And so, the Canadian school club wins, advances and, against all odds, is now only one win from the American League Calder Cup final with a 3-3 draw.
On Monday night in Massachusetts, Jean-François Houle’s side recorded a seemingly convincing 5-1 win, but in reality there was only a fully satisfying third bout for Laval residents in this game. And victory, of course.
There was a war of attrition in this duel, the sixth in nine days since the start of the eastern final against the Springfield Thunderbirds. It’s a lot.
Fatigue seemed to catch up with Jean-François Houle’s men first and foremost at the start of the match. Slow, a little hesitant, the Rocket generated a small curtain lift. Primeau was solid about the Thunderbirds’ few possibilities.
The Rocket had opted for an 11 forwards and 7 defenders formula, a strategy that proved worrying when Jesse Ylönen jumped into action after 20 minutes. With only a dozen attackers, one might fear the breaking point.
This was Primeau’s moment. With Olympic calm, the goalkeeper repulsed all attacks, some of them frankly dangerous. We think, among other things, of this opportunity for Hugh McGing directly into the slot after a bad turnaround by Corey Schueneman and even more of this escape of Will Bitten who had huddled behind Xavier Ouellet and Louie Belpedio to receive a lob from a great address.
The Habs’ choice of the seventh round 2017 closed the door. Seconds later, Danick Martel took advantage of defender Tommy Cross’s generosity to open the scoring.
The counterweight was immediate.
He changed the momentum of the game completelyestimated Gabriel Bourque.
We never worried afterwardsPrimeau added.
The goalkeeper’s calm is no longer to be demonstrated. There is the same impression of unwavering confidence that emerges from him when he is in full control. Not without mentioning, moreover, another goalkeeper of the CH, much more famous, but whose name we will mention here for fear that they will be confronted directly. Obviously this is not the case.
In front of his net, Primeau looked like a stone on Monday and, strangely, the manager was impressed by the confidence of his group. With his calm.
I liked the way we were calm behind the bench. The boys believed it. I am very happy with the game tonightleft Houle.
I said it after the second [période]we don’t have to panic, but stay in our gamelaunched Danick Martel, who scored two goals.
” We will repeat and repeat: [Primeau] always keeps us in the game. He is a guy who is really focused on winning. He wants to win. He gives us a chance in every game. You can’t ask for better. He shows how extremely good he is. He raised his level of play in the playoffs. “
There is nothing to say. His stay in Montreal this winter might have been enough to demolish it. A single win in 12 appearances and retired from the game 3 times, he presented appalling stats and looked a long way off the promising goalkeeper once glimpsed.
It is not only his teammates who have to sigh with relief from his stunts, but also the top management.
He himself is not one to brag about.
I feel good, I see records well. This is all I can ask forlaconically explained after the meeting of his good behavior.
Because hockey is basically a team game. And we insist a lot on this concept within the walls of the fascinating MassMutual Center.
However, Primeau still made 30 saves in the game. It was only the second time in 13 games that the team has conceded fewer than 32 shots.
Here’s the big statistical anomaly in this series that, let’s be honest, has probably kept the Rocket alive so far.
The Thunderbirds were knocked out 29 times during the power play. They failed four more times on Monday. However, they recorded a 38% efficiency rate with the advantage of one man before crossing the Lavallois.
Veteran Gabriel Bourque was at the heart of the penalty unit’s successes. Quebecer blocked many shots and put an end to many rival attacks thanks to their defensive flair and combativeness.
Let’s keep it simple, explained Martel. We keep them close in our area. Bourque and [Alex] Belzile crashes many discs.
Fatigue could become a problem, especially with forwards being abused due to Ylönen’s injury. Will there be enough energy on Wednesday night?
Let’s hope we still have some juice. I enjoyed playing with seven defenders. It gives our best players the opportunity to have more ice and everyone is on board. Except that there are many matches in a few days. We have to manage our energyHoule argued.
There will be no training on Tuesday, but players will head to the arena to stretch their legs as a family and participate in some team matches. Where the atmosphere is frank camaraderie, one would swear.
We are traveling, there is no pressure. The boys had to fun on ice. It will be the same for the next game. We are happy to be here, we will work, introduce ourselves and enjoy playing hockeyadded the coach.
Fun in the semifinals of the American League in Game 7. The school club has not played a definitive duel for 11 years, in the same phase of the competition, moreover.
A valuable experience for all who participate. And this in itself is already a victory.