For immediate release
Montreal, QC (Mar. 29, 2018) ––– With the conclusion of the 2017-18 season, Les Canadiennes have completed a year marked by milestones and records, on and off the ice.
Les Canadiennes captured their eighth Chairman’s Trophy, finishing atop of the CWHL regular season standings with a 22-5-1 record, and made their 11th appearance in the CWHL Clarkson Cup playoffs in as many years. The team’s playoff run was cut short by the Markham Thunder, who went on to win the Clarkson Cup championship –– their first franchise victory –– at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto on March 25. Defence stalwart Cathy Chartrand won her second CWHL Defenceman of the Year award at the CWHL Awards Gala. A veteran presence on the blue line, Chartrand finished third among all defences and in the top 20 scorers with 23 points.
Les Canadiennes’ league-leading offence produced 117 goals and included four players in the league’s top 10 scorers. CWHL MVP finalist Ann-Sophie Bettez finished second in scoring with 41 points and recorded her 100th career goal. Veteran forward Noémie Marin recorded 31 points and became the CWHL’s all-time leading goal scorer, recording her 132nd goal against the Calgary Inferno in the final regular season game. She surpassed teammate Caroline Ouellette, who claimed the record with her 131st career goal against the Boston Blades in her fifth game back since giving birth in November. Sophomore forward Sarah Lefort recorded her first three career hat tricks in the league, including a five goal tally in a single game to earn 30 points. Third year forward Katia Clement-Heydra also recorded her first career hat trick and reached a personal best in goals (12) and assists (14) for 26 points.
Dany Brunet, who was a finalist for Coach of the Year, became the most successful head coach in league history by capturing his 76th victory against the Kunlun Red Star on Nov. 12, 2017.
It was also a season of change for Les Canadiennes. With the absence of Olympians Marie-Philip Poulin, Lauriane Rougeau, and 2017 first-round draft pick Mélodie Daoust, Les Canadiennes added many fresh faces to the team, including six rookies. Laurence Beaulieu, Tracy-Ann Lavigne, and Erinn Noseworthy each scored their first goals, while netminder Marie-Soleil Deschênes recorded her first career shutout in her first game.
In her first year with Les Canadiennes, Emerance Maschmeyer, who was a finalist for Goaltender of the Year, left her mark in the crease, recording the second-best GAA in the league (1.78) and tied a new record for single-season shutouts (6) with Kunlun’s Noora Raty.
Montreal made a few important roster changes throughout the season, including the acquisition of all-star defence Erin Ambrose from the Toronto Furies, making an immediate impact on the team’s blue line. Les Canadiennes also welcomed Olympians Lauriane Rougeau and Hilary Knight for the playoff run.
Les Canadiennes continued to cement their presence throughout Montreal, playing their second game at the Bell Centre back on November 11 against the newly-minted Red Star, who marked history by becoming the first Chinese hockey franchise to play in an NHL arena. Les Canadiennes also travelled to China for the first time in team history to face both Chinese expansion teams. Finally, during the team’s annual Pink in the Rink game, Les Canadiennes raised over $18,000 for breast cancer in front of a sold-out crowd at the Bell Sports Complex.
None of these accomplishments would be possible without the continuous support of Montreal fans, whose passion for the team propelled the organisation to new heights. Attendance numbers grew again this season, with full capacity crowds and an exponential growth in online viewership for the featured CWHL live games.
Les Canadiennes are looking forward to the 2018-19 season and will work hard during the off-season to bring back the Clarkson Cup to Montreal.
About the CWHL
The Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) is the premier, professionally run women’s hockey league in the world. A not-for-profit organization, the league is dedicated to raising the profile of women’s hockey, while providing a place for the best female hockey players in North America to train and compete. Affordably priced, all CWHL games showcase speed, finesse and skill. Since its inception in 2007, the CWHL has supported all teams in their season of home/away games, as well as charity and exhibition games in the community. Each season has culminated in an exciting playoff tournament where the top teams play-off for the Clarkson Cup, the equivalent of the Stanley Cup in women’s hockey.
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