THE ROCKET THIS WEEK…

by Laval Rocket
2 April 2019

The Rocket are set to drop the puck on the final three home games of the regular season this week, starting with a Wednesday night tilt versus the Cleveland Monsters on April 3 (7:30 p.m./91.9 Sports). Laval then plays back-to-back games over the weekend, starting with a second battle against the Monsters on Friday, April 5 (7:30 p.m./RDS, 91.9 Sports/TSN 690), followed by a Saturday afternoon matchup against the Hershey Bears on April 6 (3 p.m./91.9 Sports).

The final home games of the 2018-19 season also represent the last chance for Laval Rocket fans to take advantage of the team’s promotional nights. Friday night’s game versus Cleveland is Sunglasses Giveaway night, meaning the first 3,000 fans to arrive will get free Rocket sunglasses when they enter the arena. Meanwhile, fans attending Saturday’s Fan Appreciation Night against Hershey will be in store for all sorts of surprises. For the last home game of the season, the Rocket are pleased to host a night all about the fans. There will be multiple activities and prizes to win throughout the night as the team thanks its fans for all their support throughout the year.

Laval (28-30-6-6) returns to the friendly confines of Place Bell following two losses on the road against the Rochester Americans and Toronto Marlies. The Rocket will look to treat the home crowd to a strong finish as they face off against the Monsters, a familiar foe and division rival, and the Bears, a strong Atlantic Division opponent looking to secure a playoff spot.

Cleveland (34-26-7-2) sits fifth in the North Division standings and is in a tight battle for the division’s fourth and final playoff spot. The Monsters enter this week sporting a 7-1-1-1 record in their last ten games. The Rocket, however, currently have the upper hand in the season series, with a record of 3-2-0-1 in the six games between the two sides thus far this year.

 

Hershey (37-24-3-4) is also in the midst of a playoff race, but have had issues finding consistency away from home, with a 14-14-2-3 road record heading into the week. The Bears took the first meeting between the two sides 4-2, a game in which goaltender Michael McNiven stopped 27 of 30 shots that came his way.

 

Some new – albeit familiar – names will appear in Joël Bouchard’s lineups this week. Last week, Montreal Canadiens prospect Josh Brook joined the Rocket and played his first professional game in the loss to Toronto on Saturday, March 30. Earlier this week, the big club also signed highly-touted goaltending prospect Cayden Primeau to a three-year entry level contract following the completion of his season with the Northeastern University Huskies (NCAA-HockeyEast). Primeau will join the Rocket on a professional tryout contract for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.

 

 

By the numbers…

 

Rocket Leaders

 

Goals Alex Belzile (17)
Assists Alex Belzile (35)
Points Alex Belzile (52)
Shots Alex Belzile (164)
GAA Connor LaCouvee (2.26)
SVS% Connor LaCouvee (.918)

 

LAVAL

 

CLEVELAND HERSHEY
1. The aforementioned Josh Brook skated in his first professional hockey game against Toronto on Saturday, finishing the game with one shot on goal…

 

1. Cleveland has leaned on its penalty killing unit throughout the year, ranked seventh overall in the AHL heading into the week…

 

1. The Bears boast two of the league’s top point-producers on their roster – Riley Barber ranks ninth in the AHL with 60 points, while Mike Sgarbossa sits one point behind him, good for 16th in the league…

 

2. The Rocket added two players on an tryout basis over the weekend: – Samuel Houde (Chicoutimi – QMJHL) and Matthew Struthers (North Bay – OHL) were signed to contracts with the team…

 

2. The Monsters have shown they are capable of generating opportunities to score, as evidenced by their 33.46 shots for per game which is tops in the AHL…

 

2.  The Bears also generate plenty of offence from the blueline – Aaron Ness ranks third among AHL blueliners with 47 points…

 

3. Following the team’s three-game home stand, the Rocket will hit the road for the final week of the regular season, as they take on Bridgeport, Syracuse and Binghamton… 3. Cleveland will look to extend the team’s seven-game points streak, dating back to March 15… 3. If Saturday’s game ends in a shootout, don’t be surprised: – Hershey has played in 12 games decided by a shootout, the most in the AHL…