Rocket avoids elimination with decisive victory over Springfield | Sports
After losing two of their three home games at Place Bell, the Laval Rocket headed to Springfield where they needed to win two on the road if they wanted to advance to the Calder Cup Finals. On Monday night, the Rocket moved closer to winning the Conference Finals and a berth in the Calder Cup Finals with a solid 5-1 win over the Thunderbirds at MassMutual Center. “They (the players) were very calm,” said Rocket head coach Jean-François Houle. “I would say it’s the calmest we’ve been in the six games we’ve played. It was a good calm, the players were confident. After scoring that first goal, I think the leaders made some progress. good job calming everyone down. We played a patient game; we knew when to pounce on the puck and we waited for them to make mistakes tonight. It’s kind of like a game of chess. It’s going to be the winner tonight as the Rocket and Thunderbirds face off in Game 7 on the ice at the MassMutual Center. Check out The Suburban online or in The Suburban app for more on the outcome.
Danick Martel led Laval to victory with a performance of two goals and an assist, Cayden Primeau remained consistent between the posts and the shorthanded unit was perfect against the dangerous Thunderbirds offense.
The first 20 minutes were scoreless and the PK unit was killed with a very sticky minor double to Devante Smith-Pelly. Primeau stopped nine shots to keep Springfield off the board.
Martel broke the scoreless deadlock 4:58 into the middle frame as he scored an unassisted tally beating Joel Hofer. The Rocket held on to that 1-0 advantage at intermission, coming back for the third period with plenty of rebound in their game.
Martel set the table for the second goal by feeding Gabriel Bourque for his scorer at 1:45 of the third, giving Laval an insurance scorer they would need to cash in. Martel got his ninth of the playoffs at 8:51. Laval a cushion of three goals. “I’ve always said the playoffs are a tough game,” Danick Martel said. “You have to work hard in every game and if you work hard, success will come.”
What will it take for Laval to win Game 7? “I think we have to play the same game as today,” Martel said. “We didn’t panic; it doesn’t have to be an enjoyable game, it will be a grinding game. Don’t panic and keep playing hard.
With just under five minutes left in regulation, Matthew Peca finally beat Primeau for the shutout, making it 3-1. Springfield lifted Hofer for the extra forward, which allowed Brandon Gignac to bury the puck in the empty net, increasing the lead to 4-1. Laval hadn’t finished scoring as Springfield was left with penalties and with 41 seconds left, Lucas Condotta struck for a power play to close the scoring.