Sherbrooke, Que. – Coach, Stéphane Julien, described Wednesday’s clash as a ‘4 point-game’, meaning the two teams were close in the standings. A win tonight could see the Phoenix move a near one point from the Armada going into Friday’s game against the last place Saint John Sea Dogs. Julien’s statement can be defined as bold, coming so early in the season, however it was surely used as a source of motivation for his team. Fortunately for the bench boss, his men prevailed.
After falling behind just 22 seconds into the contest, the Phoenix were able to climb out a 3-1 deficit, scoring four unanswered goals to secure a 5-3 win on the road. Voyer and DaSilva each found the back of the net twice for the Birds, while Cregan stopped 17 of 18 shots in the final two periods, to pick up a valuable 2 points over the Armada.
In the very early stages of the game, Aleksi Anttalainen beat Brendan Cregan from the blue line on a shot that the Phoenix netminder certainly wishes he could have back. Later, Peyton Hoyt, doubled the home team’s advantage on the power play, as the Armada gained a 2-0 edge on the Birds. Sherbrooke had their fair share of chances in the first, but Mikhail Denisov stood tall, preserving the two-goal lead at the intermission.
Ryan DaSilva was back at the Centre d’excellence Sports Rousseau, for the first time since he played for the Armada in the 2017-2018 season. The Markham, Ont. native admitted he was looking forward to facing his former team and when the time came, he answered the bell. DaSilva scored his 2nd and 3rd of the season just 0:55 apart from each other, pulling his team within one on both occasions.
Alex-Olivier Voyer, who is experiencing a remarkable stretch of hockey, scored his 9 and 10th goals of the season. His two markers in this one extended his goal scoring streak to four games, where he has tallied a total of eight goals. Suddenly, he leads the Phoenix in that domain.
Félix Robert scored the insurance goal with 7:36 to play and the Phoenix held on from there.
Olivier Crête-Belzile left the game early in the first period after getting hit hard and did not return. As one Phoenix player is added to the injury list, another is set to return from it. Coach Julien says barring any major problems, rookie Patrick Guay, will rejoin his teammates in uniform on Friday against the Sea Dogs. Sherbrooke’s 5th overall pick in the 2018 draft has been out with an injury since October 7th.
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The Phoenix return home to host the Saint John Sea Dogs (2-15-3) on Friday, November 9th, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
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by Evan Milner