The Sherbrooke Phoenix will play their first regular season game in nearly two months on Friday, facing off on the road against the Val-d’Or Foreurs.
The Phoenix last played on Dec. 18, a 2-1 loss to Shawinigan. It was Sherbrooke’s final game before the two-week holiday break. However, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) was put on pause when the province went into another temporary lockdown.
According to Phoenix captain Xavier Parent, the players had a feeling it would be an extended break given the rapid spread of the Omicron variant at the time. Players have been back in Sherbrooke for several weeks, but now they’re finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
“It’s really nice to know that we’re going to play. We’ve been practicing now for I think three weeks, so it’s nice to have a week of practice knowing that we’re going to play at the end of the week, so everyone is ready to play on Friday and Saturday,” said Parent.
The QMJHL announced its return last week, stating all 18 teams would be back on the ice for competitive games starting on Feb. 3. However, the league also noted that capacity restrictions are still in place, and the number of spectators allowed will vary from rink to rink.