Laval Rocket’s Trip to Playoff Picture: Victorious Start Against Utica Comets

2024-01-06 02:35:00

If the Laval Rocket wants to get closer to the playoff picture, its next three games against the Utica Comets are a good starting point since this team finds itself behind the Montreal Canadiens farm club in the North division standings.

Jean-François Houle’s men got off to a good start to this trip to Utica with a 4-3 shootout victory.

“When you can convert your tied matches with an extra point, it can just help for the rankings,” mentioned the Rocket head coach.

With this victory, the Rocket now has 29 points in the standings and Utica follows at 25. The two teams will meet again on Sunday before facing each other on Wednesday, but this time on the Place Bell ice rink.

However, the meeting did not start well for Laval.

While Arber Xhekaj was in the penalty box for holding in the first period, Tyler Wotherspoon got the better of Jakub Dobes with a point shot.

The local team played again in numerical superiority four minutes later. Xhekaj tried to clear the disc, but it was intercepted by Arnaud Durandeau. The latter handed it to Cal Foote who rattled the strings to make the score 2-0.

Before the end of the first period, Jared Davidson put the Rocket on the scoreboard with his third goal of the season. In the middle period, Xhekaj tied the game with a good shot that beat Akira Schmid. It was a third goal in 11 games with the Rocket for the defenseman. Joshua Roy got an assist in the sequence.

“He plays very physical and he is tough along the boards. He played a very good match,” Houle described his great defender.

Michael Vukojevic gave the Comets the lead again in the third period, but with six minutes left, Philippe Maillet brought both teams back to square one. The Canadian’s farm club did well by forcing overtime despite its indiscipline as it received seven consecutive penalties in this clash.

Once in the shootout, Sean Farrell set the tone for the session with a goal as the first player selected by head coach Jean-François Houle. After two saves from Dobes, Maillet completed the job by beating Schmid with a good throw.

“We’re starting to play the right way,” Maillet said. We offered team play where the guys understand that when you don’t have the puck, you have to free yourself. »

“We were solid at five against five, we had more chances than the opponent,” Houle said. We worked hard to overcome the 2-0 deficit. You have to give credit to the players. »

Dobes finished the match with 28 saves compared to 22 for his opposite number.

The Rocket won an overtime or shootout for the first time this season, on six occasions.

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