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Rocket youth leave their mark on the playoffs

After his son’s season ended with a quarter-final loss in a national tournament in Nashville last week, he drove an hour and a half from his adopted Connecticut to see his team’s farm club in action. , the Laval Rocket.

The day before, it was the turn of Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes to spy on their subsidiary.

Laval mastered the game. After two periods, through a casual discussion, St-Louis praised the work of two young people, two rare birds who can aspire to carve out a position with their training.

Rafaël Harvey-Pinard and Jesse Ylönen had a strong match and St-Louis did not hesitate to draw a parallel with its past. He himself, he recalled, benefited from a long run in the American League playoffs in his first professional season in 1998. The Saint-Jean Flames lost in six games in the final of the American League (AHL) ahead of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

It helped me for training camp the next year and I made the clubhe dropped.

Warning: this is not a prediction, just an observation on the value of a long playoff stay in this second division.

The Rocket is mainly made up of veterans, but also relies on real hopes from the CH. Starting with Cayden Primeau, without forgetting Harvey-Pinard, the team’s leading scorer in the season, and on Ylönen who was still entitled to 14 games with the Habs in 2021-2022.

Heading into Game 2, which the Rocket won 4-2 to tie the series 1-1, head coach Jean-François Houle had challenged his offensive guns to thunder a little louder. The Basketball Hall of Fame and its creator, Canadian James Naismith, may well stand on the banks of the Connecticut River in the heart of Springfield, but it should be remembered that hockey was also invented by Canadians.

The Rocket will return to Laval with a 1-1 tie in the Eastern Final against the Springfield Thunderbirds.

Photo: Laval Rocket / Véronique Prince

In short, Ylönen, a Finn that one, inspired, amassed a goal and 2 assists in this match to bring his total to 6 points in 10 games, the same as Harvey-Pinard, but the little Quebecer had not yet touched the target since the start of the playoffs. The winger achieved this with a superb game that he himself started with a difficult pass reception at the opposing blue line.

The goal achieved, the young Saguenean pretended to get rid of a huge weight on his shoulders.

It did good. I shot him as high as possible so as not to see him again. I will be more confident with my stick in the next gameslaunched Harvey-Pinard.

He had also experienced a good lethargy at the start of the season. After 13 meetings, he had scored only once and had only 3 goals in 22 games. He ultimately finished the campaign with 56 points, including 21 goals, in 69 games.

An experience that helped him to better manage the blow this time.

During a season, you have ups and downs. I had some at the start of the season. I had kept my identity, that is to say, doing the little details, going to the net… It didn’t want to fit. It was a bit the same principle since the beginning of the series, but it is sure that this one will do good. »

A quote from Rafael Harvey-Pinard

Sunday night, his line completed by Ylönen and center Brandon Gignac scored three of the Rocket’s four goals and was threatening throughout.

This series has become particularly intense. The Thunderbirds hit hard and often. Tempers flared. Jostling, jeremiads, it sought noise several times after the whistles.

Springfield took on Cayden Primeau, still very solid with 33 saves. The Massachusetts team scored only four goals in seven periods, having never managed less than four in a game since the start of the playoffs. The Thunderbirds’ power play was operating at 38 percent efficiency before it crossed paths with the Rocket. He hasn’t hit the target on six occasions so far.

Frustration mounted, the game tightened and it played elbow. Harvey-Pinard did not hate this and went after Will Bitten, a little too insistent for his taste around the goalkeeper.

fun, ce sont des endroits où j’aime aller”,”text”:”C’est toujours le fun, ce sont des endroits où j’aime aller”}}”>It’s always the fun, these are places i like to goadmitted the young man. I don’t talk much on the ice. But when we go after our keeper, I go for it. I think there were four of us on it.

That Ylönen stands out when the fighting spirit reaches its climax can only be encouraging. A detail that obviously did not escape the vigilance of Saint-Louis.

Everything happens faster, matches are fasterreplied Ylönen when asked if he saw a difference with the season.

The best way to grow is to play tough matcheshe added.

No one will dare to contradict him.

A lot of

Gabriel Bourque left the game after a violent check in the middle of the ice from Dakota Joshua. Head down, the Quebecer was looking for the puck between his skates when the number 16 hit him violently. Dakota Joshua who, besides having the distinction of having a backwards name, is not the most tender of gentlemen at 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) and 93 kg (206 lb).

Cédric Paquette, for his part, withdrew after the warm-up session. Both skaters will be evaluated daily by the team, with Bourque injured in the upper body and Paquette in the lower.

The Rocket will take a day off Monday before resuming practice Tuesday at Place Bell.

The next three duels will take place north of Montreal where, as we know, Michel Rivard invented mountains and gold mines. Tobie Bisson was eager to find his supporters.

so-so. C’était pas quelque chose de gros. À Laval, c’est quelque chose d’autre. Juste d’aller en chercher une ici et savoir qu’on en a trois autres à Laval, on est très contents et on a très hâte au prochain match.”,”text”:”L’ambiance [à Springfield] était un peu so-so. C’était pas quelque chose de gros. À Laval, c’est quelque chose d’autre. Juste d’aller en chercher une ici et savoir qu’on en a trois autres à Laval, on est très contents et on a très hâte au prochain match.”}}”>The atmosphere [à Springfield] was a bit so-so. It wasn’t something big. In Laval, it’s something else. Just to get one here and to know that we have three others in Laval, we are very happy and we can’t wait for the next game.

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