Three quick second-period goals help Penguins beat Rocket 6-3

(Wilkes-Barre) Three quick goals hurt the Laval Rocket, who lost 6-3 to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.

After a good first period, the Montreal Canadiens’ farm club allowed three goals in 94 seconds and had to play catch-up hockey for the rest of the game.

The Rocket (21-20-6) saw its two-game winning streak come to an end as it finds itself in a fierce race with five other teams in the American League North standings.

Jan Mysak moved the strings twice while Xavier Simoneau added a goal for the Laval team. Logan Mailloux finished the game with two assists.

During this second match in a series of three in as many days, Kasimir Kaskisuo was entrusted with the Rocket’s net. He gave up four times in 29 shots, but he sometimes had to save the furniture following turnovers.

Jagger Joshua, Maxim Cajkovic, Jack Rathbone, Justin Addamo, Alex Nylander and Corey Andonovski responded for the Penguins (26-17-7), who returned to winning ways. Austin Rueschhoff had three assists.

The young 22-year-old goalkeeper Joel Blomqvist made 20 saves, but some of them were very important.

Defender Chris Jandric played his first game in a Rocket uniform, which will end its trip Sunday afternoon against the Bridgeport Islanders.

Rapid explosion

Both teams were methodical at the start of the match and scoring opportunities were a little rarer.

The Rocket opened the scoring at 6:45, following some good work from Filip Cederqvist behind the net. Mailloux inherited his pass and slipped the disc to Olivier Galipeau. The defender’s point shot was deftly deflected by Mysak past Blomqvist.

The Penguins had a great chance to tie the game before the end of the opening period, following a turnover at the blue line, but Kaskisuo stopped a point-blank shot from Andonovski.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton squad left the locker room with the knife between their teeth and opened the valves.

During a two-on-one build-up, Rueschhoff was patient and passed the puck to Cajkovic, who barely beat Kaskisuo. Moments later, Joshua saw his shot hit the skate of defender Justin Barron before surprising the Rocket goaltender. Just 26 seconds later, Addamo escaped defender coverage and pounced on a rebound to extend the lead to 3-1.

Head coach Jean-François Houle decided to call a timeout and his men responded well. Cederqvist once again collected the puck along the boards and sent it to the net. William Trudeau grabbed it and showed generosity to Mysak, who completed the production.

If Kaskisuo had closed the door in spectacular fashion at the expense of Andonovski, at the end of the first period, Blomqvist gave him the answer in the second period. The Finn took out the mitt to frustrate Nathan Légaré.

The Penguins thanked their goaltender by hitting the target during a power play early in the third period. While the Rocket players were running out of steam, Rathbone went alone to the crease and gave Kaskisuo no chance.

The Laval residents did not have the best commitment, but they did not give up. During a power play, Mitchell Stephens spotted Simoneau in the slot and the small forward did not miss this opportunity to reduce the gap.

Nylander and Andonovski, however, sealed the outcome of the match in an empty net.

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