In their first duel in nearly a year, the Laval Rocket won its opening match of the 2020-2021 season, beating Belleville Senators 5-1 at Bell Center on Friday night.
Exactly 338 days have passed since the Montreal Canadiens FC players had not put on their uniforms in case of a match, and were hungry during that meeting.
Veteran Joseph Blandesi, who was acquired by the rocket late last season, showed his presence on more than one occasion, threading the needle twice in this match. The midfielder is joined in the third streak by wingers Joël Teasdale and Jesse Ylonen, two of the newcomers.
It was a special match for Teasdale. Quebec made its first skates in the US Hockey League after having to draw a streak last year due to a major injury. He scored the last missile goal, in addition to collecting an assist.
It was none other than Xavier Ouellet, who scored the first goal of the Laval season. The defender saw his shot deflect several times before defeating Joey Dacour early in the match.
Senate goalkeeper has been tested 36 times by the missile. Lucas Vidimo was fourth to defeat him when he jumped from a return throw near the opponent’s net early in the third game.
Caiden Primo amassed Laval’s victory thanks to his 22 assists.
Coach Joel Bouchard could not count on young defender Cayden Gohle and striker Alex Bilzel, who both suffered minor injuries. Jan Misak was not in uniform either, and was excluded.
The two teams will meet again at the Montreal ice rink on Saturday afternoon.