March 28, 2022
Hawks take 2-0 lead in quarter-final series
“The guys were ready! – Christian Deschenes
By: Jean-Philippe Morin
The Sorel-Tracy Sparrowhawks had an almost perfect weekend, scoring two wins in as many days against the Saint-Georges-de-Beauce Cool FM. The men of Christian Deschênes therefore take the lead 2-0 in this quarter-final series of the North American Hockey League (LNAH).
“The guys were ready! We were fighting for second place [au classement de la saison régulière]but it’s not the same adrenaline as the playoffs. Our experience in recent years has served, both victories (2018 and 2019) and defeats in the final (2015 and 2016),” said Les Éperviers head coach Christian Deschênes.
The Sparrowhawks opened their spring tournament with an unequivocal 8-1 victory in front of their fans on Friday, March 25. In the victory, the first line of Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau (3 goals, 4 assists), André Bouvet-Morrissette (2 goals, 2 assists) and Olivier Hinse (2 goals, 2 assists) did almost everything.
The next day in Saint-Georges, the Éperviers scored two quick goals on the power play in the first period before completely closing the door to their opponents. In a game worthy of the playoffs on the road, the Sorelois won 2-1.
“On Friday, we knew we hadn’t given much to our fans recently and it was important to give them back. We had the match that we wanted. Charles Tremblay’s defensive line closed the door on their top line, which allowed our top line to put points on the board. It’s not just the points that are proof of everything, it’s a work together, ”analyzes Christian Deschênes.
“Saturday, with Brodeur suspended, Potvin absent due to an injury and Bouvet who was injured in the second period, we had to change our way of doing things. Our special units made the difference. After our two goals in power playwe managed our match almost perfectly. It’s hard to ask for better performance on the road. These kind of 2-1 games, you have to win them in the playoffs. Our goalkeeper Marc-Antoine Gélinas closed the door with two big saves late in the game,” he continued.
A flawless penalty kill
Much of the Sparrowhawks’ success this weekend hinged on holding the penalty kill, which had been the worst in the LNAH in 2021-2022. Christian Deschênes wanted to pay tribute to his warriors who sell out the penalties, those who allowed only one goal – lucky – in 14 attempts by Cool FM this weekend.
“We have worked hard over the past two weeks. I take the blame [pour cette saison]I think we haven’t worked on that enough this year, but this week I wanted us to change some things. I’m happy for Tremblay, Caouette, Waked and all the guys on the penalty kill, including the goaltender. Their efforts haven’t necessarily paid off this season, but they’re paying right now. The key is to continue like this, ”says Christian Deschênes.
Speaking of the next weekend, the coach knows full well that he won’t be able to count on his full line-up, unlike Cool FM. Étienne Brodeur will serve his second and final game suspension on Friday, while André Bouvet-Morrissette and Dany Potvin are still uncertain cases. In defense, Julien Bahl and Samuel Carrier will again be absent. Fortunately, Sébastien Rioux is back full-time for the playoffs. Players like Vincent Guimond and other reservists will be called in as reinforcements.
“We must not put our heads in the sand, they are aware that we are missing players. It will be up to us coaches to put things in place to wait for them on a firm footing and for the players to continue to play as they have done, ”he concludes.
Game #3 of the series will take place this Friday 1East April, at 8 p.m., at the Colisée Cardin. Les Éperviers will travel to Beauce for Game #4 the next day.