It took until the last minute of the season to know the identity of the Phoenix opponent in the first round of the playoffs. Sherbrooke residents finally measure the Shawinigan Cataractes, second overall.
With the loss of 5 to 2 in Sherbrooke Phoenix Saturday against the Victoriaville Tigres the back of the Drummondville Voltigeurs against the Val-d’Or Foreurs and the victory of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in Moncton, Table series playoffs suddenly cleared.
The daunting task of beating the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies is up to Voltigeurs, while the Titan face the Sea Dogs of St. John. The Huskies and the Sea Dogs were the other two potential opponents of Phoenix, who finished a disappointing season in 15th place.
Despite this fourth consecutive defeat of Birds, veteran Anthony Chapados launched a message to Sherbrooke fans at the end of the last part of the regular season:
“Believe in it until the end. In the playoffs, it’s all about momentum. You never know what can happen! ”
“It will take this time to avoid the penalty bench, recalls against Julien Bahl. Otherwise, the Cataractes offensive we will pay as during our last visit Friday. ”
Stephane Julien will not tolerate indiscipline
During the first forty minutes of play, the fans at Sports Palace were treated to a close game.
Felix Lauzon opened the scoring for the Tigers by bringing almost alone in front of Evan Fitzpatrick. Daniel Audette handed the counters thwarting James Povall, but Bradley Lalonde has given in advance to the Tigers before the end of the first period with a shot from the blue line on the power play.
Only one goal was scored in the second and third he returns to Nicolas Poulin: 2-2.
Mario Huber and James Phelan, however, threw cold water shower on the heads of Sherbrooke scoring late in the game.
The Phoenix has subsequently demonstrated indiscipline once again, which destroyed his chances to get back into the game.
Guillaume Gauthier and Anthony Chapados were driven in turn. Alexandre Goulet took advantage of the numerical advantage offered by Chapados to count the fifth and final goal of Felines.
“Taking bad penalties as some have done recently is a lack of respect for other players and fans. The Cataractes a good offense. If you are undisciplined, it’s going to hurt us! ”
“Everything will depend on it and the costly turnovers. Now we must forget our season and bounce, “says Nathanael Halbert.
Kay Schweri, Jérémy Roy and Jack Kilgour missed the last game of the 2015-2016 season due to injury, as Chase Harwell, who must wait until next season before returning to action.
Matt Sartoris left the game against the Tigers and never returned. His playoff participation would be very surprising as the coach. Trevor Stacey, suspended, was also missing Saturday.
If the presence of Schweri during the first part of the series is likely, the state of Jack Kilgour will be evaluated daily.
In terms of Jérémy Roy, he is still waiting for final examination results.
The first meeting of the series to take place Friday in Shawinigan. After a second game Saturday at Gervais Auto Center, Phoenix welcome in principle the Cataractes Tuesday, March 29 and Wednesday 30 March. Everything remains to be confirmed shortly. The Phoenix will make its tickets on sale Monday.