How Swede it is for Lukas Vejdemo.
The Swedish rookie scored twice in a 4-2 victory over the defending American Hockey League champions, the Toronto Marlies, on Tuesday night. It’s Laval’s fourth win in their last five games, and their first win over Toronto in 12 tries.
“It’s always nice to win, especially at home,” Vejdemo said. “It’s always nice to win against Toronto, also.”
Of course, a number of personnel, including Rocket head coach Joël Bouchard, were not on the Rocket team that lost 11 straight against the Marlies.
“They’ve been having a lot of success here and versus this organization in the minors,” Bouchard said. “We went and got a win that the guys deserve for a lot of hard work since the beginning of the year.”
Vejdemo also extended his points streak to four games in the victory, having amassed six points (three goals, three assists) in that span.
“He’s improving,” Bouchard said. “I’m hard on him. I’m demanding. I don’t give him an inch. He came from Europe and he’s not coming here for a visit or a cup of tea. I want him to be an NHL player for years.”
From the jump, the Rocket had the lead and never had to play from behind against the rivals down the 401. The Stockholm native needed only 59 seconds to open the scoring, after Hunter Shinkaruk sped behind the net before dumping the puck into the slot for Vejdemo and Alex Belzille to hack away.
The lead did not last long, however. Following a mistake by Maxim Lamarche, Chris Mueller took advantage and sped up the ice all alone. The upstate New York native then scored his fifth of the season on a breakaway.
The Rocket would regain the lead thanks to a power-play goal by their captain, Byron Froese. Alexandre Alain controlled the puck along the wall and found an open Froese, who powered his way to the net and scored.
Alexandre Alain places a perfect pass on the stick of Byron Froese, and the Rocket captain wraps the puck around Jeff Glass for a 2-1 Laval lead. pic.twitter.com/SWbiouYZOR— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) November 14, 2018
Former Utica Comets forward Michael Chaput added a third goal, and second power-play marker of the period almost exactly four minutes later. That goal chased Marlies goaltender Jeff Glass from his net. He was replaced by Eamon McAdam after allowing three goals on nine shots.
Michael Chaput makes it a 3-1 game for Laval on the power play.— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) November 14, 2018
Assists to Brett Kulak and Jake Evans pic.twitter.com/Gb50AQEewo
Toronto got one back before the end of the first 20 minutes, courtesy of Mueller once more.
Vejdemo scored his second of the game nearly four minutes into the second period. The Swede picked the pocket of Marlies winger Mason Marchment before scoring on a breakaway of his own.
Lukas Vejdemo steals the puck from Mason Marchment and snipes his second goal of the game pic.twitter.com/wUE3saLOB4— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) November 14, 2018
“I was pretty tired,” Vejdemo said. “We had a long shift. But I tried to go forward one more time and it went well. [Had a] breakaway, found a hole through the goalie. It was a nice goal.”
The Rocket had a brief injury scare in the second when Carl Grundstrom, who had already picked up a slashing penalty in the first, made a hit to Hunter Shinkaruk’s head. He left for the rest of the period, but did return in the third.
Twelve minutes after Vejdemo’s second of the night, Rocket defenseman Lamarche scored his first of the season, wiring one past McAdam. It’s a goal that Eamon would want back.
Maxim Lamarche gets his first of the year, he whips a shot in on Eamon McAdam and finds the back of the net. pic.twitter.com/wCBOoeQ0kL— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) November 14, 2018
Laval added one more goal in the third, coming from Daniel Audette.
The Rocket will host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday night before embarking on a four-game road trip beginning in Syracuse against the Crunch on Saturday.
- Lukas Vejdemo, 2G
- Chris Mueller, 2G
- Michael Chaput, 1G, 1A