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This past week was a strange one for Laval.  They had one game that saw both teams light up the scoreboard, another that was a defensive affair, and another that had one of the more bizarre injuries of the season.

The Week That Was

Nov. 23: Abbotsford 3, Laval 2 – Most of the damage in this one was done in the second period with both teams scoring within the first three minutes.  Abbotsford retook the lead just before the midway mark and it looked like the Rocket would escape being only down one.  That is, until they were able to pot the insurance marker with under two minutes remaining.  That proved to be a crucial tally as Peter Abbandonato scored late in the third to make the ending interesting but that’s as close as they were able to get.

Nov. 25: Laval 7, Belleville 5 – Some games are defensive clinics.  This one wasn’t.  Laval chased Belleville’s starter before the midway point of the game as part of a four-goal period to give them a two-goal lead, one they promptly blew fairly quickly in the third period.  However, Nicolas Beaudin’s first goal with the Rocket came at a great time as his tally with a little over five minutes left turned out to be the game-winner.

Nov. 26: Belleville 4, Laval 1 – Kevin Poulin got the nod in goal for this one which is notable but not for the reason you might think.  Partway during the game, Cayden Primeau suffered an injury after taking a stick to the face…from the bench.  (You know things aren’t going well when…)  Antoine Bibeau stole the show for the Senators, kicking aside 49 Laval shots on the way to a victory in which the Rocket deserved a better fate.



# Player GP G A +/- SOG PIMS
6 Corey Schueneman 3 0 1 -1 7 2
8 Madison Bowey 3 0 1 +2 11 2
11 Rafael Harvey-Pinard 3 1 2 -3 5 2
13 Nicolas Beaudin 2 1 0 +1 6 0
14 Jan Mysak 3 1 1 E 5 0
18 Danick Martel 3 0 0 -1 8 0
24 Joel Teasdale 2 0 1 -1 1 0
26 Jesse Ylonen 3 0 4 E 7 2
27 Mitchell Stephens 3 0 0 +2 4 4
28 Otto Leskinen 3 1 0 E 7 2
32 Rem Pitlick 3 0 2 -3 4 2
37 Brandon Gignac 3 0 1 E 5 0
42 Lucas Condotta 3 1 0 E 3 2
52 Justin Barron 3 3 1 +1 8 0
57 Alex Green 2 0 0 -2 2 0
81 Xavier Simoneau 3 0 3 +3 2 2
84 William Trudeau 3 0 0 -4 6 4
90 Anthony Richard 3 1 1 -3 12 0
98 Peter Abbandonato 3 1 1 -2 10 0


# Player Record GAA SV% SO
31 Cayden Primeau 1-1-0 4.06 .886 0
39 Kevin Poulin 0-1-0 3.08 .850 0

Team Leaders:

Goals: Anthony Richard (12)
Assists: Xavier Simoneau (12)
Points: Anthony Richard (18)
+/-: Tory Dello (+7)
PIMS: Mitchell Stephens (23)
Shots: Rafael Harvey-Pinard (60)

News And Notes

– Remember when we were talking about Laval having surplus depth just last week?  That changed in a hurry.  Gabriel Bourque (upper body), Mattias Norlinder (upper body), Alex Belzile (lower body), and Nate Schnarr (lower body) were all out of the lineup.  The first three are shorter term but Schnarr’s will keep him out for at least a month.

– Ryan Francis was recalled from Trois-Rivieres of the ECHL just to give the Rocket an extra healthy forward.

– With a three-goal week, Justin Barron now has six goals on the season, surpassing his total with Colorado’s AHL affiliate last year (before the trade deadline deal that sent him to Montreal).

Last Game’s Lines:

Richard – Abbandonato – Pitlick
Harvey-Pinard – Gignac – Simoneau
Martel – Stephens – Ylonen
Condotta – Mysak

Leskinen – Barron
Trudeau – Schueneman
Beaudin – Bowey

The Week Ahead

Wednesday – at Utica – The Comets have played the fewest games in the league this season while Laval has played the most.  The two squads are tied for last in the Atlantic Division.  Andreas Johnsson leads the way offensively, averaging over a point per game as expected since he has basically been a full-time NHL regular the last few years.  Laval might be catching Utica just at the right time as both Akira Schmid and Nico Daws – their goalie tandem – are up with New Jersey at the moment.

Friday/Saturday – at Abbotsford – Yep, them again (for the third week in a row).  The two teams split the pair of games in Laval and there isn’t much more to mention from what has already been written here over the last couple of weeks.  They’ve been a bit quiet offensively this season, averaging a little under three goals per game while youngster Arturs Silovs has started to wrestle playing time away from Collin Delia between the pipes.

Final Thought

Yesterday, we looked at some of the positives with the Habs through the first quarter of the season.  Laval has passed that threshold as well but there aren’t as many of them as there are in Montreal.  Anthony Richard has surprisingly been one of the top forwards in the AHL, a development that should earn him a look with the Habs at some point.  Xavier Simoneau is off to a fine start and is making a strong case to get his entry-level deal from Montreal.  Peter Abbandonato is on a nice little run after being a regular scratch to crack the top five in team scoring.  That’s about it for the positives.

It’s hard to win without good goaltending and for the most part, they’re not getting that on a regular basis.  The defence is good on paper but it’s more of an offensive-minded group which is causing some grief defensively.  Aside from Richard, most of the top players that were expected to play key roles have ranged from underachieving significantly to playing merely adequate.  Aside from Simoneau and maybe Justin Barron, the prospect development hasn’t been great either.

The good news is that there are still 52 games to go.  That’s plenty of time to turn things around.  But that process is going to have to start sooner than later before they fall too far behind in the playoff race.