Laval Rocket 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 1
Laval, Quebec, October 30, 2019 – The Laval Rocket scored three third-period goals Wednesday night at Place Bell, to hand the Hartford Wolf Pack its first regulation loss of the season, 4-1, in the first of two games this week between the two teams in Laval.
The Wolf Pack had been 8-0-0-1 previously on the year, one point short of the best nine-game start in franchise history.
Hartford outshot Laval 9-4 in the third, and had three power plays in the period, but unassisted goals by Alexandre Alain and Charles Hudon 1:11 apart broke a 1-1 tie, and Nikita Jevpalovs iced the game with an empty-net goal.
“It was a little disappointing in the third period,” Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch said. “We had an opportunity to win, and a couple of turnovers, and when the puck was on our stick, just not executing. Overall, maybe it was one that we didn’t deserve to win, but we had every opportunity to win it and just didn’t get it done.”
The Rocket scored the only goal of the first period, on a power play that resulted from a slashing penalty against Ty Ronning at 9:37.
Michael McCarron clicked on a rebound at 10:31, pushing the puck underneath the pads of Wolf Pack goaltender Igor Shesterkin (20 saves), after he had stopped a shot from the slot by Phil Varone.
That lead lasted until the 16:16 mark of the second frame, when Tim Gettinger scored his second of the season to lift the Wolf Pack into a tie. After Ville Meskanen dumped the puck in for Hartford, a Gustav Olofsson pass missed Ryan Poehling along the end boards, and that allowed Steven Fogarty to grab the puck. He slid it to the front of the net, and Gettinger quickly banged it past Rocket goaltender Charlie Lindgren (22 saves) from close range.
The Wolf Pack carried that momentum over into the third period, drawing penalties against Otto Leskinen for interference at 3:23 and Hudon for tripping at 8:01, but they could not score against the Rocket’s league-leading penalty kill.
Just 53 seconds after Hudon got out of the penalty box, Alain scored what turned out to be the game-winner. The Wolf Pack’s Sean Day fanned on a pass attempt high in the Hartford zone, and Alain stole the puck away. He broke in on Shesterkin and was able to force the puck through the goaltender’s legs at 10:54.
Then, at 12:05, Hudon blasted a shot from the left-wing side over Shesterkin’s catching glove, after a Darren Raddysh pass had gone off of Patrick Newell in the neutral zone.
The Wolf Pack got Shesterkin to the bench for an extra attacker with 4:23 left, after Olofsson was called for tripping at 14:25, but could not solve Lindgren. After Laval’s fourth successful penalty kill of the night, Jevpalovs hit the empty net from the Wolf Pack blue line at 18:13.
The Wolf Pack and Rocket tangle again at Place Bell Friday night, with faceoff at 7:30 PM. All of the action can be heard live on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com, and video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The Wolf Pack’s next home game is next Friday, November 8, when they host the Hershey Bears at the XL Center. Faceoff is 7:15, and once again this season, all Friday-night Wolf Pack home games feature $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, presented by Nomads Adventure Quest.
Tickets for all 2019-20 Wolf Pack home games are on sale now at the Sunwave Gas & Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. Tickets purchased in advance for kids 12 or younger start at just $10 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (860) 722-9425, or click here to request more info. To visit the Wolf Pack on line, go to www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
Hartford Wolf Pack 1 at Laval Rocket 4
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 – Place Bell
Hartford 0 1 0 – 1
Laval 1 0 3 – 4
1st Period-1, Laval, McCarron 1 (Varone, Hudon), 10:31 (PP). Penalties-Day Hfd (hooking), 2:24; Ronning Hfd (slashing), 9:37.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Gettinger 2 (Fogarty), 16:16. Penalties-Poehling Lav (hooking), 6:54; Nieves Hfd (high-sticking), 11:29; Nieves Hfd (hooking), 18:23.
3rd Period-3, Laval, Alain 2 10:54. 4, Laval, Hudon 3 12:05. 5, Laval, Jevpalovs 3 (Evans), 18:13 (EN). Penalties-Leskinen Lav (interference), 3:23; Hudon Lav (tripping), 8:01; Olofsson Lav (hooking), 14:25.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 7-7-9-23. Laval 11-9-4-24.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 4; Laval 1 / 4.
Goalies-Hartford, Shesterkin 5-1-0 (23 shots-20 saves). Laval, Lindgren 2-3-1 (23 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Olivier Gouin (54), Guillaume Labonte (35).
Linesmen-Guillaume Brunelle (63), Nicolas Piche (6).