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Rocket vs. Crunch recap: Laval’s offence stymied in seventh consecutive defeat

The Rocket offence fires blanks against the Crunch as the woes continue for the AHL team.

Club de hockey Canadien, Inc.

The Laval Rocket offence could only muster one goal against Syracuse Crunch goaltender Louis Domingue on Friday. It wasn't enough as the Crunch handed the Rocket another defeat following a 2-1 game at the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse Friday night.

Laval's last win came against the Utica Comets: a 5-4 win on November 15. Not only have the Rocket not won since then, but they've gone seven straight games — all losses — without scoring more than two goals in a game.

The first period was scoreless between the two sides. Laval has 26 first-period goals this season, but now haven't scored in their last four opening periods. It took the Rocket almost five minutes to get their first shot on goal, and the Crunch were outshooting them 10-7 after the opening 20 minutes.

Laval had two power-play opportunities in the period but both bore no fruit. Their first came to an end 25 seconds in when Daniel Audette took a tripping penalty, and they couldn't score on their second.

The Crunch scored the first goal of the game in the second period courtesy of Adam Erne. It was the forward's second goal of the season.

The Crunch had ample opportunity to bury the Rocket in the second after they were on a five-on-three power play. Yannick Veilleux was given a five-minute boarding major after hitting Erik Cernak from behind. Less than a minute later, newcomer Adam Cracknell would go off for slashing. The Crunch, however, were unable to score on their man-advantage. Charlie Lindgren did his best to shut the door.

Through two periods, the netminder had 20 saves. However, he didn't have any run support as Laval was behind the shot counter 21-12.

Just before the end of the period, Michael McCarron left the game after taking a hit to his left ear and quickly went to the locker room. He didn't return to the game and was sent to the hospital, per Rocket head coach Sylvain Lefebvre.

Syracuse had the better start to the third period and they got rewarded for their efforts with a goal from Matthew Peca. Lindgren was out of position as Mitchell Stephens prowled behind his net before feeding Peca with the puck in the slot.

Laval was given a five-on-three power play of their own with under four minutes to play. The Rocket then pulled Lindgren, giving them six skaters on the ice to the Crunch's three. Chris Terry eventually scored for Laval, firing a blast past Domingue with a little over 30 seconds remaining in Syracuse's first penalty. Matt Taormina and Niki Petti each assisted on Terry's 11th of the season.

Sixteen seconds after the Terry goal, however, Adam Cracknell committed his second offence of the night. It negated the man advantage for Laval and ultimately ended any hope of them coming back to win the game. Charlie Lindgren made another stellar save in the third to keep the team in it, but it wouldn't be enough as the final buzzer sounded.

The Rocket were without a number of their regular players against the Crunch, including leading goal-scorer and recent NHL call up Daniel Carr.

Two of their leading scorers against Syracuse were also out the lineup, for two different reasons. Peter Holland was recently traded to the New York Rangers in exchange for Cracknell, who made his Rocket debut Friday. Team captain Byron Froese is also up with the Canadiens.

Laval went one-for-six on the power play, with their lone goal coming from Terry. Entering Friday's contest, Laval's power play was ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference. While going for one-for-six isn't pretty, Laval has since jumped to third in the East and rests sixth in the league.

Three Stars

  1. Louis Domingue (24 saves)
  2. Charlie Lindgren (28 saves)
  3. Matthew Peca (GWG)

The Rocket are back in action tonight after traveling to Pennsylvania, taking on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 7:05 PM EST.