(Laval) Laval’s Rocket finds himself slightly ahead of the unknown against the Springfield Thunderbirds, whom he has faced only twice this season. Never mind, coach Jean-Francois Houle is convinced his team has what it takes for this semi-final.
Updated yesterday at 2:29 PM.
“We only played twice against them, but we spied on them and I think we have a pretty good idea of what we’re going to see,” he said in a video conference on Tuesday. There is no doubt that it is a good team.
“They are really good offensively, so we have to limit their scoring chances,” the coach continued. I think they are a wiser and more experienced team than the Americans in Rochester. So I don’t think they will be disappointed if they don’t take advantage of the opportunities they have. »
As it has since the start of the current MLS series, Missile Defense will have to rise to the occasion.
“We’ll have to play hard against their talented players,” Holley noted. Transformations will be key for us in this series. »
The club’s defensive success rests in particular on the shoulders of Xavier Ouellet. The Rocket Commander seems to have upped his game since the start of the Spring Course.
“I felt his contribution had reached another level,” Hall confirmed. He really wants to win here, at Laval. The organization hasn’t had the opportunity to participate in the qualifiers much over the past few years, and I think it’s important for him to show what this group can accomplish. »
“Obviously I want to win more. I love this hockey, the pressure and the energy it brings, the main interested party admitted. Chances to win, you don’t have them every year. When they pass, you have to catch them.”
Ouellet’s contribution isn’t just felt on the ice.
“He has a lot of experience, Xavier. Toby Beckett-Besson noted he has done more than he (as captain), both on and off the ice. For young people, seeing him as strong and resolute as such, they have no choice but to do more.
“He comes every night. Guys like him who played in the NHL, sometimes they are unhappy to be in the AHL and can’t wait for it to be over. Not him. Despite the weekend, we can see that he can’t wait to play.”
Roy is coming
Rocket will have reinforcements in the semi-finals, when they can count on the services of striker Joshua Roy.
The Montreal Canadiens School Club announced Tuesday that the 18-year-old skater has signed up for a professional trial.
Fifth round (150e in total) of the Canadians in the 2021 draft have been on vacation since Monday, when the Sherbrooke Phoenix was eliminated in six games by the Charlottetown Islands in the Quebec Major Hockey League playoffs.
Last season, Roy scored 119 points, including 51 goals, in 66 matches, making him the first in QMJHL scoring and fourth in goalscoring.
In 161 matches on the Corto circuit, Roy scored 89 goals and added 109 assists for 198 points.
Separately, Rocket announced that Mattias Nörlinder will not be returning to play in the series against the Thunderbirds. The defenseman is still upset after being hit on the head by Ben Holmstrom in Game 1 of the previous series against the Rochester Americans.
“It is highly unlikely that he will play in the next series. At least he will be taken out of the equation for the next seven days, although he will be reassessed on a daily basis,” Holly said.
Rocket will visit the Thunderbirds starting Saturday. The second match will be played in 24 hours.
The series will then move to Laval for the next three games, June 8, 10 and 11. If necessary, Matches 6 and 7 will take place on June 13 and 15 in Springfield.
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