The 20-year-old Asselin, who won the Canadian Hockey League's biggest prize last season with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, had a goal and an assist as the Halifax Mooseheads beat the Prince Albert Raiders 4-1 on Friday in the 2019 Memorial Cup opener.
``We had a couple great meetings with the boys that had been there before too and we talked about the importance of the first game,'' said Asselin.
"It's huge. The first win, get the monkey off your back and I think that's what we did.''
Asselin, from L'Assomption, Que., tied for the tournament lead last year with five goals in four games and went on to be No. 1 in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 48 goals in the 2018-19 regular season, potting nine more in the playoffs.
He's made a major impact for Halifax this season after being acquired in a September trade even though his previous career high for goals was 17.
Alexis Gravel did his part for Halifax with 23 saves. Xavier Parent, Jake Ryczek and Antoine Morand also scored for the host Mooseheads while Maxim Trepanier chipped in with three assists.
Noah Gregor found the back of the net for the Western Hockey League champion Raiders. Ian Scott stopped 33-of-36 shots for a squad that faltered in the spotlight.
"I thought we were watching at the start,'' said Prince Albert coach Marc Habscheid. "Just real nervous I guess.
"We come from a small town, small building, the bright lights kind of hit us and that's on me. I have to prepare them better.''
A pro-Mooseheads crowd of 9,926 at Scotiabank Centre was chanting "We want the Cup'' before the puck even dropped, and Halifax gave them even more reason to cheer by going ahead 2-0 in the first period.
Round-robin play at the national major junior hockey championship continues Saturday with the Ontario Hockey League champion Guelph Storm against the QMJHL champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, who beat the Mooseheads for the President's Cup only on Saturday.
(Canadian Press/Kyle Cicerella)