The Rocket had to sweat it out in the final seconds, but five goals against the Utica Comets were enough to secure their fourth victory in five games on Wednesday night.
Daniel Carr's first goal came over four minutes into the first period, and on the man-advantage. The forward was all by himself in front of the net and was the beneficiary of a pass from teammate Peter Holland.
The Rocket had the lead, but they soon had to play without forward Chris Terry. The forward tripped Michael Carcone during a faceoff, and the latter didn't take too kindly to the trip. Terry was given a five-minute major for fighting with Carcone as well as a two-minute minor for tripping, served by Yannick Veilleux. Terry was hurt during the skirmish and briefly left the game.
During his absence, the Rocket scored a second power play goal in the first period. Peter Holland took a pass from Daniel Audette and scored from the faceoff circle to Demko's left, an area that Terry normally occupies.
Two power play goals for the Rocket. Peter Holland scores from Chris Terry's spot, assisted by Daniel Audette (10pts in 16GP) and Matt Taormina (16 pts in 16 games).— Julian McKenzie (@jkamckenzie) November 16, 2017
2-0 @RocketLaval after 20 minutes. @HabsEOTP. pic.twitter.com/7aMeimvtwx
The second period was pretty lively. For starters, it featured a pretty heavy tilt between Yan-Pavel Laplante and Veilleux.
The finest of Michael McNiven's 27 saves came in the second period as well, as he robbed Comets captain Carter Bancks with his right pad five minutes into the frame.
Carr scored his second of the night nearly halfway through the period. He took a pass from Taormina, made the most of some open space allotted to him in the Comets’ zone, and rifled a shot past Demko.
Not long after, the Comets finally responded. Michael Chaput pounced on a puck that bounced off Rocket defenseman Jakub Jerabek and made no mistake.
In the third, the Rocket seemingly put the game out of reach. Holding his ground by the far side wall, Jerabek's shot beat three Comets players before entering the net off the stick of Antoine Waked for his first of the year.
Jakub Jerabek feeds Antoine Waked, who scores his first AHL goal. 4-1 Laval. pic.twitter.com/i8gAH2Bsok— Julian McKenzie (@jkamckenzie) November 16, 2017
Following a second goal from the Comets, courtesy of Alexis D'Aoust, Jordan Boucher seemingly put the game out of reach with an empty net goal with less than 90 seconds to play. The Rocket looked as though they were well on their way to holding their opponent to two goals for the fourth time this season...except they didn't.
In the final minute of play, Cam Darcy and Reid Boucher both scored within 10 seconds for Utica. The score was 5-4 with a little over six seconds remaining. If you left Place Bell just before the final minute, perhaps it may have been a tad too soon.
Fortunately, that's as far as the comeback got.
Boucher’s empty-net goal stood as the game-winner for the Laval Rocket as they edged the Utica Comets by a score of 5-4.
Carr extended his scoring streak to five games with a two-goal night against Utica, picking up his sixth point in that span. He seemed to be a prime candidate for a call-up to the Canadiens with his performance and play as of late, but Nicolas Deslauriers got the call shortly after the game.
Taormina assisted on three Laval goals, including Carr’s second of the night. The All-Star defenseman recorded his fifth multi-point game of the season. Michael McNiven had a solid night, making 27 saves despite allowing four goals.
Laval will play again Friday, as they'll host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
- Daniel Carr, two goals
- Matt Taormina, three assists
- Peter Holland, one goal and one assist