Rocket News: AHL, Laval Rocket, Rochester Americans, Jean-Francois Houle, Emil Heineman, Riley Kidney, Calder Cup Playoffs, Rocket Sports Media
ROCKET SPORTS MEDIA | LAVAL, QC. — The Laval Rocket will begin their best-of-five North Division Final series against the Rochester Americans on Sunday at 7:00 pm in front of a sold-out crowd at Place Bell.
Laval made it to the third round of the Calder Cup Playoffs with a five-game series win against the Syracuse Crunch, while Rochester eliminated the Utica Comets.
Martel in Lineup
Jean-Francois Houle confirmed to media on Sunday morning that he expects to return to a formation of 11 forwards and seven defencemen. Nate Schnarr should return to the lineup after missing the last game with an injury, but no official announcement was made by the coach following the morning skate.
Danick Martel will also be part of the lineup, after being hit into the boards in the deciding game against Syracuse, and missing significant time in the remainder of that game.
#Rocket Danick Martel headed straight to the dressing room after this (late) hit.
— Chris G (@ChrisHabs360) May 17, 2022
“I’m in top-shape,” Martel said following game-day skate. “I just went to support the team at the start of the second period, to be a good leader and encourage the guys. More the game advances, more you want to play, and make the difference. At one point, we knew that my injury couldn’t aggravate, so I just work hard and did the best I can.”
These teams split the eight games of their regular-season series. In round two of the playoffs, Rochester eliminated the division-leading Utica Comets.
“We might have to adjust a few things against this team. They’re a lot different than Syracuse. They’re a team that likes to score in the entries, a team that likes to have space and make plays. If we’re undisciplined, that will be recipe for disaster,” Houle said about the opponents.
“Rochester is a little bigger. They’re also really good offensively. The games against them this year were high scoring, but we’re now in the playoffs, and we have to be able to play well defensively. We can’t open the game too much because they have a lot of good scorers that can hurt us. At the same time, we’re a team that can score and play sharp defensively, and that has to start from game one,” added Martel.
Ylonen Looking to Contribute Offensively
Jesse Ylonen finished the series against the Crunch with one goal and one assist. Both points were recorded in the second game of the series.
“I want to produce more offensively. The goal that matters right now is the team winning, but of course I want to help the team winning by scoring goals, and getting assists,” Ylonen said.
— Chris G (@ChrisHabs360) May 7, 2022
Ylonen’s goal against the Crunch was scored with a one-timer from the faceoff circle. Syracuse adjusted their penalty kill and shut down Ylonen for the remainder of the series.
“I think he needs to look for more space, and get closer to the crease. Sometimes he stays too much on the outside, and he has to find a way to penetrate to the inside to be in the better areas to shoot,” Houle said.
“I need to be smarter, and look more before I get the puck to where the opponents are, and try to find the right lane for a shot,” said Ylonen.
Kidney Set to Join
On Sunday, the Rocket announced that they signed forward Riley Kidney to an amateur tryout contract. Kidney was drafted in the second round (63rd overall) by the Canadiens in the 2021 NHL entry draft.
The 19-year old collected 100 points in 66 games this season with the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan. In the playoffs, he totaled eight points in eight games, before the team’s elimination against the Charlottetown Islanders.
Heineman Returns to Sweden
The Rocket announced on Sunday that forward Emil Heineman will return to Sweden to continue his recovery period. Heineman was part of the trade that sent Tyler Toffoli to the Calgary Flames on February 14th.
The 20-year old was drafted in the second round (43rd overall) by the Florida Panthers in 2020. In 38 regular season games with Leksands IF in the SHL, Heineman amassed 20 points.