The Laval Rocket needed a strong second half to make a push towards the playoffs and it hasn’t gotten off to a good start. The Rocket lost their fifth straight game, 5-2 against the Belleville Senators on Friday night at Place Bell.
The combination of Drake Batherson, Filip Chlapik, and Logan Brown combined for three goals and Marcus Hogberg made 20 saves in the Senators win.
Batherson got the scoring going on Belleville’s first shot of the game. He took the puck to the net and spun before beating Charlie Lindgren just 3:57 into the game.
Laval would tie the game up less than two minutes later. After Cody Goloubef and Andrew Sturtz took penalties within a minute of each other, the Rocket got a five-on-three power play. Xavier Ouellet used the extra space to sneak in, and fired one past Hogberg to make it 1-1.
It was Ouellet’s third goal of the season, but it was the last time Laval would be tied int his one.
Just over the halfway point of the first period, Belleville had a power play of their own when Maxim Lamarche went off for holding. Chlapik scored his first of two on the night just 14 seconds after the power play started, finishing a pretty tic-tac-toe play before Laval even knew what hit them.
Tic-tac-toe it's 2 to 1! This time while Belleville was on the PP. pic.twitter.com/RR2vrHCvSY— Sarah Kossits (@skossits) February 9, 2019
Lindgren, making the start, allowed five goals on 26 shots but he did have some good moments, keeping the game a one-goal deficit in the first period on this save.
Almost exactly a period after his first goal, Chlapik would score again, this time at even strength when some crazy bounces ended with the puck ending up behind Lindgren. It was his 13th goal of the season.
The Rocket had an opportunity to close the gap late in the second period when Francois Beauchemin went to the penalty box, but they couldn’t capitalize on the power play.
Belleville put the game out of reach with two goals to open the third period from Nick Paul and Jordan Murray eight minutes apart. Murray’s goal was scored on four-on-four after both teams took penalties.
While Stefan Elliot was still in the box, and after Maxim Lamarche came out of the penalty box, Laval once again scored on the power play. Alex Belzile, who reached 100 AHL points on Ouellet’s goal, scored a goal of his own to make it 5-2. He tipped Ouellet’s shot past Hogberg.
Despite six power plays, and two goals with the advantage, Laval could only generate 22 shots, 10 of which were in the final 20 minutes. The Rocket killed three of the four penalties they took.
The two teams will face off again on Saturday but this time in Belleville. Puck drop will be at 7:00 p.m. It will kick off a six game road trip for the Rocket whose next home games will be February 22 and 23 against the Manitoba Moose.
3. Filip Chlapik (BEL) 2G
2. Drake Batherson (BEL) 1G 1A
1. Logan Brown (BEL) 3A