Just 24 hours after a dominant 6-1 win over Place Bell in Match 1, Laval Rocket and Rochester American took the lead once again. Due to the way the previous game had ended, there were expectations of fights and other nonsense, but none of the lineup reflected that. Matthias Norlander was out of the rocket after the cheap shot from Ben Holmstrom, and the rocket went with the conventional 12/6 alignment. Lucas Condota tied as the twelfth forward, while the six defenders were unchanged, and Kayden Primo got his rocket start again.
Both sides experienced a brief sensational period during the opening minutes, then the rocket blasted off in second gear while the Americans held on for their dear lives. Torri Delo got a pass from Alex Pelzel, forcing Aaron Dale to make a big rebound, and he headed straight for Brandon Gignac’s stick who easily missed the opportunity.
With the first goal in their back pocket, Laval began to pile on chances. Aaron Del found his footing, stifling any and all rebound opportunities in front of his own goal.
With the Rocket already in control of the game, she put Jacques Quinn Laval’s penalty into the game’s first power-up. Using Jesse Ylönen as a decoy allowed the rocket to generate a lot more appearances on the network than it normally gets, and if not for some great work from Dell, it could potentially become a multi-objective advance late in the first period. Rochester weathered the storm, but control of the match was firmly in Laval’s hands as they had 15-5 shots in the closing minutes of the first half.
The pressure continued to mount when Rafael Harvey Benard and J. Dea ran a clinic deep in the Americans’ territory, but their efforts were halted by Dell’s gauntlet, and the Rocket settled into a one-goal lead as the period ended.
The second frame started with a much more bodily edge, as Louis Belpidio blasted Jack Quinn in front of the seats, and in response Josh Teeves buried Danic Martell after a whistle. The missile remained unfazed, and soon found a second target.
Alex Belzel held out in a hurry and created an instant singles-man opportunity deep in the Rochester Territory. Belzile passed to Cédric Paquette, who in turn made a pass to Belpedio, who tore it up by Dell.
Xavier Ouellet put the rocket in a sticky position as it was called up for flight, forcing the penalty kick strikers to prevent the Americans from generating any momentum. They managed to keep Rochester’s dangerously strong game cool, and Owlette exited the penalty area with a two-goal lead still ahead.
A high barbed call put the missile into a power game of their own shortly thereafter, and despite some great individual efforts with the puck, the Americans were able to prevent the missile from adding to their lead.
Rochester’s killing of a powerful penalty shootout allowed the team to regain control in their favour, and they almost paid Laval for it. Primo, who hadn’t been overly busy up to that point, made no fewer than four massive saves to keep Rochester off the board, and perhaps none of them were better than his strong gauntlet until after Joel Tisdale’s penalty expired.
Thanks to Primeau’s impressive feat, the Rocket entered the second half with a two-goal lead, but still had a tough 20 minutes ahead.
The Americans had an early push as a slant strike on Dea was not warranted and the rocket attacker could not use one of his arms as the team desperately tried to clear the area. However, once the disc came out, Gignac’s speed forced Dell to make a mistake while playing the disc, and the Rochester goalkeeper almost threw the disc into his net.
This was followed by Belpidio by annoying Brett Murray long enough for the Rochester striker to strike back, and both players found themselves in the penalty area. Torri Dillo of all players ended up becoming the champion in two minutes of four on four as he roughed up Jack Quinn fighting for a loose puck in front of goal, somehow avoiding a penalty in the process.
Martel was not so lucky as he was called up for a trip as Casey Fitzgerald tried to enter the missile zone. The missile penalty kick came in strong again as Gabriel Burke stopped multiple shots, and then when the puck left the area, Bilzel absorbed Quinn to take a penalty. Rocket’s powerful play was highlighted by a stunning blocker by Primeau, then Paquette equalized and scored at the same time against Brandon Davidson.
The feints didn’t affect the missile in the slightest as Peter Abandonato blasted deep into the attack zone, firing a shot out of the Dell platforms and into the hatch. Lucas Condota jumped on the puck, cut around the goalkeeper, and scored his first rocket goal to make it a three-goal contest.
Sami Niku’s faltering call gave Americas the smallest lifeline to end the game, and the missile repels a six-on-four attack, but when Niku emerges from the box, Arttu Ruotsalainen fires one through a screen to spoil Primeau’s attempt to close.
There were no other goals after that. Primo closed the door and Rocket went out with a good win, 2-0 in the series.
Second match: Final score: Laval 3, Rochester 1
Rocket could put their best of five streaks to bed Wednesday night when they travel to Rochester for Game 3.