LAVAL – After a less than convincing first half of the game, the young cuvée from Laval Rocket made up for a 4-1 deficit before losing 6-5, in overtime, against the Belleville Senators.
Rourke Chartier wrapped up the debate by hitting the mark in the closing seconds of extra time as Cayden Primeau had just saved the day three times.
At the end of the second half, Brandon Gignac reduced the lead to 4-2 after a good individual sequence. Early in the final period, Jesse Ylönen continued the comeback attempt by scoring with a timeout on the power play.
The Senators fought back to take a 5-3 lead, but Rafaël Harvey-Pinard deflected a short shot from Madison Bowey to give the Place Bell crowd a thrilling finish.
Gabriel Bourque then tied the score with 3:58 left in the third period, completing the effort from Alex Green and Danick Martel.
Without a doubt, even if the Rocket integrates several new players, Jean-François Houle’s troupe has not lost its strength of character.
“For a young team like ours, coming back from behind is very positive for us. It is a start to the season in which nobody really knows each other well, there are several new players”, admitted Anthony Richard.
“It says a lot about the character of a team and the young players who see it, they will join in,” he added.
“Sometimes emotions run high in an opening game. It’s never the stage we want to draw from behind 4-1, but we still show character like last year. We made little defensive mistakes, it’s the start of the season so nothing is perfect,” said Alex Belzile, the new captain.
Starting in the eighth minute of the game, the Rockets lost the services of forward Mitchell Stephens, who reacted stupidly by hitting an opponent with a high cross.
Limited to eleven attackers for the remainder of the match, Houle was quick to hand Filip Mesar more responsibility. Overall, the 18-year-old Canadiens prospect responded well to this rise in charge in his first game in North America. However, Belleville’s third goal will serve as a lesson. At the end of the presence he lost the puck in the defensive zone and Kristians Rubins wasted no time in taking advantage of it to score.
For the last stretch of the game, Houle preferred to keep Mesar on the bench to bet on the most threatening players.
On defense, right-hander Justin Barron sought his guidance more than once, losing a few pucks and lacking confidence in his decisions. That said, it seemed to pick up as the game progressed.
As for Mattias Norlinder, he played a good game and the same can be said for Otto Leskinen. That said, Norlinder still needs to greatly increase his involvement in singles matchups.
Beware that it is not the jump to the level of the American League that will change the style of Xavier Simoneau, who ventured several times in front of the opposing net despite the consequences and obtained successes in the forecheck.
“Excellent, he works and is competitive. He gets into the corners and it’s tiring to play against him. It was his first professional match, it’s not easy, but he’s very aggressive and wins his battles on the ramps. He can always help his team,” Houle said.
Richard was also debuting in a Rockets uniform and his speed paid off more than once. He and Gignac should regularly lift the crowd this season thanks to this common asset.
Consecutive penalties were costly for the Rocket in the half period. The Senators scored at lightning speed five of three for their fourth goal of the night.
“We slowed down a bit in the second half, we had penalties and we shot ourselves in the foot,” agreed Gignac.
Seconds later, Quebec goalkeeper Kevin Mandolese stole Danick Martel’s short glove. Mandolese came to the fore when Mads Sogaard was injured down the stretch of the Rockets’ first goal.
The Dane made contact and, annoyed, was unable to stop Madison Bowey’s shot a few seconds later.
It was the first of twelve matches between these two teams. The rivalry was quickly felt during the matchup and an unpunished punch from Scott Sabourin to the face of Martel in the third period will do nothing to temper the matter. The two teams will meet on Saturday in Belleville.
And here we go for the Rocket!
Important goal by Gignac at the end of the match
Power play narrows the gap to one goal
Harvey-Pinard scores are reduced
Bourque is 5-5 at the end of the game!
#Rocket #catch #fall #overtime