Abitibi, QC. – Sherbrooke made their third and final visit to the Abitibi region this past weekend for a couple of games against Rouyn-Noranda and Val d’Or. The Huskies shut them out 4-0 on Friday, but the Phoenix rebounded and topped the Foreurs 6-5 in overtime on Saturday.
Rouyn-Noranda has had their way with just about every team in the league, but there is something about the Phoenix that has caused the league leaders some headaches. The Birds have bested the Dogs twice already this season, while pushing them to the brink in their other two meetings.
Friday night was a different story however, as the Huskies dominated from start to finish, blanking the Phoenix 4-0. Newcomer, Joel Teasdale, got things started scoring just 0:27 into his first game with the Huskies since being traded from the Armada. Before the end of the first it was 3-0 (Tyler Hinam and Félix Bibeau) in favour of the home team and the game already seemed out of reach.
The Phoenix had their chances to climb back into it in the second with three power plays but were unable to capitalize on any. They went 0/6 on the night with the man advantage.
In the third, Félix Bibeau put the icing on the cake with his second of the night, en route to a comfortable win over the Birds. Samuel Harvey outdueled Thommy Monette, stopping all 22 shots he faced for the shutout.
Less than 24 hours later, the Phoenix were back in action against the Val d’Or Foreurs, a team they have beaten all three times they have faced them this year. Newly acquired goaltender, Dakota Lund-Cornish, joined the Phoenix on the road trip and got his first start with the team against the Foreurs.
The Birds found themselves in a familiar spot, down 3-0, as they were to thee Huskies. But, at 5:56 of the second period, the Phoenix mounted a comeback. Yann Félix-Lapointe got things started, scoring his fourth goal in his last five games. Alex-Olivier Voyer scored moments later to cut the lead to 3-2 and Bobby Dow tied it before the end of the middle frame.
In the third, the Phoenix continued to pour on the offence early. It took only 3:20 into the final stanza and suddenly Sherbrooke had a 5-3 lead. Bailey Peach poked home a rebound on the power play before Voyer steered his team leading 22nd of the season past a sprawling Jonathan Lemieux.
The Foreurs were not down the count yet however, as they fought back to tie the game with 1:29 remaining, forcing an overtime period. In the extra frame, Yann-Félix Lapointe received a pass from Félix Robert in the slot and fired his second of the game past Lemieux to give the Phoenix the 6-5 OT win in a roller coaster of a game.
Samuel Poulin had four assists on the night, giving him the lead for points on the team.
For highlights vs Val d’Or click here.
The Phoenix re back at home on Wednesday, January 9th to face the Victoriaville Tigers at the Palais des Sports. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
For tickets click here.
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by Evan Milner