The Senators avenge their Friday loss and win 5-2 against the Rocket

(Laval) Defenseman Jacob Larsson scored four points and the Belleville Senators defeated the Laval Rocket 5-2 on Saturday afternoon at Place Bell.

After suffering a 2-1 defeat the day before, the Senators (31-27-6) scored an important victory for the playoff race in the North section. They came back to two points behind the Rocket (31-27-8) and fifth place, the last one giving access to the spring tournament. The Belleville squad must also play two more matches.

The Laval residents, for their part, missed an opportunity to temporarily seize fourth place in the section. They had not lost to the Senators in their last five games.

Lucas Condotta and Philippe Maillet scored for the Rocket, who took time to find their rhythm. Kasimir Kaskisuo got the start and allowed four goals on 26 shots.

Larsson participated in his team’s first three goals, those of Maxence Guénette, Cole Reinhardt and Jiri Smejkal, and he completed the score into an empty net. Oskar Pettersson also made the red light shine in victory. Kevin Mandolese blocked 33 of the 35 pucks directed his way.

The Rocket will stay at home for the next week and will return to action Friday night, hosting the Syracuse Crunch.

First half to forget

Head coach Jean-François Houle expected another good start to the game from the Senators and they proved him right. They sent several pucks to the net and were rewarded halfway through the first period.

After accepting a pass from Jamieson Rees in the neutral zone, Guénette entered enemy territory and used Olivier Galipeau to surprise Kaskisuo with a long wrist shot.

Houle had asked his players to shoot more shots after Friday night’s game, but the instruction was not fully respected. However, at the end of the first period, a seemingly harmless shot from Tobie Bisson hit Condotta in the slot to allow the home team to tie the game.

The visitors, however, responded about two minutes later. Larsson made a slap shot from the point that Kaskisuo couldn’t control. Reinhardt recovered the puck and pushed it into a free cage.

The Senators continued their momentum in the first half of the second period and increased their lead with two goals.

First, Emil Heineman miscaught a pass from his teammate and Larsson threw Smejkal on a breakaway. The latter deceived Kaskisuo’s vigilance with a shot from the glove side. Then, Josh Currie did all the work for Pettersson, who fired a one-timer into the top of the net.

Visibly unhappy with the turn of events, Houle called a timeout which woke up his troops. After David Reinbacher hit the post to Mandolese’s left, Heineman passed the puck to Maillet, who hit the target to cut the lead to 4-2.

Laval continued to apply sustained pressure for the rest of the period, but the Senators held on.

The Rocket tried to use the energy of desperation in the third period, but they were unable to add a goal while playing six on five for almost three minutes. Larsson sealed the outcome of the match with 27.3 seconds remaining.


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