retaliatory marker to regain the lead, netted by Laurent Dauphin on a laser pass from Lukas Vejdemo. The two teams closed out the period pretty evenly matched. Laval had a slight lead on the shot clock, just edging out the Senators 11-10. 

SECOND PERIOD 

The two squads returned for the second period, ready to continue what they started in the first – both of them applying strong and steady pressure to their opponent. The Senators flashed some speed and tested Rocket goaltender Cayden Primeau on a breakaway, but the sophomore netminder responded with a resounding “no.”

Belleville used the opportunity to hold Laval in their own zone for a little while and start to try and set up some solid chances. Much to their dismay, however, Rocket rookie Rafaël Harvey-Pinard (with some help from Gustav Olofsson and Jordan Weal) capitalized on a filthy chance in front of Joey Daccord to extend the lead for Laval just about six minutes into the frame.

The rest of the period saw both teams see-saw between time in their own defensive zones.

The buzzer sounded to dismiss the players into their respective locker rooms for the second intermission with the Rocket ahead of the Senators on both the scoreboard and the shot clock – 26-17, in favor of Laval.  

THIRD PERIOD 

When the siren sounded, and the puck dropped for the third, the dueling clubs kicked it into high gear.

Laval newcomer Corey Schueneman scored his first goal of the season – and first with the team – just 15 seconds into the period; Ylönen and Poehling earned the helpers. The Rocket ratcheted up the pressure on their foes, while the Senators leaned into the most effective strategy they have: getting chippy with it. Belleville dug down and figured out which buttons to push to frustrate the Rocket, hoping that getting under their skin would shift the game’s momentum in the guests’ favor. Pushing back but unbothered, the Rocket continued to search for padding on the scoreboard.

At 8:15, Harvey-Pinard gave them precisely that with his second goal of the night, aided by Otto Leskinen and team points leader Weal. Thirty seconds later, Mark Kastelic (with help from Cole Reinhart and Egor Sokolov) scored the Senators’ second of the night in a bid to start the comeback.

At the halfway mark of the final period, Laval doubled down on the defense of their lead, and Belleville tripled down on getting under their skin. The Rocket, to their credit, pushed back for the rest of the period – literally – and celebrated their third win in four days at the final buzzer.  

FINAL THOUGHTS 

  • The Senators looked to carry the momentum of a massive win on Tuesday into Friday night’s game. For the most part, they were successful. Their play was more cohesive, and they forced opponents off of the puck to create more scoring chances.  
  • The Rocket were looking for redemption after dropping Tuesday’s game following two consecutive 5-1 wins against Belleville. They more than definitely found it.  

The Rocket plays their next game at the Bell Centre on Monday night at 7 pm EST when the Manitoba Moose will be in town for the first of a four-game series against Laval.  

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    Deanna McFeron covers the Laval Rocket for The Sin Bin. Follow and interact with her on Twitter @SinBinRocket.

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