By relying on more veterans than his opponent, the Phoenix had to leave the Palais des sports on Tuesday night with a convincing victory and that’s exactly what he did by laundering the Gatineau Olympiques by a score of 4-0.
The exit of European goalkeeper Samuel Hlavaj has reassured the staff of the Phoenix with his 16 saves in as many shots. His counterpart Dakota Lund-Cornish was also perfect by blocking 11 shots.
“They were very good, admits coach Stéphane Julien. Hlavaj was busier and he was excellent, as was Lund-Cornish. I liked Hlavaj’s presence around his net. It is a plus in our league to be able to count on a goalkeeper who knows how to handle the puck and he also made some good saves in the first period. ”
“It was my first game at the Palais des Sports and even if it was only a preparatory game, it feels good to play in my new amphitheater,” said goalkeeper Samuel Hlavaj. We were able to limit mistakes tonight, which made my job easier. I’m happy with my release and I feel like I’m going to play here in Sherbrooke. ”
If the Gatineau Olympiques sent a young team into the fray as it had done Sunday at home, we were treated to veterans Félix Robert, Patrick Guay, Jaxon Bellamy, Alexandre Joncas and Jérémy Jacques. Xavier Parent Tuesday.
The Phoenix did not lose any time before taking the lead. Bailey Peach beat Alexis Giroux on the very first shot of the match. Luke Wilson doubled the lead in the second half. Jérémy Rainville and Xavier Parent finally confirmed the win with two goals late in the game.
“At the attack, we dominated, but in defense, we had some difficulties with our recovery,” said Stéphane Julien.
“The goal was to analyze our youngest and pit them against top-level veterans,” said Olympic coach Éric Landry. They were able to play a level of hockey that is close to the standard of the QMJHL tonight. In this sense, I am happy with the result. Estrie players were also given a chance to show off. It was important for them to play a game here in Sherbrooke in front of their family. ”
Justin Bergeron de Bromont and Mathis Zakorzermy of Sherbrooke, two former members of the Sherbrooke Harfangs, were also cut off at the end of the match by the Olympiques.
Young veterans in danger
The performance of some Phoenix recruits could force the Sherbrooke organization to make heartbreaking decisions at the end of the training camp.
“Our young veterans like Jérémy Rainville, Vincent Anctil, Julien Anctil and Nathael Roy must give a little more if they want to keep their place in the team, admits Stéphane Julien. Since the beginning of the camp, the recruits are fighting harder than they are. There is nothing established even if we count on the return of several veterans. ”
Some recruits also drew attention once again Tuesday.
“I liked the work of Ludovic Harrisson, Jaheem Lagacé-Aurélien and Anthony Monroe-Boucher. I’m happy to see some rookies stand out. The game of defender Aidan Timmermans is also analyzed. We watched a few videos from last year and we will have to make a decision by Monday in his case. ”
Mirco Fontaine’s last chance
On the defensive, the 19-year-old Sherbrooke native Mirco Fontaine tries to break into the lineup at his last chance with the Sherbrooke Phœnix.
“We want to give Fontaine a real chance,” confirms Stéphane Julien. He has been with our organization for three years and has been overseen for the past two years with the Champlain College Cougars. He proves to us that he is qualified to play in the QMJHL and he could eventually play the role of sixth or seventh defender if the need arises. ”
“I’m 18, but I play my season as a 19-year-old,” says Fontaine. It’s very rare to see a 20-year-old enter the QMJHL, so this is my last chance to play in the Major Junior in my opinion and I want to grab it. I trained just for that and if I continue to play in a simple and effective way, I could carve a job with the Phoenix. There may not be many free seats in the defensive brigade, but I’m determined and I think I can do it. ”
Note that the Phoenix will hold another day of training Wednesday before facing Thursday Drummondville Voltigeurs at the Palais des Sports.