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Unlike their NHL counterparts, Laval finished off 2022 on a high note with a pair of important victories over division-rival Syracuse.  In doing so, they have pulled themselves out of the division basement for the time being.

The Week That Was

Dec. 28: Laval 6, Syracuse 3 – Good starts haven’t come too often for the Rocket this season but they got one on this one.  Rem Pitlick scored five minutes in and Laval carried a rare three-goal lead into the first intermission.  Olivier Galipeau picked up his first career AHL goal in the second period and that goal stood up as the game-winner.

Dec. 30: Laval 5, Syracuse 1 – It took the Rocket a bit of time to get going but once the second period started, they found another gear.  They picked up a pair in the middle frame before scoring two power play goals (unlike Montreal, Laval is decent with the man advantage at 23.4%) near the middle of the third to give them some breathing room.  Galipeau added his second career AHL goal into the empty net for good measure.



# Player GP G A +/- SOG PIMS
5 Tory Dello 2 0 1 +1 1 0
6 Corey Schueneman 2 1 0 +2 5 2
11 Rafael Harvey-Pinard 2 1 0 +2 6 0
20 Gabriel Bourque 2 0 3 +2 1 0
22 Alex Belzile 2 2 2 +4 9 2
24 Joel Teasdale 2 2 1 +3 6 2
26 Jesse Ylonen 2 0 2 E 3 0
27 Mitchell Stephens 2 0 0 +2 7 0
29 Mattias Norlinder 2 0 1 +2 4 2
32 Rem Pitlick 2 2 2 +5 4 2
42 Lucas Condotta 2 0 0 -1 2 0
44 Olivier Galipeau 2 2 0 +3 3 4
58 Santino Centorame 2 0 0 E 0 0
84 William Trudeau 2 1 1 +4 4 4
85 John Parker-Jones 2 0 0 E 0 7
91 Anthony Beauregard 2 0 0 E 0 0
92 Pierrick Dube 2 0 1 E 4 0
98 Peter Abbandonato 2 0 3 +2 2 0


# Player Record GAA SV% SO
39 Kevin Poulin 2-0-0 2.01 .926 0

Team Leaders:

Goals: Anthony Richard (18)
Assists: Jesse Ylonen (16)
Points: Anthony Richard (31)
+/-: Beaudin/Dello (+7)
PIMS: Mitchell Stephens (29)
Shots: Rafael Harvey-Pinard (99)

News And Notes

– Laval didn’t welcome any injured players back but there’s some potential help on the way as Xavier Simoneau and Nate Schnarr rejoined the team for practice.  Cayden Primeau is also back on the ice although not yet ready to participate in any team drills.

– Unfortunately, Otto Leskinen’s injury isn’t a minor one as he’ll miss four to six weeks with a lower-body injury.  He had been a steadying presence on the back end even though his offensive numbers were rather underwhelming and he logged some big minutes.  His shoes will be hard to fill.

– Peter Abbandonato quietly had a strong month of December with ten points in as many games.  He’s up to third on the team in scoring.

Last Game’s Lines:

Harvey-Pinard – Belzile – Pitlick
Condotta – Stephens – Ylonen
Teasdale – Abbandonato – Bourque
Dube – Beauregard – Parker-Jones

Trudeau – Schueneman
Norlinder – Dello
Galipeau – Centorame

The Week Ahead

Wednesday/Friday – vs Manitoba – This isn’t a bad time to be catching the Moose as they’re down five of their top 12 scorers and have two other regulars at the World Juniors.  They only have one double-digit scorer in Jeff Malott.  However, there’s a reason they sit fourth in the Central despite not scoring a lot and that’s because they don’t allow a whole lot; Arvid Holm is tied for ninth in the league in save percentage.  (For comparison, Cayden Primeau is 40th and Kevin Poulin is 44th out of 53 qualifying netminders.)

Sunday – at Toronto – The Marlies have actually scored fewer goals than Laval this season but sit atop the North Division as they’ve been getting impressive goaltending lately.  Joseph Woll hasn’t lost since returning back in late November which has played a big role in their rise to the top while former Hab Logan Shaw is averaging a point per game to lead Toronto in scoring.  They also just got Joey Anderson back from the Maple Leafs; the winger is averaging a little less than a point per game himself.

Final Thought

Among the struggles that Rem Pitlick dealt with this season with Montreal was penalty issues.  He only took five minors but they were untimely and often a result of unengaged play.  Unfortunately, that trend has continued with Laval as he’s already at eight minors through a dozen games.  Yes, he’s averaging nearly a point per game with the Rocket which is good but if he wants to be trusted in Montreal, he needs to clean up the penalties. 

At this point, it seems likely that he’ll be brought back later in the year once the sell-off at the trade deadline happens and he’ll have a chance to re-establish himself as a regular like he was last season.  In order for Pitlick to have a shot at seeing any sort of real minutes though, he needs to stay out of the box.  That’s what he should be putting a higher emphasis on over the next couple of months.