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Les Canadiennes Comeback Falls Short, Drop First Game Of Season

Undefeated no more: Les Canadiennes drop their first game in Calgary, 5-4.

Ari Yanover

Les Canadiennes got their first taste of defeat 5-4 at the hands of the Calgary Inferno.

Both teams were at full force with players back from the 4 Nations Cup, both teams undefeated and looking to claim that top spot in the rankings. Its was a clash of the two league heavyweights. The top-5 ranked scorers in the league exclusively don the bleu-blanc-rouge and the fiery orange and black.

The story of the game was discipline. The two least penalized teams in the league combined for four penalties in the first period alone.

Calgary took full advantage of their man-advantage to score the opening marker on their first shot of the game. That would be one of two shots they notched in the first period. Montreal equalized on rookie Karell Emard's second goal of the season in the dying minutes of the first.

In the second period, the floodgates opened. Montreal's Caroline Ouellette tallied two to tie her for first in the league in scoring, including one 57 seconds into the frame.

The deluge came at the other end of the ice though as Japanese national team member Kanae AokiJill Saulnier, and two from Jessica Campbell filled the net behind Charline Labonté. It's the first time all season Les Canadiennes were forced to mount a comeback.

Discipline proved costly for Calgary again in the third. They took the only three penalties in the final frame not including a penalty shot awarded to sniper Marie-Philip Poulin after a mad scramble in the crease. Poulin made no mistake, netting her fourth of the season in only her third game.

In the dying minutes, Calgary gave Montreal a golden opportunity. With Labonté pulled, the Inferno's Sarah Davis was sent to the box for delay of game with 21 seconds left. It was a shooting frenzy but despite the last ditch effort, the Canadiennes were unable to sneak one past Calgary's Delayne Brian.

The game is a testament to just how strong Calgary is at both ends of the ice. Along with Elena Lovell, Brianne Jenner and Brittany Esposito in the top-5 scorers in the league, the Inferno boast both the league's statistically best goalies. Brian and Kathy Desjardins have played three and two games respectively and have posted a 1.67 and 1.50 GAA.

Much like the other Montreal team did, Les Canadiennes outshot their opponents by a wide margin of 39-23 but still came away on the wrong side of the scoresheet.

For Montreal to come away with a win this road trip the key is to draw penalties. Les Canadiennes cracked Calgary's perfect penalty kill last night, but the bulk of the chances they got were on the power play. Les Canadiennes boast the best power play in the league, scoring 18.5% of the opportunities they get. Discipline will be the key to the rematch.

Three Stars

1. G- Delayne Brian – Calgary Inferno
2. F- Caroline Ouellette – Les Canadiennes
3. F- Jessica Campbell – Calgary Inferno

Les Canadiennes get a chance for redemption today at 1:15 pm.