Qualicum Beach goaltender Connor LaCouvee truly had a very Merry Christmas.
The 24-year-old former B.C. Hockey League netminder made an impressive debut with the American Hockey League’s Laval Rocket, helping take down league leaders Charlotte Checkers 4-2 on Friday night.
The 24-year-old LaCouvee, who played in the BCHL for the Cowichan Valley Capitals and Alberni Valley Bulldogs, was loaned by his ECHL team, the Maine Mariners, to the Rocket just after Christmas when the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens recalled Laval goalie Michael McNiven to replace injured star Carey Price.
LaCouvee drove to Laval and on Dec. 27 was told he was starting for the Rocket against the Checkers and he did not disappoint. In his inaugural game with the Rocket, he made 22 saves in the 4-2 win, his first in the AHL. He also earned the second-star honours.
One of the highlights of LaCouvee’s performance in his Rocket debut was a remarkable save just before the second intermission.
This is LaCouvee’s second stint in the AHL this season. In November, he was loaned to the Vancouver Canucks affiliate team, the Utica Comets, Oct. 29, where he played three games, making one start. LaCouvee posted a 2.87 goals-against average and nm .877 save percentage.
In the ECHL, LaCouvee was responsible for the first two wins in Mariners franchise history, as he defeated the Newfoundland Growlers Oct. 21 and the Manchester Monarchs on Oct. 24.
Following his stint with the Comets, LaCouvee returned to the Mariners on Nov. 21 and picked up two wins at Manchester (Dec. 1 and Dec 22) with a pair of losses at Newfoundland and Adirondack in between.
The Mariners signed LaCouvee out of Minnesota State-Mankato, where he finished his NCAA career with a 1.80 GAA and a .914 SV%. He also spent three seasons with Boston University.
The Mariners signed former Boston Bruin Hannu Toivonen to take LaCouvee’s spot on the active roster.
NEWS Staff/Mariners report