Montreal Canadiens: Cayden Primeau Enters Series, Steals Game For Laval Rocket

LAVAL, QC - OCTOBER 27: Goaltender Cayden Primeau. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
LAVAL, QC - OCTOBER 27: Goaltender Cayden Primeau. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens offseason is well underway and the only news to keep an eye out for on that team is about the draft lottery that takes place on Tuesday night.

However, the Laval Rocket are in the midst of their first ever playoff series and it got exciting for the local fans on Saturday night. The Rocket finished third in the North Division and are taking on the Syracuse Crunch who were second in the division.

The Crunch hosted Game 1 on Friday night and won 5-3, scoring four times on 30 shots on Kevin Poulin who got the call in the opening game in goal for the Rocket. Alex Belzile scored twice for the Rocket while Sami Niku added three assists, but it wasn’t enough to take the first game of the series.

Last night, the Rocket switched to Cayden Primeau in goal, and also added Mattias Norlinder to the lineup as the team’s seventh defender. It certainly paid off with Primeau having an excellent game and carrying the team to a victory.

Primeau allowed an early first period goal, but by the end of the second frame he had stopped 23 of 24 shots to propel the Rocket to a 2-1 lead. Jesse Ylonen, on a power play blast, and Belzile had scored to take the lead after 40 minutes.

Ylonen’s goal was off a power play setup and though he was set up high in the offensive zone, his rocket of a shot beat Maxime Lagace in the Crunch goal. Belzile gave the team a lead in the second period when he picked off a dangerous pass by a Crunch player in his own zone and quickly cradled the puck before flipping it over Lagace with a backhand shot.

The Crunch were able to tie the game in the third period, but Primeau remained hot, and busy, in the final stanza. Syracuse fired 15 shots on goal in the third period, beating Primeau once, but Brandon Gignac knocked in a rebound the give the Rocket a late lead that stood up as the game winner.

It was Primeau who stood out as the game’s first star though. He stopped 37 of 39 shots, in a game that as heavily tilted towards the Rocket end for extended periods. Primeau, who sat as the backup in Game 1 showed he should be the guy that is in goal when this series shifts to Laval.

Game 3 won’t be played until Thursday, May 12th, with Game 4 of Saturday, May 14th. It is a Best-of-5 series, and if the fifth game becomes necessary it will be played back in Syracuse on Tuesday, May 17th.

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