It took until their fourth game but Laval is finally in the win column as they split their first two road games of the 2019-20 season.
The Week That Was
Oct. 12: Admirals 4, Rocket 2 – The game got off to a reasonable start as Laval held the lead through the first 20 minutes with Josh Brook picking up his first career professional goal in the opening frame. However, they were held to just four shots in the second period while Milwaukee was able to score twice to take the lead and never looked back.
Oct. 14: Rocket 3, IceHogs 1 – While Laval was down after 20 minutes, they controlled the play basically from start to finish. Eventually, the new-look top line made an impact with a pair of goals while rookie defenceman Otto Leskinen picked up two assists for the second straight game.
Goals: Alex Belzile (3)
Assists: Otto Leskinen (4)
Points: Belzile/Leskinen (4)
+/-: 5 tied with (+1)
PIMS: 4 tied with (4)
Shots: Charles Hudon (17)
News And Notes
– Matthew Peca was injured in a practice following the Milwaukee loss and did not play in Rockford. There’s no word yet on how long he’ll be out for.
– Laval got some reinforcements from the infirmary as Noah Juulsen and Michael McCarron joined the team, the latter having cleared waivers to do so. However, given how little time there was to practice, neither got in the lineup.
– It’s still early but Otto Leskinen currently leads all defencemen in assists with four and also leads all rookie players in that category.
Last Game’s Lines:
Hudon – Poehling – Belzile
Varone – Evans – Barber
Jevpalovs – Vejdemo – Cox
Pezzetta – Lynch – Weise
Leskinen – Ouellet
Alzner – Brook
Olofsson – Lamarche
The Week Ahead
Oct. 16/18: vs Providence – It’s the only time the Bruins will be in Laval all season. Providence has a strong mix of youngsters led by Anders Bjork who leads the team in scoring with some strong veterans including NHL veteran defenceman Alex Petrovic. Former Montreal prospect Josiah Didier is a regular on the back end.
Oct. 19: vs Hershey – This is also the only time Hershey will be in town in 2019-20. Travis Boyd has made an immediate impact for them after clearing waivers with six points in his first two games. If you happened to be wondering to yourself whatever happened to Matt Moulson, he’s with the Bears on a minor league contract and has picked up at least a point in every game this season. Pheonix Copley is one of their goalies after being the full-time backup in Washington last season.
Going back to last season, it felt like David Sklenicka wasn’t getting a fair shake at times. Even when the team was out of it down the stretch last year, they were sitting him. They conveniently left him out of seeing preseason action despite a decent camp by all accounts. This season, the only action he has received has been on his off-side and now with Gustav Olofsson in the fold, he has been scratched in two straight in favour of career minor leaguer Maxim Lamarche. Don’t get me wrong – Lamarche is a decent player – but he’s not an NHL prospect while Sklenicka has shown a bit of upside at times.
Things aren’t going to get any easier for him either. Noah Juulsen should be ready to go this week which should knock Lamarche out of the lineup and Sklenicka down to the eighth spot. Cale Fleury will probably be on his way before long if Claude Julien decides that Christian Folin is his preferred option on the third pairing with Montreal. It feels like Sklenicka is headed towards bust territory which would certainly be disappointing as he really hasn’t gotten much of a look overall.