THE ROCKET SHUTOUT LEHIGH VALLEY PHANTOMS 4-0
LAVAL (January 3, 2020) – The Rocket kicked off the new year in style with an impressive 4-0 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Friday night at Place Bell. Laval’s first line – composed of Charles Hudon, Jake Evans and Riley Barber – gave the Phantoms nightmares all night long, combining for five points in front of 8282 fans during the Rocket’s Old Time Hockey game presented by St-Albert Cheese Co-Op. Cayden Primeau made 20 saves in the winning effort for his second shutout of the season.
Perhaps nobody understands home-ice advantage quite like Charles Hudon does. With a goal and an assist in Friday’s contest, the Alma, Que., native now has 16 points (14G, 2A) in his last 17 games this season at Place Bell. Riley Barber made his presence felt in his return to the Rocket lineup, recording two assists on the night. Jake Evans’ hot play as of late continued early Friday night when he broke the ice just 4:25 into the game, inking his seventh point in his last three games.
The Rocket defense also displayed their offensive talents throughout the entirety of the game, again, demonstrating the dual threat that they pose. Xavier Ouellet scored for the third straight game, notching his seventh of the season, which puts him one shy of a tie for the league lead amongst defenseman in that category. Evan McEneny also found the back of the net on the Rocket’s third goal, while Gustav Olofsson showed off his skill on a nifty one-handed pass to set up Evans on the game’s opening marker.
After Evans made it 1-0, Hudon wired a bullet past fellow Quebec native, and Phantom netminder, Jean-Francois Berube, to double the Rocket lead before the buzzer rang to end the first. The powerplay marker was Hudon’s tenth of the season, good enough for a share of the AHL lead. In the second, Barber threaded a needle through a tight passing lane right onto the stick of McEneny who buried it into the open net for the 3-0 lead. In the third, Ouellet added an insurance marker with a point shot that beat Berube through traffic to seal the victory.
“It’s great to be back in front of the fans and back with some great friends […] It was good coming back, getting to play and getting the win – I think that’s the most important thing right now, we’re looking at playoffs and that’s the goal,” said Barber following his return to the Rocket lineup.
LAV: Evans (Olofsson, Hudon) | Hudon (Ouellet, Barber) | McEneny (Barber) | Ouellet (Veilleux, McCarron)
Unités spéciales/Special teams
LAV | AN/PP: (1/5) | IN/PK: (3/3)
LV | AN/PP: (0/3) | IN/PK: (4/5)
LAV: Primeau (20/20) | LV: Berube (30/34)
Trois étoiles/Three stars
1. Barber – LAV 2. Hudon – LAV 3. Primeau – LAV