After 11 months off, Rocket return to the ice with a victory


Joseph Blandisi paces Laval with a pair of second-period objectives, whereas Cayden Primeau stands tall in web throughout a 5-1 win over the Senators.

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The brand new season for the Laval Rocket started very like the earlier one ended — with a victory over the Belleville Senators.

In fact, there was 11 months between the 2 video games, due to COVID-19.

The Rocket launched its season Friday night time on the Bell Centre — one week after the remainder of the American Hockey League started — with a convincing 5-1 victory over the Senators.

Joseph Blandisi, drafted 162nd general by Colorado in 2012, paced the Rocket with a pair of second-period objectives — the second on the ability play. Defenceman Xavier Ouellet, Laval’s captain, opened the scoring within the first interval, whereas Lukas Vejdemo put the sport away with a tally within the opening seconds of the third interval. Joël Teasdale accomplished the barrage.

Logan Shaw scored Belleville’s solely aim towards Laval goalie Cayden Primeau.

The sport was a welcome aid for Rocket gamers, who endured a three-week coaching camp with out the advantage of exhibition video games. That meant head coach Joël Bouchard couldn’t have identified what to anticipate from this group.

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It was the primary recreation for Laval since final March 11, when it defeated the Senators Three-Zero at Place Bell for its fourth consecutive victory. However by the top of that week professional sports activities had been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic and the rest of the AHL season finally was cancelled.

The Rocket dominated the primary interval Friday night time, at one level outshooting the guests 11-Four.

Ouellet opened the scoring practically eight minutes into the sport. His shot from the purpose bounced in entrance, deflecting off at the very least one, if not two, Senators gamers previous goaltender Joey Daccord, who had a stable season in 2019-20, going 15-6-Three.

Primeau made some good saves within the interval as properly, blocking Alex Formenton within the third minute. Halfway by way of the interval, he stopped Cole Reinhardt.

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Within the opening minute of the second interval, Shaw stole the puck from Ouellet. He skated in alone, went onerous to the online and beat Primeau between his legs.

Blandisi restored Laval’s lead at 7:14, snapping a shot from 15 toes low to the glove facet.

Belleville couldn’t capitalize on a two-man, 1:43 benefit within the interval, the guests by no means once more threatening. The Rocket, nonetheless, pounced when it loved the same two-man benefit for 91 seconds, though Belleville killed off the primary penalty.

Blandisi made it Three-1 with a power-play aim at 9:32, changing a rebound off Cale Fleury’s level shot.

Any ideas of a Senators comeback had been quashed early within the third. Whereas falling to the ice, Vejdemo pounced on a rebound after Daccord had made a pad save.

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Teasdale, taking part in his first recreation in 20 months — attributable to a critical knee damage — since hoisting the Memorial Cup in Might 2019, scored from the excessive slot at 11:41.

With 34 gamers at his disposal, Bouchard will probably be busy juggling his roster this season in an try to present a lot of the gamers worthwhile ice time. On the opening night time of the season, he was with out the injured Alex Belzile and Kaiden Guhle.

These identical groups meet once more Saturday at 1 p.m., the second of 4 video games between them to open the season.

hzurkowsky@postmedia.com

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