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Working overtime: Les Canadiennes fall to Brampton Thunder in OT

Both games in the weekend series went to OT, with both teams earning three points

Shanna Martin/EOTP

Les Canadiennes played their second of two close games against the Brampton Thunder, both of which went to overtime. This game, like the one played on the previous night, showcased the heavily physical play style of Brampton. This one, however, ended with a 3-2 loss in the extra frame.

The physicality was a significant reason as to why both games were so close, said Montreal forward Katia Clement-Heydra.

“They are a very physical team so they take away the room and space, they are in your face right away. Everything had to be half a second faster,” she said. “I think it took time but we got with the rhythm as the game went on.”

In the first period Les Canadiennes took the first of their seven penalties when Sarah Lefort went to the penalty box for cross checking. Strong goaltending from Charline Labonté held off the aggressive Brampton power play and kept the game scoreless. Montreal took their first turn on the power play when Brampton’s Jocelyne Larocque was also called for cross checking.

Montreal generated some scoring chances including a well-aimed shot from Ann-Sophie Bettez, but ultimately strong defensive play resulted in Brampton killing the penalty. Strong saves made by both Charline Labonté and Erica Howe result in the game remaining scoreless after one period.

The second period opened with Montreal taking another penalty, and Brampton’s Courtney Birchard taking advantage and scoring the game’s first goal. Kim Deschênes then took a penalty for body checking. The play shortly becomes even at four versus four when Brampton’s Laura Stacey takes a penalty. The penalty against Montreal expired and Karell Emard got her shot past Howe to tie the game.

Incredible speed and a highlight reel backhand shot from Katia Clement-Heydra gave Montreal an early lead in the third period. Clement-Heydra started the rush in her own end, and then went through three Brampton defenders before putting the backhand by Howe.

The lead was short lived as some exciting four on four hockey ended with Brampton’s Jenna McParland tying the game with six minutes remaining. McParland tipped the Birchard point shot past Labonté. Both teams battled hard and had offensive opportunities are exchanged yet none result in goals.

In overtime, Sarah Lefort took her second penalty of the game, and Lauriane Rougeau followed that shortly after with a penalty of her own for clearing the puck over the glass. With a 5 on 3 advantage and 1:07 left in overtime Brampton forward Jamie Lee Rattray pounced on a loose puck and put it past Labonté for the win.

With the OT loss and Calgary (9-1-0) sweeping Boston (0-7-1), Montreal (7-2-1) falls three points behind Calgary for first place. The three points they earned this weekend puts them three up on third-place Toronto (5-3-2). Brampton (3-5-1) closed the gap on their GTA rivals and are now only four points behind.

Despite the poor record, Brampton has beaten every team ahead of them in the standings. They have yet to play Boston.

Montreal will be in Boston on January 3 and 4 facing off against the Blades. Their next home game is the Heritage Classic on December 10 where they will face off against the defending Clarkson Cup Champion Calgary Inferno at the Bell Centre. Tickets are available here.