Rocket Rookies ready for their playoff baptism

Rocket: Rookies ready for their playoff baptism

Excitement was in the air during Tuesday’s Laval Rocket practice session at the Place Bell. The Canadian school club’s rookies were desperate to play their first game in the pro playoffs.

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This is particularly true of William Trudeau, Xavier Simoneau and Emil Heineman. The excitement is palpable in all three players ahead of Wednesday night’s Game 1 against the Utica Comets at the Rockets’ home.

Throughout his junior career, Simoneau always showed that he was like a fish to water at that time of year. He has the necessary qualities to be successful there.

“I’m expecting a physical and intense game,” emphasized Xavier Simoneau. As I have always done, I will try to disrupt the opponent.

The attacker is already considered a minor nuisance in the American League. He likes to talk to opponents in stoppage time, but has always faced the music.

We’re not sure but we can assume that the Comets took note of his number during the last match between the two sides. Simoneau had solidly attacked young hopeful Simon Nemec and a skirmish had broken out with the players on the ice.

“I know I will be a target but I have to be disciplined and stay away from the box. I want to disrupt in the right way, said Simoneau. It’s part of my game.”


At the side of William Trudeau, he is happy about his playoff baptism with the professionals.

“I’m really looking forward to playing the playoffs in Laval,” he said. Last year I followed the rocket’s journey by watching a few games. The mood looked sick. We expect the same this year.”

Last season, Trudeau and Simoneau helped the Charlottetown Islanders reach the finals of last year’s QMJHL President’s Cup. An experience not to be missed.

“To go far in the playoffs you have to be the team that’s willing to make the most sacrifices to win,” Trudeau added. You have to do everything for the one sitting next to you in the room. You have to play smart.

“It’s about playing simple hockey and working hard.”

To be open for something

As for Emil Heineman, it will also be a North American premiere.

“It will be interesting as a learning for this year and for the future,” emphasized the Swede. I will try to help the team as much as possible. It will be interesting to play in front of a full court bell.

“I will go on the ice with an open mind. I expect pretty much everything.”

According to Jean-François Houle, he has the style of play to be successful in the playoffs.

“He’s capable of being physical. He protects the puck well. For me, we’ve been playing playoff hockey for a few weeks. What we’ve seen from our players during this time will look like what we’ll see against Utica.