After a successful opening weekend on which the Laval Rocket handed the Belleville Senators their lunch in back to back games, they face off against the newly minted Binghamton Devils on Friday night.
The Devils immediately proved to be a far sterner challenge than the team from Belleville. Ben Thomson opened the scoring for the Devils in what became a frantic, goal-filled first period.
The Rocket struck back less than a minute later, with Nikita Scherbak setting up Chris Terry for a power-play goal. A minute after that, Daniel Carr notched a goal in his return from personal leave, giving Laval a 2-1 lead on just three shots.
The Devils would not be denied however, as they rattled off three straight goals, including two on the power play that launched them into the lead. A trend that started on their opening weekend came back to bite the Rocket, as their lack of discipline threatened to cost them the game.
Chris Terry scored his second of the game with under two minutes left in the period to get the home side back within a goal. Matt Taormina fed him a perfect pass near the top of the circle, and he blasted it past MacKenzie Blackwood.
Chris Terry doing Chris Terry things, his second goal of the first period pic.twitter.com/IpP4E7UGnA— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 14, 2017
The goal-scoring didn’t slow down in the middle period either, with both teams registering a trio of goals each, bringing the score to 7-6 after 40 minutes.
John Quennville and Joseph Blandisi tallied goals two-and-a-half minutes apart to make it a 6-3 game, and chased starting goalie Charlie Lindgren in the process.
Daniel Carr started the comeback yet again, driving to the net and tipping a Markus Eisenschmid pass into the back of the net, making it 6-4.
All the goals!— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 14, 2017
Daniel Carr gets his second of the night pic.twitter.com/wtKY2UqoDS
Chris Terry would again hit the scoresheet. His hat trick goal, which went off his skate and past Blackwood, made it a 6-5 contest.
Twenty seconds later, Quennville finished his own hat trick ot bring the score to 7-5, but that wouldn’t hold for long. Taormina was given plenty of space, and the defender walked in and wired home a goal to return the deficit to one.
Matt Taormina makes it 7-6 now and my computer just burst into flames pic.twitter.com/ka9vfhTsg1— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 14, 2017
After a frantic opening two periods, the third was relatively tame by comparison. The final period was, however, home to a pair of incidents that put a bit of a stain on what was a highly competitive and exciting affair.
Nikita Scherbak took a two-handed slash in the face after the whistle, and Joseph Blandisi performed a slewfoot on Stefan Leblanc late in the game. Both penalties were called by the officials, and neither Rocket player was seriously injured on the play.
With under three minutes on the clock, the Rocket finally broke through on the power play. Byron Froese got loose behind the net, and sent a perfect pass in front to Daniel Audette. He made no mistake, directing the puck past Blackwood and tying the game 7-7. Fucale held the fort for the remainder of the game, and both teams headed to overtime in possession of a well-earned point.
What an insane game, Daniel Audette ties it late on the power play, and we're going to OT tied 7-7 pic.twitter.com/B3qFn8lNrz— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 14, 2017
The night had one more bit of excitement in it, this time in coming in favour of the Rocket.
Fucale made a big save at one end, and sent the play the other way. Froese dished back to David Schlemko who found a streaking Carr with a perfect stretch pass. Carr drove the net with authority and notched his hat-trick goal, winning the game for Laval in the process.
A back-and-forth, 15-goal affair of this nature is rare, and both coaches will be looking to tighten things up heading into their rematch today at 3:00 PM. Fucale goes down as the winning goalie, coming in after Lindgren was pulled in the second period. He stopped nine of ten shots against in his relief appearance, while Blackwood stopped 21 of 29 shots in a losing effort.
1. Daniel Carr (3 Goals, OT GWG)
2. Chris Terry (3 Goals, 1 Assist)
3. John Quennville (3 Goals)