Montreal, QC (Jan. 27, 2019) — The CWHL’s regular season resumed this weekend after a thrilling All-Star weekend that featured 34 of the best players in the world at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
With seven games remaining in Les Canadiennes’ season, the club is ready for an important final push before the playoffs. Second in the league with 33 points, Montreal is only two points behind the first-ranked Calgary Inferno.
Montreal will face stiff competition from here on out. They recently completed a two-game road trip in Markham, splitting both contests, and will face the defending Clarkson Cup Champions for another pair of games. Les Canadiennes will face the Inferno twice, the Toronto Furies once and the Worcester Blades for two games. According to goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer, Les Canadiennes feel confident and prepared for this last stretch.
“The competition is incredible,” she said. “The games will be a lot of fun and I’m excited to head into the playoffs – but we still have a lot to prepare for before that point. It’s important for us to put one foot in front of the other and not look too far ahead at this point in the season. I have a lot of confidence in our group.”
Since the holiday break, Les Canadiennes have won four of their last six games. The All-Star break provides a break for the majority of the teams prior to the end of the regular season, an opportunity to catch up with friends and teammates. It’s easy for players to pick up where they left off and be ready for game day without sacrificing team chemistry on the ice.
“We always say that after Christmas break, we’re starting a new season; teams come back and they’re eager and excited,” she explains. “But when we get back from the holiday break, we aren’t always clicking super well. I find that where the All-Star Game is placed, right before playoffs, it’s a fun weekend. It gets the competition up again.”
Maschmeyer is one of the best goalies in the league, sitting second in GAA (1.59) and save percentage (0.929) categories. Certainly, the All-Star Game, designed to showcase spectacular goals and exciting playmaking sequences, is not meant to demonstrate a goaltender’s or defence-woman’s capabilities. Maschmeyer, who was on the losing end of an 8-4 win by Team Gold, admits that it’s never fun to allow goals but knows that’s the nature of the game.
“When it comes to the All-Star Game, it’s a pretty offensive game,” she said. “They’re scoring on breakaways, back door, second, and third chances. You know these players are incredibly skilled, so you just need to laugh it off a bit.”
“Before the game, we were joking about how we should make some kind of incentive for the forwards, some kind of prize for the winning team so that maybe there will be a little more defence,” she said, chuckling.
Les Canadiennes have not only been able to count on Maschmeyer’s impressive play between the pipes, but also on Marie-Soleil Deschênes as well, who has yet to allow a goal in the CWHL. Netminder Geneviève Lacasse also recently made a triumphant return to play, shutting out the KRS Vanke Rays after nursing an injury for most of the season.
“We’re definitely not weak in the goalie department,” said Maschmeyer. “Having competition will keep us on our toes. It’s a very positive thing and when you look at any team in the league, there’s at least two starting goalies on most teams. It can only make us better.”
Les Canadiennes are back on home ice next weekend when they take on the Inferno on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 5pm and Sunday, Feb. 3 at 1:30pm at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. To purchase tickets, click here.