For immediate release
Montreal, QC (Feb. 25, 2019) –– Les Canadiennes concluded their regular season against the Markham Thunder in front of electric crowds with a 2-1 victory on Saturday during the team’s ninth annual Pink in the Rink game at Place Bell, and a 3-2 loss on Sunday. Les Canadiennes raised over $ 16 000 for the MUHC’s Breast Clinic’s Wellness Program on Saturday evening, thanks to a wildly successful silent auction that featured 150 items.
The club finishes second in the league with a 21-6-0-1 record, and will face the Thunder back in Montreal for a best of three playoff series March 8, 9, 10. This will be the third post-season matchup in a row against Markham in as many years.
With two assists on Saturday, Marie-Philip Poulin reached the 50-point plateau (23 G, 27 A) for the first time in her CWHL career. She is only one of four players to do so in franchise history (along with Sabrina Harbec, Meghan Agosta and Caroline Ouellette).
Game 1: Thunder 1, Les Canadiennes 2
The team skated out to a raucous applause on the Laval Rocket’s arena and kicked off the festivities by celebrating several breast cancer survivors on the red carpet. The pre-game ceremony included a powerful rendition of the Canadian national anthem sung by Quebecois singer, Lulu Hughes. The atmosphere remained electric throughout the game.
“It’s one of my favourite games of the season,” said associate coach Caroline Ouellette. “We’re always excited for this game, and it was great to have such an amazing crowd to cheer us on. Many years ago, the players initiated this annual game to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer, and to know we’ve now raised well over $ 116 000 for the cause is special.”
After a scoreless first period, Markham’s Victoria Bach, who leads all CWHL rookies in points, silenced the crowd when she scored off a rebound to give her team the lead 2:51 into the second frame. Les Canadiennes, who dominated the shot clock by a 41 to 18 margin, generated several quality scoring chances that resulted in two quick goals past the halfway mark of the game. On a powerplay, Mélodie Daoust tipped a slapshot from captain Marie-Philip Poulin for the equalizer. With 31 seconds left in the period Ann-Sophie Bettez fed a crisp pass to Jill Saulnier in front of the net, scoring the game winner.
The Thunder mustered only three shots on goal in the final period and pulled netminder Erica Howe for extra attacker near the end of the game but Les Canadiennes captured the win.
Three stars: 1. Marie-Philip Poulin (2 A) 2. Emerance Maschmeyer (17 saves) 3. Erica Howe (39 saves)
Game summary: http://montreal.thecwhl.com/stats/game-summary/782
Game 2: Thunder 3, Les Canadiennes 2
On Place Bell’s community rink on Sunday, Les Canadiennes’ pre-game ceremony highlighted five players who reached the 100 career games in the CWHL milestone, including Sophie Brault, Katia Clement-Heydra, Kim Deschênes, Karell Emard and Lauriane Rougeau.
Finishing the first frame without a goal, the Thunder were first on the scoreboard thanks to Jess Jones at the beginning of the second period. They doubled their tally with four minutes left with a goal from Jamie Lee Rattray.
Laura Stacey scored the eventual game-winner near the halfway mark of the third period. Les Canadiennes responded with two fast goals seconds later when Jill Saulnier defeated Howe. Ann-Sophie Bettez followed with a powerful, top-shelf goal to reduce Montreal’s deficit to one. With an extra forward, Les Canadiennes tried to tie the game but came up short in the final minutes.
“We need to play a full 60 minutes and score early, [if we want to defeat the Thunder in the playoffs],” said Karell Emard. “We need to get in front of Howe right away. [We are successful] when we play with the speed we have and the puck movement we’re known for.”
Three stars: 1. Jamie Lee Rattray (1 G) 2. Karell Emard (1 A) 3. Laura Stacey (1 G, 1 A)
Game summary: http://montreal.thecwhl.com/stats/game-summary/786
The team will continue fundraising for the MUHC’s breast clinic with an online auction on Ebay that ends next week. (EBay identifier: LesCanadiennesBreastCancer)
Les Canadiennes practice schedule prior to playoffs:
Feb. 27: 8pm-9:30pm, Place Bell (closed to the public)
Mar. 5-7: 8pm-9:30pm, Place Bell (closed to the public
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About the CWHL
The Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) is the premier, professionally-run women’s hockey league in the world. With six current clubs throughout North America and China, it enables elite female hockey players to pursue their dreams of competing at the highest level possible, while enhancing the lives of others through exceptional athleticism, entertainment, and motivation. The league is a centrally funded not-for-profit organization, meaning all participating teams receive equal access to funding to ensure equal opportunity and competition. To learn more visit thecwhl.com.
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