P.E.I. Rocket players were pleased with their effort, but not the outcome Saturday night.
The Rocket (13-9-2) lost 6-3 to the Val-d’Or Foreurs (12-9-0-2) in front of an announced crowd of 2,032 at the Civic Centre in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.
Trailing 4-3, midway through the third, the Rocket had an opportunity to tie it on the power play, but could not beat Francois Tremblay. Anthony Mantha stepped out of the box, intercepted the puck and went in and scored his third on the night.
“Obviously, that took a bit of the wind out of our sails, but we didn’t quit,” said winger Jack Nevins. “It was just too bad we could come out with the win tonight.”
The physical winger set the tone for the game less than two minutes in.
“I saw the guy coming around the net, read the play, made the hit and the guy wanted to go,” he explained. “I dropped the gloves and we went.”
Nevins' fight with Thierry Comtois was the first of three within three minutes.
The game remained physical, but no more fisticuffs occurred.
We liked our effort tonight, we liked our passion and we just have to build on that and tighten up in our own end - Jack Nevins, Rocket winger
The Rocket led 2-1 after one, trailed 4-3 heading to the third and could not score the equalizer.
“We liked our effort tonight, we liked our passion and we just have to build on that and tighten up in our own end,” Nevins said.
Alex Micallef, Nathan Yetman and Tomas Pavelka scored for the Rocket. Louick Marcotte and Ben Duffy had assists.
Vincent Dunn, Cedrick Henley and Michael Beaudry had the other Foreurs’ goals.
It was Yetman’s first goal in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. It came after the rookie picked off a pass from a Val-d’Or defenceman.
“I fired it on the net five-hole,” said the Mount Pearl, N.L. native. “It feels great to get the monkey off the back.”
Antoine Bibeau made 28 saves on 33 shots and was tagged with the loss.
Tremblay stopped 32 of 35 for the victory.
The Rocket is back in action Friday at 7 p.m. when it host the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.