Great goaltending and an outstanding penalty kill resulted in Les Canadiennes putting together a 5-0 win on Saturday night over the Boston Blades at the Walter Brown Arena.
Charline Labonté opened up the first period with an early save on Boston’s Maggie DiMasi. Shorty after Montreal took their first penalty when Brittney Fouracres was called for hooking. Marie-Philip Poulin was able to win the face off in the offensive zone and the result was a short-handed scoring opportunity for Caroline Ouellette.
The penalty kill, that came into the game last in the league, remained aggressive and Montreal was able to limit the time spent in their end. Boston’s Meghan Grieves fired a backhanded shot that passed through Labonté’s crease but did not enter the net. DiMasi takes another shot that is once again stopped by Labonte.
Montreal regained control of the puck and Katia Clement-Heydra had the team’s second shorthanded scoring opportunity. A set of saves made by Lauren Dahm kept the score tied during the Boston power play that looked more like a penalty kill.
After a battle along the boards Caroline Ouellette took possession and carried the puck into Boston’s end. She left the puck for Noémie Marin who passed it across to Cassandra Poudrier. Poudrier shot the puck off the post and in for her first CWHL goal.
Less than a minute later a Boston turnover resulted in Ann-Sophie Bettez breaking into the zone and tucking the team’s second goal in behind Dahm. The period closed out with a series of impressive saves on both ends. Lauren Dahm made a save against Poulin and Labonté prevented a breakaway goal by Meghan Grieves.
Les Canadiennes open the second with a similar offensive aggression. Multiple penalties ensued for both teams. Boston’s Sato Kikuchi was called for hooking early in the period, and right as that penalty was expiring, Meghan Greives was called for delay of game for clearing the puck over the glass.
Montreal took penalties when Poudrier is called for roughing and shortly after when Poulin went to the box for cross checking. Through all the special teams time, including a five-on-three for Les Canadiennes, the score remained unchanged in the second period.
Early in the third period Cathy Chartrand was called for tripping. Montreal was once again able to hold off the Boston power play, which is currently the leagues worst. Shortly after, Leslie Oles got an assist on Poudrier’s second goal of the night.
Montreal returned to the penalty kill when Marion Allemoz got called for holding. During the penalty, Les Canadiennes struck twice. Caroline Ouellette and Ann-Sophie Bettez both scored shorthanded goals 51 seconds apart. Bettez’s goal marked her 150th point in the CWHL.
After coming into the game with the league’s worst penalty kill, the team killed off all five Boston power play chances, and took the league lead with their third and fourth shorthanded goals.
Les Canadiennes will be playing Boston again on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Montreal’s next home game will be the Heritage Classic against the Calgary Inferno. The game will be played December 10 at the Bell Centre, tickets are available here.
NOTES: Bettez’s two points put her in sole possession of fifth all-time in CWHL scoring. Ouellette is at 295 career points, closing in on being the first player to reach 300.
Montreal is now one point behind Calgary for first place in the CWHL. Calgary has a game in hand.
Forward Leslie Oles and defender Melanie Desrochers returned to the Canadiennes lineup. Forwards Emilie Bocchia, and Alyssa Sherrard, and defenders Julie Chu and Sophie Brault did not play.