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Rocket vs. Moose recap & highlights: Laval wins back-and-forth battle

Five goals and timely goaltending put Laval back on the winning track.

Club de hockey Canadien

Brandon Baddock tipped home a Tobie Paquette-Bisson point shot midway through the third period for what eventually ended up being the game-winning goal as the Laval Rocket bounced back from their trip to Belleville last week to beat the Manitoba Moose 5-4 at Place Bell on Wednesday night.

Cayden Primeau made 34 saves for the Rocket, who moved to 2-1-0 on the season. Alex Belzile had a goal and an assist in his return to the team and became the Rocket’s all-time leading scorer, passing Jake Evans for the points lead since the team moved to Quebec.

The Rocket opened the scoring when Baddock entered the zone and centred a pass for Laurent Dauphin. Dauphin made no mistake as he shot the puck past Mikhail Berdin. It was Dauphin’s third goal of the season in his third game. Dauphin led Laval with seven shots on goal on Wednesday.

The lead only lasted 57 seconds. Following a turnover, David Gustafsson’s shot was tipped in front of Cayden Primeau by Mikey Eyssimont to tie the game.

The Moose had the first power play of the game, but the Rocket penalty kill didn’t have much trouble keeping the game tied.

Manitoba took the lead late in the first period. Gianni Fairbrother had trouble handling a pass, and turned the puck over to Jeff Malott. Malott found Gustafsson at the left circle who fired a shot past Primeau. The goal came with 2:33 left in the opening frame to give the Moose their first lead of the game.

The rivalry that really started to build during the last AHL season due to the teams facing each other multiple times in the Canadian Division reignited in the second. Several big hits and scrums after the whistle occurred, and as a result, there were seven penalties in the frame.

In the middle of the second period, the Rocket combined for two quick goals to re-take the lead. At the 9:44 mark, Belzile made a long stretch pass to Kevin Roy, who broke in down the left wing and beat Berdin for his first goal of the season.

Thirty-six seconds after the goal, the Moose got into penalty trouble. Evan Polei went off for tripping and just seven seconds after that, Jimmy Oligny went off for roughing to give Laval a five-on-three advantage for 1:53.

The Rocket took advantage. Great passing and movement led to Jesse Ylönen finding Belzile cross-seam, and the veteran made no mistake on the one-timer to give Laval a 3-2 lead just 75 seconds after Roy’s tying goal.

The lead would stick heading into the third period, but less than five minutes into the frame the Moose would tie the game once again. Just four seconds after Fairbrother went off for roughing, Ville Heinola fired a slap shot from the point past Primeau.

This time, it was time for Laval to bounce right back. Less than two minutes later, pressure on the forecheck by Jean-Sébastien Dea led directly to a Moose turnover, and he promptly fired the shot into the net to give the Rocket a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

A back and forth sequence midway through the third period saw the Rocket extend their lead. It started when Malott hit the post behind Primeau during a two-on-two rush, continued at the other end when Baddock’s shot hit the post behind Berdin and ended when Tobie Paquette-Bisson’s shot from the left point found its way past the Moose goaltender after a deflection by Baddock. The goal became the eventual game-winner.

Manitoba’s best opportunity to tie the game came with less than five minutes remaining when they had a four-on-three power play, but they were unable to capitalize. They pulled the goaltender late in the game, and did manage to score a goal but Luke Johnson’s goal came with only three seconds left and was way too little, way too late.

The Rocket will now make their first trip to the United States in over a year for back-to-back games this weekend. They will face the Providence Bruins on Friday night before heading to Bridgeport to face the Islanders on Saturday afternoon.

Three Stars

3rd Star - Brandon Baddock (1 goal, 1 assist)
2nd Star - David Gustafsson (1 goal, 3 assists)
1st Star - Alex Belzile (1 goal, 1 assist)

Power plays: MAN 1/6, LAV 1/3

Shots: MAN 38, LAV 32


Rafaël Harvey-Pinard — Jean-Sébastien Dea — Jesse Ylönen
Kevin Roy — Laurent Dauphin — Alex Belzile
Michael Pezzetta — Lukas Vejdemo — Gabriel Bourque
Brandon Baddock — Jean-Christophe Beaudin — Danick Martel

Xavier Ouellet — Louie Belpedio
Gianni Fairbrother — Corey Schueneman
Tobie Paquette-Bisson — Tory Dello

Cayden Primeau
Michael McNiven

Scratches: Terrance Amorosa, Carl Neill, Brandon Gignac, Alexandre Fortin
Injured: Josh Brook, Joël Teasdale, Ryan Poehling


There is a new playoff format in the AHL this season. The top five teams will make the playoffs in the North Division. The fourth and fifth-placed teams will play a best-of-three to qualify for the division semi-final which will be a best-of-five series. Because teams play an uneven amount of games, points percentage will decide the standings.