Photo: Team Shred Photography
LAVAL - The Laval Rocket returned from their first - and possibly most gruelling - road trip of the season on Sunday, and now prepare for another busy slate of games in the coming days.
Following the success the team enjoyed at home during the first two weekends of the season, the Habs' AHL affiliate hit the road last Thursday for a three-game trip across three separate American states, in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
Friday, October 20: Rocket 5 @ Penguins 6 (OT)
Jakub Jerabek (2A), Michael McCarron (1G-1A), Nikita Scherbak (2A) and Kyle Baun (2A) each picked up two points, but couldn't top the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, who came back in the third before taking the game in overtime.
"Friday's loss was a disappointing one, because the game was ours to win," acknowledged head coach Sylvain Lefebvre. "Penalties cost us in the third."
Daniel Sprong scored for the Penguins in the final 20, completing a hat trick on the power play.
Saturday, October 21: Rocket 6 @ Sound Tigers 3
The next day, in a game which saw 17 penalties handed out, the Rocket scored three goals in the first, en route to a 6-3 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers - the AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders.
Daniel Carr (1G-2A) and Byron Froese (1G-2A) enjoyed a pair of three-point nights, while Tom Parisi (2G), Kyle Baun (1G-1A) and Matt Taormina (2A) each registered another two.
Zachary Fucale made 27 saves on 30 shots in the win.
Kyle Baun scored his first goal in a Rocket uniform on Saturday in Bridgeport. theAHL.com
Sunday, October 22: Rocket 1 @ Bruins 4
Less than 18 hours later, on Sunday afternoon, the Lavallois were back in action in Providence, RI, but gave up an early 2-0 lead which proved to be too much to come back from.
"On Sunday, we did not manage our emotions well. After the first goal, we thought a penalty would be called - but wasn't. By the time we adjusted, it was 2-0. It's not easy to come back against a team like Providence," admitted the Rocket bench boss, whose troops fell 4-1 in Rhode Island.
"We had some good scoring opportunities, but their goalie [Zane] McIntrye played a good game. The fact that we had trouble controlling our emotions in the opening 10 minutes did not help."
Chris Terry scored the lone goal for the Rocket in Providence. theAHL.com
More busy times ahead
With no time to get comfortable following their road trip, the Rocket now prepares for a sequence of six games in the next nine days.
The Rochester Americans will be the visitors at Place Bell on Wednesday, before returning the hosting favors on Friday in New York state. On Saturday, Laval will head to Toronto before then taking on the Marlies at home next Wednesday, November 1.
A pair of back-to-back games against the Syracuse Crunch wraps up the busy sequence on Friday, November 3 and Saturday, November 4.
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BY THE NUMBERS
- Prior to being called up by the Canadiens, Nikita Scherbak was tied with four other players - including teammate
- Chris Terry - for seventh-place overall among the AHL's top point-getters with a goal and eight assists
- Defenseman Matt Taormina continues to lead the league at his position with 10 points (1G-9A), and is Laval's top point-getter
- Scherbak and Taormina are likewise first and second (tied), respectively, for assists
- Daniel Audette has scored his three goals on the power play, tying him for second place with two other players league-wide - including Terry - in that category
- The Rocket continues to lead the AHL in goals, with 30
- Laval is currently third in the North Division, with a 4-2-1 record so far