Rocket get past Thunderbirds in OT to even series

Photo: Vitor Munhoz / Laval Rocket

Rafaël Harvey-Pinard scored 4:06 into overtime as the Laval Rocket evened up the Eastern Conference Finals with an emotional 3-2 win over Springfield in Game 4 on Friday night.

With the best-of-seven series square at two games apiece, the teams go back at it in Game 5 on Saturday night in Laval (7 ET, AHLTV).

Harvey-Pinard got separation from a Springfield defender down low and snapped a shot that handcuffed goaltender Joel Hofer and trickled in for his third goal of the series.

The clubs played 20 minutes of fire-wagon hockey in the first period, combining for 45 shots on goal. Mackenzie MacEachern and Dakota Joshua staked the Thunderbirds to a 2-0 lead with goals in the first 7:26 of the contest, but the Rocket got on the board when Jean-Sébastien Dea beat the horn during a 5-on-3 Laval power play. Official video review confirmed the goal was scored with one-tenth of a second remaining in the period.

Cédric Paquette’s goal 2:37 into the second period was the final scoring of regulation.

Cayden Primeau (8-3) made 42 saves on the night for the Rocket, shutting Springfield out over the final 56:40 of the game.

Hofer (6-1) suffered his first loss of the postseason despite making 48 stops.

A capacity crowd of 10,043 fans took in the game at Place Bell.

A2-Springfield Thunderbirds vs. N3-Laval Rocket
Game 1 – Sat., June 4 – SPRINGFIELD 2, Laval 1 (OT)
Game 2 – Sun., June 5 – Laval 4, SPRINGFIELD 2
Game 3 – Wed., June 8 – Springfield 6, LAVAL 3
Game 4 – Fri., June 10 – LAVAL 3, Springfield 2 (OT)
Game 5 – Sat., June 11 – Springfield at Laval, 7:00
Game 6 – Mon., June 13 – Laval at Springfield, 7:05
*Game 7 – Wed., June 15 – Laval at Springfield, 7:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern