HOCKEY. The Voltigeurs chose their moment poorly to be relegated after a happy run of six wins in seven games.
Defeated 3-0 by the Huskies on Friday night in Rouyn-Noranda, the Drummondville Battalion missed a golden opportunity to climb to the top of the Western Conference standings. Head coach Sylvain Favreau’s team (12-6-3-1) saw their rivals from Abitibi-Témiscamingue (13-4-1-3) alone in first place, with a two-point lead and one game to go.
“We played two periods with no level of competition,” lamented Sylvain Favreau in a scathing postgame remark. It was much better in the third period, but we won’t win games that way. At some point it moves from what the players want. It belongs to them. The team was well prepared. We knew that a good hockey team was waiting for us.”
Trailing after 20 minutes, the Reds failed to turn things around in the second period. During a four-on-four sequence, Andrei Losho took advantage of Matteo Rotondi’s loose ball on the play to double his team’s lead.
Late in the period, a major penalty on Lukas Landry allowed Louis-Philippe Fontaine to hit the safety net. The author of the Voltigeurs striker who interfered with Jérémy Langlois was ejected from the game.
“Every time we have to kill a five-minute penalty, it hurts the team. We often talk about discipline. We have to keep improving this,” insisted Sylvain Favreau.
In the first period, Bill Zonnon took advantage of the penalty awarded to Justin Côté and opened the scoring. The Huskies sent 34 pucks into the net of Riley Mercer, who had nothing to be ashamed of.
Tested 23 times, William Rousseau closed the door Petar Repčik on a penalty kick in the third period. The author of eight goals in the last five matches, the Slovak saw the end of this happy streak.
“Rousseau is a very good goalkeeper. His teammates played very well in front of him, but we didn’t hit the net as the game plan dictated. We didn’t throw often enough and we didn’t get into the crease often enough,” noted Sylvain Favreau.
Caught in a fight in the final moments of the match, Maveric Lamoureux and Anthony Turcotte should, in theory, receive automatic one-game suspensions.
The Voltigeurs will visit Val-d’Or Foreurs (6-13-0-1) on Saturday at 4 p.m.
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