The Laval Rocket saw a 3-1 lead evaporate but kept battling to beat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 6-3 on Saturday night.
Coming off a disappointing loss on Friday night in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Rocket rolled into Bridgeport looking to bounce back against the Sound Tigers. Zach Fucale got the start in net after Charlie Lindgren started all five of the previous games. Fucale did come in relief to pick up the win in Laval’s wild 8-7 overtime win vs. Binghamton.
The first period once again belonged to the offensive force of the Rocket, with the first goal coming just 1:55 into the period. Daniel Carr passed off to Kyle Baun, who broke into the zone, found some space and dished off to Tom Parisi. Parisi let a slapshot fly, and beat Christopher Gibson for his second goal of the road trip, and gave Baun his third assist of the weekend.
Tom Parisi gets his second in as many days, Kyle Baun with his third assist in two games pic.twitter.com/dZynNFwmeW— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 21, 2017
Instead of conceding right away, the Rocket kept the pressure on the Sound Tigers after the opening goal. Their offensive push led to a pair of Bridgeport penalties, sending out an extremely dangerous power play, anchored by a red hot Nikita Scherbak. He would set up the second goal, playing catch with Daniel Audette before setting up a one timer for him, doubling the Rocket’s advantage.
Nikita Scherbak keeps his point streak going, with a perfect pass to Daniel Audette on the power play pic.twitter.com/yBgoeb9ChO— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 21, 2017
Bridgeport pushed back slightly, with former rookie camp invitee Scott Eansor directing a pass behind Fucale in a 4-on-4 situation to cut into the Laval lead. Gibson then robbed Nicolas Deslauriers on the goal mouth as well. A bouncing puck found its way to the Rocket forward’s stick, and Gibson dove back across the crease to glove the shot.
Kyle Baun once again found his way onto the scoresheet, this time with his first goal as a Rocket. Antoine Waked worked in along the right wall, fed it into the slot for Baun who made no mistake and notched his fifth point of the road trip, and put the Rocket up 3-1.
Kyle Baun gets his first of the year, his fourth point on the weekend— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 21, 2017
He's not finished with you yet goalies pic.twitter.com/svyn6n8YfP
With the first 20 minutes in the books, the Rocket didn’t slow down in the second period. The Sound Tigers jumped out of the gate early against a struggling Laval penalty kill. Travis St. Denis cut into the lead with a goal just 21 seconds into the period, and Eansor nabbed his second of the game with less than six minutes gone to tie the game up.
Laval pushed back immediately. Carr found the back of the net for his fourth of the season off of a loose puck in the crease. Deslauriers fired a shot from the wing that Gibson couldn’t hold, Carr crashed the net and cleaned up the rebound for a 4-3 Rocket lead. It would end up being his second game-winning goal of the year.
Daniel Carr puts the Rocket back on top 4-3! pic.twitter.com/isgxCnleyK— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 22, 2017
Then with less than seven minutes on the clock remaining the dynamic power play would strike once again. Chris Terry worked down along the boards and face off circle, then fed a perfect pass across to Byron Froese who made no mistake and rifled home the power play marker, and made sure to send Laval to the intermission with a 5-3 lead.
The Rocket power play strikes again, Byron Froese puts Laval up 5-3 pic.twitter.com/MBLCsyVfij— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 22, 2017
Unlike the previous few games, the third period was about as flawless as could be for Laval. The penalty kill held strong against the Sound Tiger push back and Fucale turned away all nine shots he faced to seal the victory.
Parisi added an insurance marker for his third goal of the year to help clinch the win in the final period. Daniel Carr sent a pass across the ice to Byron Froese who fired on net, Gibson couldn’t control the rebound, and the defender couldn’t clear the puck away. Parisi then stepped in and wired home his second goal of the game, and sealed the Rocket’s fourth win of the year.
Tom Parisi gets his second of the game, assists to Carr and Froese. Rocket lead 6-3 pic.twitter.com/tYFBbNVtpq— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 22, 2017
After a struggle to lock down leads against the Penguins on Friday night, the Rocket were much better in that regard against Bridgeport. After two early goals in the second period, the penalty kill and goaltending clamped down and shut the Sound Tigers out for the final 35 or so minutes of the contest.
The penalty kill remains a work in progress. They only allowed one goal against tonight on six chances, but against teams with more offensive talent this is playing with fire.
The Rocket finish up their three-game weekend this afternoon against the Providence Bruins. Laval now moves to 4-1-1 on the year and is one point behind the Marlies in the North Division standings.
1. Daniel Carr (1G, 2A)
2. Kyle Baun (1G, 1A)
3. Scott Eansor (2G)