Rocket: Mattias Norlinder is the target of a punch to the head from Ben Holmstrom

LAVAL – The evening was going too well for the Laval Rocket, who were heading towards a 6-1 win over Rochester Americans to kick off the series. At that time, Mattias Norlinder was the victim of a vicious elbow to the head.

With less than 10 seconds remaining in the match, Ben Holmstrom, who had been looking for trouble for several minutes, hit Norlinder squarely in his blind spot.

After a few moments, the Swedish defender was able to retreat to the bench, where he watched the rest of the duel.

“He will meet with the doctors and we will find out more tomorrow (Monday),” head coach Jean-François Houle said after the game.

For his part, Holmstrom was penalized for a blow to the head and ruled a game misconduct. It should be noted that he had hit a countercheck to Corey Schueneman’s back just minutes earlier.

Holmstrom and Nick Boka wanted to throw the gloves at every opponent, but the Rocket players refused to fall into that trap.

“When they saw the game was a little out of reach, they wanted to straighten their shoulders. That happens in the playoffs. You won’t let it either. We expect them to come into force tomorrow (Monday),” responded Rafaël Harvey-Pinard.

Earn while developing Primeau, Norlinder, Kidney et cie

Leading an American League team to the playoffs also requires thinking about the evolution of the organization’s prospects. First we think of goalkeeper Cayden Primeau taking the opportunity to maximize that experience.

Primeau looks in front of his net with great control while chasing the puck beautifully. His movements are lively and efficient, without forgetting that his current confidence seems to make him more difficult to outsmart.

The hope of the Habs is pleased with this resurgence after the more strenuous phases of his journey.

“You have to leave everything behind. Over the past few years, I’ve taken the time to focus on the present and not look too far ahead. It’s a lot of fun now, of course,” Primeau replied.

Still, he could forge the necessary stuff to then establish himself in the NHL.

“Like I said in the playoffs, goalies like big games, times when the pressure is really high. We have a very good group,” said Primeau cautiously.

As well as Primeau, Houle also has defender Mattias Norlinder to think about, returning after an average year in Sweden. We can also add the potential Riley Kidney, who joined the school club after his team, the Acadie-Bathurst Titans, retired in the QMJHL.

“You have to be balanced and realistic. Kidney is very good, but he is young, he is only 19 years old and short stature. Is he ready for the tough playoff game? I’m not sure. He has a lot of time ahead of him,” explained Houle.

“Mattias played a good game and used it a lot. I like his game, he’s improving and he has a bright future ahead of him,” said the coach.

what they said

“To me, hockey is defense. If we take Lightning, everyone talks about their offense, but it’s their defense that wins games. For us it is the same. It is important to play well defensively. Primeau made some key saves in the first half. Then we took over and played well defensively,” said Houle.

“The puck followed me everywhere! »

“It’s a very good team. In the first half we watched them a little too much instead of playing well. Our penalty kill frustrated them tremendously which helped change the game. The crowd was wonderful too, it’s fun to play here,” said the coach.

“Everyone saw it, we didn’t get the start we wanted. We started playing our style and harnessing the energy of the crowd, it was pretty incredible to play that match, it was loud. We liked the best fans in the league,” said Rafaël Harvey-Pinard.

“If we switch quickly, we’ll have them. We saw that in this game with a lot of two-on-ones and shots on target,” said Four Goals author Danick Martel.

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