(Laval) No one would have blamed the Laval Rocket if they had lacked energy in their third game in as many days, but there was likely still a lot of gas left in the tank.

Jakub Dobes showed confidence between the posts and special teams provided three goals for the Rocket, who defeated the Syracuse Crunch 4-1 on Saturday at Place Bell.

The Montreal Canadiens’ farm club ended 2023 by beating the Crunch for a second time in less than 24 hours and for a third time in 11 days. He lost against the Senators in Belleville on Thursday evening.

We expected an intense start to the match from the Crunch (16-11-4), but defender Tobie Bisson didn’t even give him time to try to intimidate the Rocket (11-14-5) . His impactful check against Mitchell Chaffee quickly woke up his teammates, who maintained this pace from start to finish.

And when Sean Farrell opened the scoring after 5:12 of play, during a power play, nothing seemed to be able to deviate the Laval team from their game plan.

“Our message to the players was to stay calm and play hockey. We just kept playing. It’s not easy to play three matches in three nights, but if you are able to take the lead, you don’t chase the match. Fortunately, that’s what we managed to do,” observed head coach Jean-François Houle.

Newcomer Kasimir Kaskisuo was sensational in the Rocket’s victory on Friday and Dobes matched him with 25 saves. He was deprived of his first career shutout in the American Hockey League when Shawn Element beat him with just 2:31 left on the clock.

Dobes, who has allowed two goals or fewer in four of his last six starts, made a point of mentioning that this stretch of three games in three days did not seem as difficult as expected.

“I didn’t feel like it was difficult mentally or physically for us. We were calm in the locker room and on the ice, the 22-year-old Czech said. We did a good job managing the games and I’m very happy that we got four points out of six. »

Arber Joshua Roy hit the target at the end of a five-man attack. Philippe Maillet and Xavier Simoneau both collected two assists for the Rocket.

Simoneau proved to be the best example to show that the Laval team had not been intimidated in any way by the Crunch. In the second period, the five-foot-six, 183-pound forward notably upset Daniel Walker, who is six-foot-five and weighs 238 pounds.

“That was twice he was going to see Josh for no reason so I did what I had to do. It’s part of my DNA and that’s when I play better. They are sectional rivals and it is often the same players who return. We face them several times during the year so it creates great rivalries,” said Simoneau.

Matt Tomkins had the trust of head coach Joël Bouchard, but he suffered the same fate as his teammate Hugo Alnefelt. Tomkins allowed four goals on 31 shots for the Crunch, who have lost five of their last six outings and suffered a 12th straight loss in Laval.

The Rocket will return to action next Friday, when they visit the Utica Comets for the first duel of a series of two in three days.

As is often the case during a second clash between two teams in less than 24 hours, physical play is in the spotlight and the fans were served.

Bisson started the hostilities by applying a late body check to Chaffee before engaging in the fight with Declan Carlile. The Rocket managed to pass the penalty to Bisson and set off.

During a power play, Logan Mailloux passed the puck to Emil Heineman, who took a good shot on reception. Tomkins did not control the return and Farrell, who had started the sequence, opened the scoring.

The Laval team found itself short of a man a few moments later, but it still managed to increase its lead. Brandon Gignac took advantage of a turnover to slip the puck to William Trudeau. His wrist shot hit Mysak before slipping into the net.

The Rocket started the second engagement with a power play and its very good circulation in enemy territory bore fruit. Maillet passed the puck to Simoneau near the net and he spotted Xhekaj alone at the point. The popular defender had time to step forward to place the disc in the top corner.

The referees were busy in the second period and the game was not often five on five. Jean-François Houle’s men certainly did not complain. In the last minute of play, while the penalty against Carlile was ending at the same time, Roy put the finishing touches on a set-up by Maillet and Simoneau to make the score 4-0.

The Rocket was able to resist the pressure of the Crunch in the final third, but while the visitors had withdrawn their goalkeeper due to a delayed penalty, Element scored the only goal for his team.