Phoenix come­back falls short against Vic­to­ri­av­ille

Ti­gres best the Phoenix twice in home-and-home pre­sea­son se­ries

Sherbrooke Record - - LOCAL SPORTS - By Dy­lan Konecny

The Sher­brooke Phoenix had two pre­sea­son games over the week­end as they pre­pare for the up­com­ing sea­son. With the ab­sences of five play­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing in NHL train­ing camps the Birds were beaten by the Ti­gres from Vic­to­ria in back-to-back games.

Evan Fitz­patrick was away with the St. Louis Blues giv­ing Bre­nadn Cre­gan and Thommy Monette play­ing time in the tune up games. On de­fence, the Birds were miss­ing their top pair­ing of Thomas Gré­goire and Luke Green. Green is away with the Win­nipeg Jets and Gre­goire with the Colorado Avalance. At for­ward, Mathieu Olivier is in camp with the Stan­ley Cup Fi­nal­ist Nashville Preda­tors and Hugo Roy is also com­pet­ing along­side Gre­goire at the Avalanche’s camp.

In the first game, the Phoenix got ahead first on the road when Sa­muel Poulin scored on the power play at 14:01. How­ever, the Ti­gres re­sponded with the next four goals from Chase Har­well, Egor Kur­ba­tov and two from Jérémy Côté to take a 4-1 lead into the third pe­riod. De­spite Félix Robert scor­ing to cut the lead in half mid­way through the third, Vic­to­ri­av­ille scored twice more to make the fi­nal score 6-2. Cre­gan made stops on 27 of 33 shots in the loss.

In the Palais des Sports on Sun­day, the first twenty min­utes gave both teams a chance to get on the board but nei­ther the Birds or Ti­gres could cap­i­tal­ize. In the se­cond pe­riod both teams found their scor­ing touch erupt­ing for a to­tal of seven goals.

The Birds held a 4-3 lead go­ing into the third thanks to goals from Evan Mack­in­non, Kevin Gil­bert, Sa­muel Poulin and Yaroslav Alex­eyev.

How­ever, the Ti­gres had a big third pe­riod scor­ing three goals to take the lead be­fore fin­ish­ing off the game with a 6-5 win. Kur­ba­tov struck on net to tie the game at 1:21 of the third. Then Ben­jamin Thibault and Félix Boivin got goals just 44 sec­onds apart at 13:16 and 14:00 to take a two-goal lead. Alex­eyev scored at 18:48 to make a late push to tie the game but the Ti­gres ul­ti­mately held out for the win. Monette stopped 30 of 36 shots in the loss.

Over­all the Phoenix’s new young core have been able to get some valu­able play­ing time and have shown to be pro­duc­tive with­out five key play­ers. Se­cond over­all pick Sa­muel Poulin has three goals and five as­sists for eight points in six pre­sea­son con­tests while eleventh over­all se­lec­tion Bai­ley Peach has 4 as­sists in seven pre­sea­son games. A nice sur­prise is the big uptick in of­fence com­ing from sopho­more for­ward Evan Mack­in­non who has scored four goals and added four as­sists for eight points in four pre­sea­son games.

The Phoenix close out the pre­sea­son with a road game against the Drum­mondville Voltigeurs Septem­ber 15.

VIN­CENT LEVESQUE ROUSSEAU

Evan Mack­in­non scor­ing on Ti­gres goalie Anthony Mor­rone in pre­sea­son ac­tion Sun­day at the Palais des Sports.

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