Montreal Canadiens: Laval Rocket Win Fourth Straight Game

MONTREAL, QC - FEBRUARY 22: Ryan Poehling (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - FEBRUARY 22: Ryan Poehling (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens prospects playing for the Laval Rocket have been on fire this season, especially over their past four games.

The Habs top affiliate defeated the Stockton Heat last night to win their fourth consecutive game. They have improved their record to 10-4-1 on the season and are leading the Canadian Division at the moment.

The Stockton Heat have moved to Calgary and are playing out of the Saddledome so they are part of the Canadian Divison with Laval, the Toronto Marlies, Belleville Senators and Manitoba Moose.

The Rocket have struggled the past few seasons, failing to make the playoffs since moving next door to the Canadiens in 2017. It would be great for the team’s prospects to develop in a playoff environment at the AHL level but we haven’t seen it happen in a number of years with the Habs top affiliate.

The Rocket have been great this season, and looked solid again last night.

Raphael Harvey-Pinard opened the scoring with an incredible individual effort in the first period. He is earning a reputation as the AHL’s Brendan Gallagher and he looked the part while earning his fourth goal of the season.

Harvey-Pinard threw a hit on the forecheck, forced a turnover, stickhandled around a pair of Heat defenders and roofed a backhand shot over Louis Domingue. The 21 year old Rocket left winger has earned a top line role with the team in his first AHL season thanks to his incredible work ethic and ability to win puck battles. He now has seven points in 15 games.

Not wanting to be overshadowed by a fellow rookie, Joel Teasdale would score the Rocket’s second goal of the game. It was in much the same fashion as Harvey Pinard’s as Teasdale created pressure on the forecheck, hustled to steal a puck from a Heat defender and fired in a quick backhand shot from the slot to make it 2-1 in the second period.

A big save by Michael McNiven would set up the Rocket’s third goal of the night. After he kicked out a one timer from the Heat, Teasdale carried the puck up ice on a 3 on 1. He threw it to Guillaume Brisebois at the front of the net who slid it across to Joe Blandisi. The veteran Rocket winger knocked in the loose puck to make it 3-1 after two periods.

Jesse Ylonen would add to that lead early in the third period. The 21 year old right winger launched a one-timer from the point on the power that beat the Heat netminder. The goal was set up by Otto Leskinen and Jordan Weal who drew the assists. It was Ylonen’s fourth goal of the season and he now has ten points in 15 games.

The Rocket would hang on to the lead, though the Heat scored a pair of late goals with their goaltender pulled. The final score was 4-3 and McNiven stopped 22 of 25 shots he faced.

Next. Weber contract won't be a problem for Habs. dark

Last night’s game was like much of the season for the Rocket in that young players are leading the way. Harvey-Pinard, Teasdale and Ylonen are all rookies in the AHL and they all scored last night to lead the way to victory.