Joshua Roy: The Redefinition Continues

Joshua Roy: The Redefinition Continues

(Sherbrooke) It’s free practice time for the Sherbrooke Phoenix on Monday, but Joshua Roy is a busy man. Our meeting with him in the stands of the Palais des sports Léopold-Drolet is the second of five interviews with him on the agenda.


Also on the menu: indoor golf “with a dozen friends.” Roy seems good at it, remembering that he shot a 68 last summer, an abysmal score at miniature golf, but pretty good at golf.

It is not a bad thing that he does not go to the track, because “he is still in the clouds,” he admits.

Roy, a hope of the Canadian signed in the 5me tour in 2021, he returned from the Junior World Championships in Halifax with a gold medal around his neck. In seven games, he scored 11 points, a total surpassed only by one Connor Bedard on his team. The assist he served to Dylan Guenther on the tournament-winning goal is part of his 11 points.

“It is my best tournament won in my life. The atmosphere was pointless! Roy says.

I was competing in the Junior World Cup for the second time. But when he first arrived, the tournament was exceptionally held in the summer, and the refusal of Hockey Canada bosses to cede their seats had cast a shadow over the competition.

“This summer was fun, but it was less often. There were the real World Juniors. In Halifax, we were walking around, everyone recognized us. We were like stars. »

Hughes, Poulin and a guy with a hat

Messages of encouragement flow everywhere from this magical Thursday.

The biggest name among those who congratulated him? “Marie-Philip,” he answers without hesitation. We assume here that he is talking about the hockey player, and not the singer.

“We never had any big arguments, but I did meet her several times at Canadiens camp,” says Roy.

Speaking of the Habs, “Francisco [Bouillon]Stole [Ramage] and Kent [Hughes] He sent me a text message to congratulate me and tell me that I had a good tournament. They looked happy! “, he believes.

The most unusual message? It was on her Instagram message requests, something she doesn’t always look at because she gets “a lot.” “But it happened that I looked. »

He pulls out his phone to show us the note from a person who introduces himself as Mathieu Landry. “He had a hat on the ice during the celebrations. The person who threw it on the ice wrote to me: “I’m glad you like the hat.” And he put a picture of himself in the hat! »

Versatile

Roy also stood out because he finished the tournament as Bedard’s linemate. “It is very sensible. You never heard him talk about his successes, and he could have talked about them, because he’s good! He was the best player in the tournament and it was fun to play with him. »


PHOTO DARREN CALABRESE, THE CANADIAN PRESS ARCHIVES

Connor Bedard, Joshua Roy and goalkeeper Benjamin Gaudreau

But Roy stood out especially for “his way of competing, of being involved in every situation,” according to Stéphane Julien, assistant coach for Junior Team Canada, who is also Phoenix’s head coach. If anyone knows Roy well, it’s him.

It’s quite a compliment for a player with a troubled past, a No. 1 overall pick in the QMJHL, whose star has faded due to sub-optimal fitness and doubts about his level of commitment. Roy himself went there for this plea in 2021: “People say I’m a cowardly guy. I want to change my image. I’m a guy who can compete every night, that he can work. »

That’s exactly what he did in Halifax. The Beauceron was even given reduced manpower missions, an aspect of the game that was new to him. And he delivered some presences that marked the spirits.

“I’m still close to my bantamweight coach, I sent him a text: ‘If I told you that in five years I’m going to be playing at a disadvantage at the World Championships, you wouldn’t have believed me!’ jokes Roy.

Julien was also overwhelmed, yet again, by what Roy can achieve when the going gets hot, for example in extra time in the final.

“Last year, in the playoffs, we needed big goals and he scored. Some guys squeeze the stick and send it to the goalie’s dog. He pulls under the horizontal bar and leaves. No matter how much you tell guys not to stress about it, it doesn’t show. The goal in the final, there are those who would have finished it off, others would have tried the elevated pass over the defender. »

Back to work

As soon as he got back, Roy was already heading back to the Maritimes. “On Thursday we played in Cape Breton. There are not many people there. He’s going to make a change to spend two weeks where he yelled so much we couldn’t hear each other talk in the bank! »

The next goal will be the President’s Cup. The Phoenix is ​​at the center of the fight for the top spot in the QMJHL Western Conference.

This target was already on Roy’s radar during the festivities in Halifax. The cameras caught a moving moment, the handshake between Roy and David Spacek, a Czech defender who also wears the colors of the Phoenix. Spacek had just received congratulations from Tyson Hinds, another member of the Canada team that plays in Sherbrooke.

In the pictures, Jaroslav Spacek’s son appeared to have a heavy heart, but is now ready to move on.

“We thought we wanted to come back here to win a championship,” says Spacek. I congratulated them and we went our separate ways. »


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