Laval Rocket Press Release:
The Laval Rocket downed the Belleville Senators 4-3 at Yardmen Arena Thursday night, picking up their second victory in as many nights.
Andrew Hammond and Michael McNiven set the pace for the game early on, making save after save in what turned out to be a relatively whistle-free, high-shooting first period. At the halfway mark, Laval had already registered nine shots on net– making their two goals in the first frame seem almost inevitable. Niki Petti notched his fourth of the season as he jumped out of the penalty box and into the play, wristing the game-opening goal behind the Belleville netminder with a little less than seven minutes to play in the period.
Shortly after Petti’s goal, McNiven came up big on a good scoring chance for the Senators, which continued to propel the momentum in Laval’s favour.
A power-play goal from Éric Gélinas doubled the Rocket lead as he slapped Tom Parisi’s pass in the net from the backdoor for his fifth of the season.
By period’s end, the Rocket had already registered 16 shots on goal. Their domination continued into the second period, and their lead on the scoreboard jumped to three when Kyle Baun scored just five minutes into the period.
The Rocket had the opportunity to increase their lead and capitalize on a lack of discipline from their opponents, but they were unable to profit from their three second period power play chances. The successful penalty kills gave the Senators enough energy to score their first of the game late in the period, reducing their deficit to two.
The Rocket, however, took advantage of an early third-period power play to restore their three-goal lead as Gélinas scored his second of the night from a blue line slapshot.
Belleville may have been down but they were not out. Max McCormick picked up a loose puck in front of McNiven and once again reduced the Senators’ deficit to two, and a Simon Bourque penalty allowed Belleville to bring the game within one with a power-play goal of their own.
Despite the excellent third period from the Senators, their comeback fell just short and the Rocket walked away with another two points against a divisional rival. Laval will now head back to Rochester to face the Americans for the second time this week on Saturday night,
and will be back at home hosting the Toronto Marlies on January 3.