For Victoriaville Tigres team management, recent months have been a mix of disappointment and pride following their QMJHL semifinal loss last spring. We sat down with team GM Kevin Cloutier to chat on the 2018-19 season and the team’s rebuild which is well underway.
The team lost some major scoring punch this summer with Abramov, Comtois and Kosorenko moving on. Do you think you have players ready to help pick up the slack this year?
“We obviously lost some big pieces in addition to those you mentioned we also lost Felix Lauzon and Jimmy Huntington. That will make for a big hole for us offensively, but the good news is we can still count on Mathieu Sevigny and Simon Lafrance. The arrival of Mikhail Abramov, Egor Serdyuk and Feliks Morozov will also add some sizzle to our offence. I also think that a guy who didn’t get a chance to play an offensive role last year like Isaiah Gallo-Demetris can contribute. He did have an offensive role in the past and did put up 50 points in Midget AAA and I think the opportunity he will get this season will serve him well. Basically, I feel good about who could step up for us this year.”
Etienne Montpetit was brilliant in goal for you last season. Those will be some big shoes to fill for Tristan Cote-Cazenave…does that worry you at all?
“He can easily compare himself to other starting goalies in the League. It’s never easy to hear that you have lost out on your job to another goalie. Last year, that shook up Tristan, but he reacted well. That fact that it was to Etienne Montpetit who was one of the top goalies in the QMJHL contributed to that. He also understood that it gave us a chance to battle for the President’s Cup to have that kind of tandem in goal. I think he really understood that and did a great job when Etienne went down. This year, we are offering the opportunity and he knows what kind of responsibilities he now has. I think he learned a lot in recent months.”
From one Abramov to another… you have lost Vitalii and now Mikhail will now try to bring fans out of their seats. Might that only be a matter of time with Egor Serdyuk by his side?
“I am thrilled about that duo. Abramov is an excellent playmaker and Serdyuk is deadly around the net. He knows where to go and how to light the lamp and Abramov seems to find him easy out there. You can tell that they’ve played together before in Five Nations tournaments. Their chemistry is obvious and can only benefit our team. They will certainly have a big impact for us over the course of their careers. Will it be this year? We sure hope so, but we will be patient if need be.”