After a tough weekend on the road, Laval returned home last week for a trio of games and put forth some of their better performances of the year to pick up four points to get back to a .500 points percentage.
The Week That Was
Nov. 10: Rocket 3, Senators 0 – Laval got to take advantage of Ottawa’s less than ideal COVID situation that has resulted in many of Belleville’s top players being recalled. However, the Sens played a strong defensive game despite who they were missing and the Rocket weren’t able to pressure for extended stretches as they have at other times this season. Nevertheless, they did enough offensively to get the win with Gabriel Bourque picking up his first goal of the season while Cayden Primeau picked up his second shutout.
Nov. 12: Rocket 5, Islanders 4 (OT) – This one got off to an eventful start with five goals scored in the first period along with 20 penalty minutes. Bridgeport held the lead at three separate points of the game with Laval coming back each time including Xavier Ouellet’s marker early in the third that was enough to get it to overtime. In the extra session, Laurent Dauphin continued his start with the game-winner.
Nov. 13: Comets 5, Rocket 3 – Laval was faced with a very quick turnaround for this one with only 18 hours separating the start times from Friday’s game to this one. Despite that, they found their skating legs as the game went on and came back from a two-goal deficit to take the lead in the third. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to hold on as Utica scored three straight in the final frame to skate away with the victory. Cole Caufield scored his first of the season in a losing effort, a well-placed shot from below the goal line.
Goals: Laurent Dauphin (8)
Assists: Paquette-Bisson/Ouellet (7)
Points: Laurent Dauphin (12)
+/-: Michael Pezzetta (+7)
PIMS: Louis Belpedio (36)
Shots: Laurent Dauphin (44)
News And Notes
– Lukas Vejdemo returned from his injury, playing in all three games.
– Mattias Norlinder’s conditioning stint came to an end on Wednesday while Ryan Poehing was also recalled to the Habs following that contest.
– Jesse Ylonen needed 17 games to get to 10 points last season. This year, he was able to get there in 11 games and is definitely playing well enough to be in consideration for a recall.
– Tobie Paquette-Bisson’s seven assists is a new career high, beating the six he put up in 28 games with Laval last season.
– Cam Hillis was recalled from Trois-Rivieres of the ECHL while Terrance Amorosa was sent down.
Last Game’s Lines:
Martel – Dauphin – Caufield
Bourque – Dea – Ylonen
Harvey-Pinard – Vejdemo – Roy
Baddock – Gignac – Fortin
Fairbrother – Ouellet
Schueneman – Belpedio
Paquette-Bisson – Dello
The Week Ahead
Nov. 17: at Toronto – Considering the gong show that came about in their last matchup, this game is a bit more intriguing than most games against the Marlies do. Toronto’s top scorer – Kirill Semyonov – is up with the NHL club right now while their next three scorers are all newcomers (they had as much turnover as Laval did over the summer). Erik Kallgren has moved ahead of Michael Hutchinson on the depth chart between the pipes.
Nov. 20: at Belleville – This is the first of three matchups in a row over an eight-day span in a bit of a scheduling oddity. The Sens have been losing players like crazy since their meeting last week due to recalls but Ottawa’s COVID situation is likely to change considerably between now and then. Former Laval winger Jake Lucchini continues to lead the way offensively with 11 points in 12 games.
I’d be curious to know what’s running through Laurent Dauphin’s mind right now. The Habs have brought up several forwards and while Dauphin has been Laval’s top player overall, he hasn’t gotten a chance yet. It’s hard to figure out why. It’s not as if they’re prioritizing bringing up their prospects as Cole Caufield and Jesse Ylonen are down there while Alex Belzile is up; Ryan Poehling only was just recalled last week and not in the first group of promotions either.
The Habs need offensive production and Dauphin leads the team in goals and points. Of course, he’d be on the fourth line in not many offensive situations. If only he killed penalties. Oh, wait, he does that too. Well, they need centre depth and it’s not as if he’s a centre…oh yeah, he is, with the added ability to play the wing.
Dangling the carrot of a recall is what drives fringe players like Dauphin on a yearly basis to keep going through the grind. But at some point, he has to be rewarded for his performance. Otherwise, that motivation isn’t going to be there and that will only hurt Laval, a team that isn’t exactly off to a good start. It’s time to give Dauphin a look with Montreal, he has more than earned it.