“It is really special what is happening with the rocket this year.”
Posted May 30th
Crowds at Bell Place. Atmosphere. And the success of the final, finally. There are many reasons to be happy for the Canadian club’s players, which will kick off Saturday’s MLS East Final against the Thunderbirds of Springfield, Massachusetts.
Starting with Alex Belzel.
“It’s so much fun,” he commented after training the rocket at Laval on Monday. It’s my fourth year here, but it’s the first time we’ve had the chance to do the playoffs. »
The quarterback, who calls himself “Very Quebec, from Bas-du-Fleuve,” also notes how fun it is to play in front of knowledgeable fans of his sport.
“They know hockey,” he said, smiling in front of the media. They celebrate at the right times. They know what’s going on. You know, sometimes we go somewhere else, and there are crowds where it’s a little different. We are really special. »
Place Bell, with its 10,062 seats, became the bowl of bubble hockey this spring. Three of the four play-off matches were sold at home. Indeed, all tickets to three consecutive meetings scheduled for Laval in this series of four by seven became like hot cakes. It went on sale Friday noon, with nothing left from 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
That excitement could be a definite advantage in the MLS, according to Belzel.
“For some clubs it’s great to play against big crowds. In the first game against Rochester at home, they were a little shocked by the loudness. It was great, all in white. […] This makes all the difference. »
Winger Danic Martel “feels emotions all over”.
“Even my neighbors came to see me yesterday,” he always says in his playful tone. Congratulations, follow us. These are not necessarily people who usually watch hockey, but there they support the city team, a team near their home. »
Be careful not to get carried away, however, technical director Jean-Francois Hall warns.
“It’s important to manage our emotions,” he says. Especially when the crowd gets on board. You don’t have to be undisciplined. We have to stay on the ground after a victory or a big goal. Regroup if you get a goal early. »
Rest before “good series”
Rocket skated hard Monday morning on the ice at Bliss Bell. Four days of rest required, after a three-game sweep against the Rochester Americans.
“I loved our practice,” Holly said. It wasn’t long, but the guys were sharp and sharp. »
If the vacation allows players to “recover a little, and step back”, according to the head coach, some are starting to find the long time.
In qualifying, four days is a long time to wait. It was nice to get back into the game, skate a bit, and start having fun again to focus on the next game coming up on Saturday.
And specifically, how do you prepare to face a team that finished third in the eastern standings, two places ahead of the Rocket?
“We’re just alike,” Holly says. They have talented players with experience. What is different about Rochester: They had a lot of talented players, but no experience. »
He cites the names of veterans such as James Neal, Sam Anas, and Tommy Cross.
“We have Jean-Sebastien Dia, Alex Belzel, Xavier Ole. It’s really similar. It’s going to be a good streak, with two good teams playing against each other. […] On the video, it’s a good offensive power. »
Martel spoke of “depth” and the value of the third and fourth goodies. “They are the ones who will win the matches,” he said. It can change the game. »
On the topic of experience, Bilzel talks more about managing “emotions”. Especially useful in the third period of overtime that was played in the third game against Rochester.
“This is what makes the biggest difference,” he explains. We were very calm. We kept our spirits high, we kept ourselves awake. »
The Thunderbirds swept their former opponents. Does the Rocket enter this series as an underdog?
“If you attack a chain thinking you are careless, you will never win, shoot Martel. In my head, there is no chance of us being neglected in this chain.”
the following matches:
missile against. Thunderbirds
Saturday (7:35 p.m.) in Springfield
Sunday (5:05 p.m.) in Springfield
#American #League #missile #ready #Eastern #Finals