2022 Calder Cup Playoffs
Eastern Conference Final Game 4: Laval Rocket vs. Springfield Thunderbirds
Springfield leads series 2-1
How to watch
The Laval Rocket are looking to even the best-of-seven Eastern Conference final at 2-2 as Game 4 goes tonight at Place Bell in Laval.
After a tough 6-3 loss that saw Springfeld forward Will Bitten score four goals, Rocket head coach Jean-François Houle is expected to make some changes to the lineup. Gabriel Bourque, who left Game 2 with an injury that kept him out of Game 3 will return to the lineup. Devante Smith-Pelly, who hasn’t played since Game 4 of the second round series against the Syracuse Crunch, will also step back in.
Both players will play in a bid to counter the heaviness of the Thunderbirds, whose cycle game wreaked havoc on the Laval defence.
“They are a pretty rugged, physical team but we play that way too. We have smaller guys but we play hard, we play that kind of game,” said Smith-Pelly. “We have to be hard to play against but not take penalties because that kills everything.”
Stopping the line of Dakota Joshua, Bitten, and MacKenzie MacEachern will be key for the Rocket, who have done a good job of stopping James Neal, Sam Anas, and Matthew Peca in the last few games.
“The best way to neutralize them is to play in their zone,” Smith-Pelly said. “If you can stop their cycle early and make them play defence... that’s the key against most lines.”
Game 5 will be held at Place Bell on Saturday night. If necessary, the series will return to Springfield for Games 6 and 7.