Thomas Sigouin returns from afar
Ten months after suffering a serious knee injury during a game, goalkeeper Thomas Sigouin went through a difficult period during which he had to limit himself to the role of spectator while his teammates went to fight match after match. Two operations later, the doorman of Amos is said to be inflated to block.
At the age of 19, Thomas Sigouin was eager to seize the last chance that came his way. With the presence of European Samuel Hlavaj, veteran Dakota Lund-Cornish and young William Desmarais, Sigouin admits that the challenge was great.
“When I saw that the Phoenix had drafted a European goalkeeper this summer, it did not change anything for me. I had to fight to win a position regardless of the identity of the other goalies. But in the last few months, it was mentally difficult. It allowed me to forge my character. While watching my teammates play, I would have liked to be in their place, but I told myself that I was going to be there next year. I thought a few times that my career was over. We will not hide it, I only played five games in the QMJHL after all and I’m already 19 years old. Let’s say I could not wait to test my leg and see progress. ”
The good news for him: he had left a good impression last year by being masterful in his first four starts. Its efficiency rate last season:, 945. His average goals scored: 1.61.
When he was finally able to retouch the ice, Sigouin finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. But his recovery was not a pleasure.
“It was like I started playing hockey. While the others were progressing while on the ice, I had to rehabilitate myself. This summer, I found it so long before I could reload the skates. ”
Even at a certain point, the porter was no longer certain to be able to get there.
“I had a camp planned this summer since last year. I saw the date come a little too fast and I never thought I would be ready in time. I was not even able to run. One morning, I got up and my knee was no longer painful. I started adding muscle to my leg again. But I must admit that this camp was the hardest two weeks of my life. It looked like I was starting all over again. But I recovered much faster than I thought. ”
Thomas Sigouin never stopped sharpening his reflexes and keeping fit, but only dragging his upper body. Even while his teammates were playing a game on the ice at the Palais des Sports.
“I could not stay there without doing anything. Now, I’m ready to help my team get the most wins. I will give everything, as I gave everything to recover from my injury, “he concludes.
All the recruits at the Phoenix selection camp had the same rhetoric: breaking through the lineup of the 2019-2020 edition was almost impossible. Now mature, the Phoenix was already full, including goalkeeper Samuel Hlavaj and first-round prospect Israel Mianscum. But two recruits made a tour de force by winning their place to everyone’s surprise.
The first: Anthony Munroe-Boucher, chosen in the 8th round at the last auction of the QMJHL. The second: Mirco Fontaine, a 19-year-old defenseman who was never drafted in the junior major.
“We knew there were not many places available this year,” said Anthony Munroe-Boucher. When I looked at the line-up, I was really wondering if there was a place for me this season. It pushed me to work hard during training and practice. I tried to cause surprise and during the pre-games, I think I did things right. Having had a good season in the midget AAA, it led me to believe a little more in my chances. ”
The former Jonquière Elite striker was expecting to join the Lions at Champlain St-Lawrence Cégep. But the more the camp progressed, the more the good words of his coach Stéphane Julien gave him hope.
“I am still aware that I will have to live a year of transition. Once again, it will lead me to want to work even harder to win a starting position, whether this year or in the coming seasons. I know it will be hard to break through the game-by-game lineup. When I saw that Jérémy Rainville was exchanged, I started to believe more, but the Phoenix could also have compromised to get a new striker. ”
For his part, the Sherbrookois Mirco Fontaine knew it was his last chance.
“I’m already 19 years old and I felt like I was leaving with a decision because of that. I went to the camp for a third year in a row, telling myself that I had nothing to lose. I knew the odds were minimal, but I’ve never stopped believing in the last three years. ”
The defenseman played last year for the Champlain College Cougars and was called back by the Phoenix to play two games in the QMJHL:
“I realized during games that I was good enough to play in the QMJHL. The coaches may be inclined to leave me in the stands because of the great defensive depth at the start of the season, but I will still be fighting for ice time. Jérôme Gaudreau