Victory on contrasting background

Victory on contrasting background

The Phoenix has won its second preparatory game in as many outings since the start of camp 2020.

Share September 3, 2020 11:34 p.m. Share Victory on contrasting backgroundVictory on contrasting background

Jérôme Gaudreau La Tribune It was March 6, 2020. The Palais des sports was packed. No less than 4,005 spectators unknowingly attended the last part of the Phoenix season in Sherbrooke. The next day in Gatineau, the best team in Canada won their 13th straight game. We know the rest. The Phoenix played their first game on Thursday night since the abrupt stoppage caused by COVID-19. And this, without a spectator. A stark contrast to his last visit to the Palace.

Trainers with masks and goggles. No entertainment during stoppage time or half and half. No smell of poutine in the amphitheater. Much has changed at the Palais des sports since the suspension of the 2019-2020 season. But what has remained much the same is the success of the Phoenix on the ice.

Stéphane Julien's men have made a success of their return home by picking up where they left off. After winning in Drummondville on Tuesday, the Phœnix once again tasted victory in the second preparatory game against the Voltigeurs thanks to a win of 4 to 3 in the shootout.

“The game is a bit disjointed during training camps, but the most important thing is to come out with the victory,” said veteran Patrick Guay. It's different to play without fans at the Palace. We don't hear the crowd yelling at our goals. It is special. Last season, we also played in front of very good crowds. But at the end of the day, it's still hockey. You have to give your all to ensure the victory and to finish first in the standings, once again. “

The Phoenix comes back from behind

Unlike Tuesday, the two teams sent many veterans to the ice for this second game in three days.

As he did so often during the 2019-2020 season, the Phoenix quickly took the lead, thanks to rookie Ludovic Harrisson, who was able to deflect a shot from Jaxon Bellamy following a climb. with the cookie cutter of his teammate Anthony Munroe-Boucher.

The digital advantage, however, smiled on visitors. Jacob Dion was the first of his family to outsmart young Jasmin Simon with the advantage of a man and the defender was imitated by Charles-Antoine Dumont at the end of the period.

Forgotten on the blue line when play resumed in the second period, Charlie Da Fonseca started a two-on-one attack and then handed the puck to Elliot Lavoie, who hit the target with a shot on reception: 3-1 Drummondville .

To believe that the Voltigeurs' victory was in the pocket then would have been to misunderstand the Phoenix, who redoubled their efforts to level the score following the goal of Patrick Guay, who completed a game started by Bailey Peach, and Jaheem Aurélien-Lagacé's net, a goal scored on the power play thanks to the work of Xavier Parent and Jaxon Bellamy.

Coming in relief to Simon (13 saves on 16 shots) in front of the Phoenix net, David Provencher has long maintained the score at 3-3, like his counterpart Mathis Dorcal-Madore. The latter continued the work of Ryley Mercer, author of 5 saves on 8 shots in 30 minutes of play.

The two guards thus forced an overtime and even a shootout.

Charlie Da Fonseca first took off Provencher's pants and Guay replied immediately. Xavier Simoneau then came up against the goalkeeper of the Phoenix then thanks to his goal, Samuel Poulin transferred all the pressure to Jérémy Lapointe, forced to score so that the debate could continue. But Provencher had the last laugh, allowing the Phoenix to celebrate.

Victory on contrasting background

The absence of spectators made the experience of the players rather special, Thursday on the occasion of the first preparatory match at the Palais des sports. Photo La Tribune, Michelle Boulay

The portrait remains blurry

Two Phoenix players were cut off following this preparatory game. Guest defenseman Mathieu Boislard and forward Gabriel Simoneau, drafted in the 13th round in 2018.

If the portrait becomes clearer and clearer, it still remains unclear in the eyes of the coach and general manager of the Phoenix.

“The first half was very difficult for everyone. But then, we saw a very good performance from Ludovic Harrisson and Jaheem Lagacé-Aurélien. With Anthony Munroe-Boucher, they were my best players tonight on offense. Physically, it's getting tough for our guys because of the intensive camp since the start of the week. But we notice that some are doing very well since the start of the camp, like Karl Vaillancourt among others. On defense, Vincent Trudel is one step ahead physically and I like what Blanchard gives us. But we are still rather undecided, especially regarding our attackers. “

Stéphane Julien also appreciated the outings of rookie goalkeeper Jasmin Simon.

“He showed he can keep the goals in the Major Junior,” said the coach, who seemed very disturbed by his mask and glasses during the game.

Stéphane Julien also ended the meeting in the heights of the Palais des sports, by not coming back behind his bench in the third period.

“It was to better see the players. We see more of the game from the galleries … ”, he provided as an explanation.

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