Les Canadiennes used two second period shorthanded goals to take control of their game on Saturday night against the Boston Blades, en route to a 4-0 win in front of a standing-room only crowd at the Complexe Bell in Brossard.
It looked like it was going to be easy for Montreal when they took the lead just under seven minutes into the game when Kim Deschênes took a shot from the left circle that Geneviève Lacasse got a piece of, but the puck bounced in the air and fell behind the goaltender and slid past the goal line. It was Deschênes' sixth goal of the season.
The game stayed 1-0 until the second half of the second period despite Montreal getting a lot of chances. Unfortunately for Les Canadiennes, Lacasse was up to the task. She has played every minute for Boston this season, and despite a GAA of over 4, she has a save percentage of .918. Montreal fired 55 shots on her on the evening.
They had a 2-on-0 and 3-on-0 in the second period, but couldn't put away either chance. Caroline Ouellette was stopped on the first opportunity and the second one Deschênes missed the net.
The turning point of the game was actually a Montreal penalty when Noémie Marin went off for slashing. Twenty-six seconds later, Ouellette fired a bullet of a wrist shot past Lacasse for the shorthanded goal to open the lead to 2-0. And Montreal wasn't done there.
Thirty-nine seconds after Ouellette's marker, Jordanna Peroff broke into the Boston end. She fed the puck to Cathy Chartrand who finished a tic-tac-toe play to Ann-Sophie Bettez who made no mistake. It would give Montreal a 3-0 lead and completely changed the feeling of a game that Boston was sticking around in.
"Two goals on the same penalty kill definitely gives us the momentum," said Bettez. "When you're on the power play, you expect to score and to get scored on I think it hurt them a lot. My first goal was a tic-tac-toe play and when you play as a team it's much easier to beat goalies like that."
In the third period, Bettez scored her second of the game on the power play from the slot. She now has nine goals on the year.
The crowd at the Complexe Bell was completely sold out and they actually had to turn people away. People were bringing chairs to sit around the outside of the rink and the press box was even opened up to make more room for more fans. The Complexe Bell is smaller than their normal home at the Etienne-Desmarteau Arena and the fans were closer to the action and it made for a unique atmosphere.
"We had an amazing crowd, they're engaged, they were loud and that's what we want," said Canadiennes defender Julie Chu. "It took us a few years and a lot of work from our volunteers to get to this point."
The game was part of the CWHL's You Can Play partnership along with the game between Brampton and Toronto that was televised on Sportsnet Saturday afternoon.
Charline Labonté made 12 saves for her third shutout of the season in only eight starts. Marie-Philip Poulin had one assist to take the CWHL scoring lead by herself, but was always remarkable when she was on the ice and always had the fans on the edge of their seats when she had the puck.