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The road hasn’t been kind to Laval this season which made their Western road trip even more daunting.  However, with three straight victories last week, they’ve put themselves in control of their playoff destiny once again.

The Week That Was

Mar. 28: Laval 6, Manitoba 3 This one was a much higher-scoring affair than the first game of this two-game set but Laval’s offence came to play, led by Joel Teasdale and Emil Heineman who each had a pair of goals.  Jan Mysak added an empty-netter which is noteworthy since it was his first goal since November 11th.  He was due.

Mar. 31: Laval 3, Rockford 0 – Goalie duels don’t happen that often in the minors but it did happen in this one with both Cayden Primeau and Arvid Soderblom having strong games.  But Laval was able break through in the second half of the game with Heineman breaking the ice before Mitchell Stephens potted a pair (the latter into a vacant cage) to give Laval some breathing room.

Apr. 1: Laval 6, Milwaukee 4 – The Admirals were missing a lot of players due to recall (the Rocket can relate) but some of their depth players stepped up as one of their depth forwards scored his third career goal in his second AHL season while another scored his first goal in 51 AHL contests.  Fortunately, Laval was able to rebound in the third with four goals including two from Pierrick Dube (more on him later) to pick up the sweep for the week.



# Player GP G A +/- SOG PIMS
3 Jayden Struble 2 0 0 +1 1 2
5 Tory Dello 2 0 0 +1 1 2
6 Corey Schueneman 3 0 0 -1 6 0
13 Nicolas Beaudin 3 0 4 +5 3 4
14 Jan Mysak 2 1 0 -1 2 0
19 Emil Heineman 3 4 1 +5 12 2
20 Gabriel Bourque 3 1 0 -2 6 2
23 Nolan Yaremko 3 0 1 -1 6 2
24 Joel Teasdale 3 2 1 +2 9 0
27 Mitchell Stephens 3 2 2 +6 10 2
29 Mattias Norlinder 3 0 1 -1 5 0
37 Brandon Gignac 1 0 0 E 1 0
42 Lucas Condotta 3 0 1 -1 4 0
44 Olivier Galipeau 2 1 0 +1 7 0
68 Riley McKay 3 0 0 -4 4 6
81 Xavier Simoneau 3 0 2 +1 2 2
84 William Trudeau 3 0 4 +4 5 2
90 Anthony Richard 3 1 1 +1 7 2
92 Pierrick Dube 3 3 3 +6 11 2
98 Peter Abbandonato 3 0 2 +1 4 0


# Player Record GAA SV% SO
31 Cayden Primeau 2-0-0 2.00 .925 1
39 Kevin Poulin 1-0-0 3.01 .880 0

Team Leaders:

Goals: Anthony Richard (25)
Assists: Peter Abbandonato (35)
Points: Anthony Richard (58)
+/-: Nicolas Beaudin (+14)
PIMS: Riley McKay (118)
Shots: Anthony Richard (176)

News And Notes

– Brandon Gignac was able to come back for the Rockford game but the injury he has been trying to battle through kept him out against Milwaukee.  At this point, it’s safe to classify him as day-to-day for the rest of the season.

– Laval added some goalie depth with Jakub Dobes signing an AHL deal with the Rocket for the rest of the season.  That allowed them to send Philippe Desrosiers back to Trois-Rivieres but with Cayden Primeau now back up with Montreal for now, Desrosiers could be back once more.

– Corey Schueneman was also recalled with his being on an emergency basis.  The one thing they have in Laval (for now, at least) is defensive depth with a deep rotation of scratches at the moment.

Last Game’s Lines:

Richard – Abbandonato – Teasdale
Heineman – Stephens – Dube
Mysak – Condotta – Simoneau
McKay – Yaremko – Bourque

Trudeau – Beaudin
Norlinder – Schueneman
Galipeau – Dello

The Week Ahead

Friday – vs Cleveland – This is the must-win for Laval.  The Monsters are three points behind the Rocket with two games in hand but it’s this game that gives Laval control of their playoff chances.  It will be a battle of two teams missing a lot of players due to injuries as if you thought the Habs were missing a lot of players, Columbus is getting there pretty quickly.  The Rocket have taken four of seven games so far in the season series while Trey-Fix Wolansky is averaging nearly two points per game against Laval so far.

Saturday – at Syracuse – It’s the final road game of the regular season for the Rocket and it’s against an opponent they technically could still catch if a lot went their way (they’re seven points back).  The Crunch are in a three-way battle for season in the division with the teams all just one point apart.  The loser of that group will have to play the play-in round so there’s a lot at stake for Syracuse as well.

Final Thought

Who has been the top scorer for Laval over the last six weeks?  It’s not Anthony Richard, he was up with the Habs for part of that.  It’s not Joel Teasdale whose production has slipped lately.  And no, it’s not Emil Heineman even with his goal-per-game pace.

It’s Pierrick Dube.  If you’re not familiar with him, he went to Montreal’s rookie camp on a tryout and eventually landed a tryout deal with Laval, one that was later converted into a full contract.  Boy, was that ever a good decision.  Since the start of February (spanning 22 games), he has 11 goals and 12 assists.  That’s pretty good production for a rookie who started the year on a tryout.

Watching him play, he reminds me of so many smaller players (he’s listed at 5’8) that just outwork their opponent and find a way to have success.  That’s the type of player the Habs should be trying to keep down there for a little while.  At a minimum, he has earned an extension for next season on an AHL deal but if Dube keeps this up for a couple more weeks, there might be a chance he gets on the NHL radar for an entry-level agreement.  If he has enough of a market to get one, here’s hoping it comes from Montreal and that he’ll stick around for 2023-24 at a minimum.