Sherbrooke, Que. – Saint John was playing their third game in three nights and the fatigue showed early, as they were out shot 15-1 in the first. Alex-Olivier Voyer extended his goal streak to five games, and Patrick Guay registered his first career QMJHL goal, while the Phoenix went on to win 6-2. The Sea Dogs extended their franchise worst losing streak to 13 games, as they wrapped up their Quebec road trip.
Alex-Olivier Voyer scored his 11th of the season shorthanded to give the Phoenix the lead at 6:41 of the first. That’s now nine goals in the last five games for the Sherbrooke native. Félix Robert finished off a pretty passing play later in the frame with assists from Bailey Peach and Samuel Poulin. Thommy Monette was only tested once in the first, but he was there when he needed to be, making a beautiful pad save to preserve the 2-0 lead going into the break.
The Dogs showed some signs of life in the second, cutting the Phoenix lead in half. Robbie Burt snuck in behind the defence and beat Monette on a partial breakaway to make it 2-1. The goal gave the Sea Dogs some momentum and things started heating up at the Palais des Sports. The pace of play rose, several big hits were thrown, and scrums started breaking out after the whistle. This sense of life died quickly though. Taro Jentzsch scored on the power play from Peach and Poulin, and the Birds regained complete control of the game.
The biggest story of the game came in the third, when Patrick Guay scored his first career goal in the Q. It was nice to see Guay, who is missing the U17 World Challenge with an injury, get some reward in his highly anticipated return to action. The Phoenix’s 5th overall pick in the 2018 draft had been out of the lineup since October 7th.
“I think it takes a lot of pressure off his shoulders. Pat was playing some good hockey before getting injured and I think it was a good game for him after not playing for 4-5 weeks. I think it will give him a lot of confidence and relieve him of pressure.” said Stéphane Julien, when asked about the effects his first goal could have on him.
After Jérémie Jacob got Saint John back within two, St-Laurent netted his 10th of year on the man advantage. Bobby Dow added an empty netter late, and the Phoenix secured their third straight win for the first time this season.
Sherbrooke recalled defencemen, Marc-Antoine Pépin and Mirco Fontaine, from the QCHL, immediately following the game. The two players will be in uniform tomorrow against Shawinigan. Alexandre Joncas left Friday’s contest with an injury and did not return.
Saint John was without Charlie DesRoches, Jérémie Poirier, William Villeneuve and Josh Lawrence who are away representing Canada at the U17 World Challenge.
The Phoenix head back on the road for a matinee game on Saturday, November 10th, vs the Shawinigan Cataractes (5-13-0) at 4:00 p.m.
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by Evan Milner