Written by Dylan Konecny
October 16, 2016
After a tough overtime loss the day before in Chicoutimi, the Phoenix needed a quick turnaround. Sherbrooke was looking to finish off their weekend road trip against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar Sunday afternoon on a positive note.
Justin Blanchette was given the start in net by the Birds head coach Stépane Julien.
The rookie goaltender in his third career start made a solid effort helping the Phoenix to an 8-4 win as the Sherbrooke scorers lit the lamp often in their final road game of the weekend, helping their rookie goalie to his second career win.
In the first period Blanchette made a big stop, turning away Vincent Deslauriers on an early breakaway. The Phoenix got on the board first with a grinding effort from new forward Félix Robert. Robert in his second game with Sherbrooke was able to beat the Drakkar defenceman to the puck in the corner before leaving it for Carl Neill behind the net.
Robert making his way to the front of the net simultaneously took a one-touch feed from Neill , before burying the puck behind Antoine Samuel with a quick shot from point blank range. The score to put the Birds up 1-0 at 8:33 was Robert’s first career goal.
Just over a minute later on the power play the Phoenix struck again.
Yaroslav Alexeyev was stationed at the side of the net ready to bury a Slap Shot from Neill that rebounded off the boards right to the Russian forward’s stick at the side of the net. The power play goal to put Sherbrooke up 2-0, also marked the Russian rookie’s first career QMJHL goal.
The Drakkar responded quickly after going down two goals, with Ivan Chekhovich scoring 17 seconds after the Alexeyev score to make it 2-1, with the final goal of the first period.
In the second period Sherbrooke would widen their lead with four more goals.
Twenty seconds into the middle period, Alexeyev got his second goal of the game after tipping a point shot from Thomas Grégoire past Samuel. Later in the period Dany Coulombe broke free for a breakaway and Marek Zacher was able to bury the rebound increasing the Sherbrooke lead to 4-1, prompting the Drakkar to swap out Samuel in net for Bo Taylor.
Taylor didn’t fare much better and was scored on by Julien Pelletier in a fast break 2-0n-1 with Hugo Roy. 13 seconds after the Pelletier goal, Zachar scored his second goal of the period when he took a one-timer feed from Robert, following the Zachar goal to go up 6-1, the Drakkar returned Samuel to the net in their second goalie swap of the game.
Matt Jones scored late in the period for Baie-Comeau to make the game 6-2 by the time the buzzer went for the second intermission.
After the four goal second period, the scoring was far from over for the Phoenix, adding two more goals in the final period.
First with Pelletier blasting in a power play score, assisted by Neill and Grégoire to go up 7-2. After the Drakkar scored to make it 7-3, Pelletier completed his second hat-trick of the year by firing a wrist shot top shelf on the power play past a screened Samuel. The Drakkar got one more goal, coming from Matt Jones to make it 8-4.
Phoenix captain Carl Neill earned the first star honour for the game with a total of five assists against the Drakkar. Blanchette made 23 saves in the road victory.
The Phoenix will look to stay hot when they next suit up against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, at home October 21st for a crucial West Division match Friday night.
After the Armada, Sherbrooke plays the Quebec Remparts in the two teams’ first meeting of the year the next day for an afternoon match-up.
- Carl Neill (SHE)
- Ivan Chekhovich (BAC)
- Thomas Grégoire (SHE)