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Our 18 | Phoenix looks to soar higher with several returnees

It took a number of years for the Sherbrooke Phoenix to get off the ground. Now, the team hopes 2019-20 is the season in which it soars to new heights.

The Phoenix tied a franchise high with 36 wins last year and for the second consecutive season reached the President Cup Quarter-Finals. Many of the key personnel that led the club to that success is slated to return this year, including its leading scorer, 2019 Pittsburgh Penguins first rounder Samuel Poulin. In fact, the top four scorers from last season; Poulin, Benjamin Tardif, Alex-Olivier Voyer and Felix Robert are all back in the Phoenix fold this campaign. Add in the training camp acquisition of Xavier Parent from the Halifax Mooseheads, as well as a potential breakout from 2017 QMJHL first rounder Bailey Peach, and offensive fireworks should be the order of the day in Sherbrooke this year.

As is the case offensively, the Phoenix will retain a large chunk of its defensive corps, a group that it hopes will grow stronger in all three zones. Leading the way is overager Yann-Felix Lapointe. Also vying for increased duties on the blueline are a pair of 18-year-olds in Jaxon Bellamy and Jeremy Jacques. Third-year veteran Gregory Kreutzer makes his way to the Phoenix after a 31-point regular season and extended playoff run with the Drummondville Voltigeurs last year.

The most sweeping changes in Sherbrooke will take place in the crease. 18-year-old Samuel Hlavaj comes to the squad after being named one of the top three players for Team Slovakia at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, while 19-year-old Thomas Sigouin has cracked the roster despite appearing in a limited role in 2018-19.

After years of attempting to elevate their game, the pieces appear to be in place for the Phoenix to spread their wings and fly to newfound heights in the Central Division.

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2018-2019 Phoenix Stats:

Team Record 36-27-2-3 — 77 points
Division Ranking 2nd Central
Conference Ranking 3rd Western
League Ranking 10th
Home Record 20-11-0-3
Away Record 16-16-2-0
GF 249
GA 247
PP (Overall) (52/222) 23.4%
PK (Overall) (65/266) 75.6%
Leading Rookie (PTS) Jentzsch (18-24-42)
Leading Scorers (PTS) Poulin (29-47-76)
  Tardif (23-36-59)
  Voyer (29-29-58)
  Robert (24-31-55)
  DaSilva (9-35-44)
2019 Playoffs *Lost in 2nd round (1-4 vs. DRU)

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Here are a few updates and promotions that are sure to please fans heading to the Palais des Sports Léopold-Drolet this season:

  • In accordance with fan requests, especially local minor hockey associations, games will now be played at 6 pm on Saturday nights.
  • Jean-Sébastien Hammal, comedian and radio host at 107,7 FM will now serve as the in-arena host during Phoenix games.
  • Tickets for children are always 5$.
  • Many promotional nights are scheduled throughout the season: Ladies Night, Flashback Night (including prizes from Jocelyn Thibault and Stéphane Julien), Country Night, a game with discounts based on the weather, a game where kids get in free with their hockey jerseys, and many more!
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