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Laval continued its strong start to January last week, picking up five of six points to move up two positions in the standings and putting them in a decent spot as they approach the midway mark of the season.

The Week That Was

January 10: Utica 6, Laval 5 (OT) – In the third straight meeting between the two teams, the two sides once again played each other tight.  Laval tied the game twice in the third period, the second of which came with just 1:40 left when Lias Andersson scored, sending it to overtime for the third straight time.  But this one didn’t make it to the shootout unlike the first two with Joseph Gambardella scoring with only 21 seconds left in the extra session to give the Comets the win.

January 12: Laval 5, Manitoba 2 – Laval jumped out to a quick start in this one with three goals in the first period before penalty trouble allowed the Moose to cut that lead to one late in the second.  But Andersson scored just 20 seconds after Manitoba’s second goal and Jakub Dobes was sharp the rest of the way, bouncing back nicely from a tough outing the game before.

January 13: Laval 4, Manitoba 1 – This game followed a similar script with the Rocket getting a multi-goal lead in the opening 20 minutes to take control quickly.  Andersson continued his strong week with a pair of goals in the first two periods, giving Kasimir Kaskisuo enough of a cushion to work with before Laval went into prevent defence in the third, allowing the Moose to get several opportunities down the stretch.



# Player GP G A +/- SOG PIMS
4 Tobie Bisson 3 1 0 +1 2 7
10 Joshua Roy 2 2 1 +3 8 4
12 Filip Cederqvist 1 0 0 E 0 0
13 Nicolas Beaudin 1 0 0 E 0 0
14 Jan Mysak 3 1 0 +1 3 0
19 Emil Heineman 2 2 1 +1 9 0
20 Gabriel Bourque 2 0 0 +1 1 0
21 Riley Kidney 3 0 1 +1 7 0
23 Nolan Yaremko 1 0 0 -1 0 5
24 Logan Mailloux 3 2 0 +1 8 4
28 Lias Andersson 3 4 2 +3 12 0
29 Mattias Norlinder 3 0 1 +3 3 8
37 Brandon Gignac 3 0 2 +1 8 2
42 Lucas Condotta 3 0 0 E 5 2
44 Olivier Galipeau 2 0 0 +4 3 0
49 Jared Davidson 3 0 3 +2 2 0
61 Philippe Maillet 3 2 3 +6 8 2
68 Riley McKay 3 0 0 E 1 7
72 Arber Xhekaj 3 0 1 E 8 2
81 Xavier Simoneau 3 0 5 +4 4 14
84 William Trudeau 3 0 2 +3 7 4
86 Jakov Novak 1 0 0 -1 1 0


# Player Record GAA SV% SO
71 Jakub Dobes 1-0-1 3.88 .884 0
73 Kasimir Kaskisuo 1-0-0 1.00 .966 0

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joshua Roy (12)
Assists: Brandon Gignac (21)
Points: Brandon Gignac (32)
+/-: Mitchell Stephens (+7)
PIMS: Riley McKay (87)
Shots: Joshua Roy (107)

News and Notes

– Logan Mailloux was named as Laval’s All-Star representative.  While some could argue for Joshua Roy or Brandon Gignac, the AHL is at least attempting to pay some attention to positions (unlike the NHL one) and with Laval being near the bottom of the standings and the teams being divisional, it was unlikely they’d get more than one rep.

– The injury news isn’t great for several regulars.  Sean Farrell’s upper-body injury will keep him out for six to eight weeks, Nathan Legare’s lower-body issue carries a similar timeline, while Brady Keeper (lower body) will be out for three months.

– Alex-Oliver Voyer, Jakov Novak, and Nolan Yaremko were all assigned to ECHL Trois-Rivieres; Yaremko has since been recalled.

– As part of the Filip Cederqvist trade (more on that later), the future considerations going the other way was actually an AHL swap with Laval sending defenseman Noah Laaouan to Rochester for blueliner Chris Jandric.  Jandric has a few games of AHL experience under his belt but has been sent down to the Lions.

Last Game’s Lines:

Simoneau – Maillet – Andersson
Kidney – Gignac – Heineman
Cederqvist – Condotta – Bourque
Davidson – Mysak – McKay

Xhekaj – Mailloux
Trudeau – Paquette-Bisson
Norlinder – Galipeau

The Week Ahead

Friday/Saturday – Home-and-home with Belleville – This will be a good test for Laval as the Senators generally play them tough and have taken three of four matchups so far.  Notably, the Rocket are four points behind Belleville in the standings for third place, the last spot to get a bye for the play-in round so it will be crucial for them to get some points out of these games.  Sens tough guy Bokondji Imama (who was once an attendee at Montreal’s rookie camp back in the day and has 28 penalty minutes in three games against Laval this year) will miss the first game of this stretch due to a suspension while starting goalie Mads Sogaard is currently up with Ottawa thanks to Anton Forsberg’s injury.

Final Thought

With the injuries and recalls up front, Kent Hughes felt it was necessary to make a move to add a piece for Laval with the acquisition of Filip Cederqvist from Buffalo.  On the surface, I can’t complain too much as I can appreciate them making a move to try to help the Rocket stay in the race.  I’m not 100% sure this was necessarily the right move though.

Personally, my preference would have been trying to get a player on loan, either from a team with a surplus of players (including Rochester) or from Carolina, a team that doesn’t have its own AHL affiliate.  Might they have been interested in pulling a prospect up from the ECHL to get him in Laval?  I can’t say for certain those avenues weren’t investigated but one of those would have kept one extra contract slot open at least which could come in handy at the trade deadline or when college signings open up.

As for Cederqvist himself, this is a pure rental situation as reports have him going back to the SHL next season.  Frankly, that’s probably a bonus for Montreal as they’ll want that contract slot for one of the many prospects they’ll need to sign by then.  He’s a physical player, adding an element Laval doesn’t have a lot of in its lineup but offensively, he’s struggling with just one goal through 20 games so far.  He had nine in 55 games in his rookie campaign after putting up 14 in 49 SHL contests the year before so there’s a bit of upside for improvement.  Either way, it’s fair to say that Cederqvist’s time with the Rocket will be limited.