Two goals in 32 seconds early in the third period provided all the goal scoring the Springfield Thunderbirds needed as they defeated the Laval Rocket 5-2 on Saturday night in Springfield.
The game was tied at 1-1 entering the third period when Austin Osmanski scored his first goal of the season and that was followed up by Martin Frk scoring to make it 3-1. Less than two minutes after Frk’s goal, Hugh McGing scored to make it 4-1 and really put the game out of reach for the Rocket, who won the first of two back-to-back games on the road on Friday.
Frk ended up scoring a hat trick as he opened the scoring 6:36 into the game, and added an empty net goal to round out the game’s scoring. Frk beat Philippe Desrosiers, who was making his second start of the season for the Rocket. Cayden Primeau started Friday’s game, and Kevin Poulin is still dealing with an injury and was not in the lineup.
Laval tied the game late in the first period when John Parker-Jones potted a rebound for his second goal of the season.
John Parker-Jones créé l'égalité!— Rocket de Laval (@RocketLaval) March 12, 2023
JPJ ties the game!#GoRocket https://t.co/cNGsQvy0Mh pic.twitter.com/bxZE5yjpGW
Nolan Yaremko, who was added to the roster this week on a tryout basis, earned his first assist on the play. He made his season debut on Friday night.
That was the game’s only scoring until the flurry to start the third period. Both teams had power play opportunities in the first and second periods, but neither team scored on the advantage, with Laval ending the game 0/5 on the power play and Springfield going 0/2.
Down 4-1 late in the game, Joël Teasdale scored his 20th goal of the season with assists going to Pierrick Dubé and Danick Martel.
Teasdale— Rocket de Laval (@RocketLaval) March 12, 2023
Dubé https://t.co/XtXZvSrgdh pic.twitter.com/iTVwggqQrU
The goal came well too late, and the Rocket pulled the goaltender but only Frk would score to close out the game.
Joel Hofer, who defeated the Rocket in the Eastern Conference final last year, made 32 saves in the win. Desrosiers made 22 saves in the loss for Laval.
The Rocket will now be off until next Wednesday when they travel to Rochester before two home games against the Utica Comets on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
Notre alignement— Rocket de Laval (@RocketLaval) March 11, 2023
Our lineup#GoRocket pic.twitter.com/HKSIzWUtGC
The Rocket are dealing with some forward injury issues. Brandon Gignac and Xavier Simoneau missed both games this weekend, and along with Anthony Richard’s recall to the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens, means that Nicolas Beaudin has had to play at forward.
On Friday night, with Riley McKay’s suspension, the Rocket had the rare 10 forwards and eight defenders.
Newcomer Frederic Allard was scratched for this one as the team is easing him into the lineup. He was forced into action on Friday night in his Rocket debut.
The Rocket are continuing to hold onto the final playoff spot in the division, tied with the Cleveland Monsters on points percentage. They are only one point behind the Rochester Americans, but have played three games more.