The deciding game of the best-of-five North Division Calder Cup semifinal series will be played Tuesday in Syracuse.

Article content

The Laval Rocket failed to get off the launch pad Saturday, dropping a 3-0 decision to the Syracuse Crunch before a sellout crowd at Place Bell.

Advertisement 2

Article content

The win allowed Syracuse to tie the best-of-five North Division Calder Cup semifinal series at two games apiece. The deciding game will be played Tuesday at Upstate Medical University Arena in Syracuse.

Cayden Primeau, who was outstanding as he led the Rocket to victories in Games 2 and 3, kept the Rocket in the hunt for two periods, but Laval was the victim of a self-inflicted wound early in the third period, which allowed the Crunch to take a 2-0 lead.

Primeau didn’t have a chance on the second Syracuse goal, which was scored on a power play. He lost his stick and was taken out of the play when Laval defenseman Xavier Ouellet pushed Gabriel Dumont into the crease. That left an open net for Remi Elie to score his third goal of the series.

advertisement 3

Article content

Anthony Richard effectively put the game out of reach when he forced a turnover at the blueline and beat Primeau at 6:24. Primeau finished with 34 saves.

The Crunch came out with more jump than it showed in Game 3 Thursday and Primeau was kept busy in the first period as Syracuse ran up a 13-7 advantage on the shot clock and took a 1-0 lead on Cole Koepke’s goal at 5: 36. Richard carried the puck behind the net and found Koepke on the far side of the crease.

“I thought our guys were a little tired, but (the Crunch) played with desperation,” said Rocket coach Jean-François Houle. “They played a good game; they’re a good team. And I knew they were going to play well defensively and they did. That’s playoffs and now we have to regroup ourselves.”

advertisement 4

Article content

That may involve a change in the alignment, which has seen Laval dress seven defensemen and 11 forwards.

“We may change our plan, but it worked for the other two games,” Houle said. “When you lose, it puts things in perspective and you’re thinking. Our forwards looked a little tired and they didn’t generate as much offense as we should.”

While there were only four penalties called in the game, it was a physical contest with lots of hitting and the usual assortment of scrums after the whistle.

“Every game has been physical so far,” said Rocket forward Alex Belzile. “It’s the playoffs, that’s why we play hockey. We have to stay positive. We split over there, we split here. (Losing today is) not the end of the world. Yeah, we wanted to close it out in front of the crowd, which was once again incredible, but we have to have a short memory. They played a desperate game and jt’s our turn to answer the bell next game.”

advertisement 5

Article content

Syracuse goaltender Max Lagacé was injured midway through the opening period, but the Rocket failed to take advantage of backup Hugo Alnefelt. The Rocket had the only two power plays in the first period and, while Rafael Harvey-Pinard came close when he hit the crossbar, Laval was outshot 2-1 when it had the man advantage.

Alnefelt, a 20-year-old rookie from Sweden, made 24 saves and shared the shutout with Lagacé, who faced only four shots before his exit.

“We didn’t play well in our zone,” Harvey-Pinard said. “We had difficulty to gather the puck. We didn’t get in front of the goalie and have time to get the puck to the net. That’s something we have to work on.”

[email protected]

twitter.com/zababes1

advertisement 1

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user follows comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your e-mail settings.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.