The context was perfect. The Laval Rocket played in front of their fans, all dressed in white, for the first game of their series against the Utica Comets. However, the locals have sought too much perfection, precisely. They lost 4-0 on Wednesday night.
Things had started well for the troupe of Jean-François Houle. Carried by more than 10,000 fans, the Rocket started their game with intensity. The sound of the bay windows was part of the ambiance.
The talent, depth and efficiency of the Comets, however, caught up with the Laval residents. On paper, the two formations were almost equivalent. The Comets had won just two more games in the season.
In fact, the New Jersey Devils farm has several up-and-coming players on its roster, including three first-round picks.
The Rocket orchestrated several fine offensive breakthroughs, but goaltender Nico Daws stepped up at the right times.
Victim of its lack of opportunism, the Rocket tried to do too much and the Comets had no difficulty limiting it.
After a goal in the first period, two in the second and another late in the game in an empty net, the visitors protected their lead brilliantly, en route to a first victory in this series of two of three.