Danick Martel scored a franchise-record four goals to lead the Laval Rocket past Rochester, 6-1, in the opener of the North Division Finals at a sold-out Place Bell on Sunday evening.
With a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series, Laval hosts Game 2 on Monday.
The Rocket spotted the Amerks a 1-0 lead before Martel scored once late in the first period and twice in the second to complete his fourth career AHL hat trick.
Martel then tacked on his fourth of the night at 6:49 of the third period, becoming the first AHL skater to score four goals in a Calder Cup Playoff game since Apr. 27, 2013, when Greg Scott did it for the Toronto Marlies in a 6-3 win, also against Rochester.
JJ Peterka scored for Rochester, his fifth goal of the playoffs.
Attendance was 10,043.
North Division Finals (best-of-5)
N3-Laval Rocket vs. N5-Rochester Americans
Game 1 – Sun., May 22 – LAVAL 6, Rochester 1
Game 2 – Mon., May 23 – Rochester at Laval, 7:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 25 – Laval at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 4 – Fri., May 27 – Laval at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sun., May 29 – Rochester at Laval, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern