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Les Canadiennes look to continue winning ways vs Brampton

The CWHL's two hottest teams are going head to head this weekend

CWHL/Jess Desjardins

Les Canadiennes are in first place and fresh off of a sweep of the Calgary Inferno who were in first place, but this weekend's games against the Brampton Thunder is another big test.

There's no debating Calgary's roster and they are completely deserving of their second place standing. But this weekend's matchup between Montreal and Brampton is one between the league's two hottest teams.

Brampton hasn't lost since their last game against Montreal, a 3-1 loss back on December 13. Since then they are 5-0 with two come-from-behind wins against Calgary and three wins against the Toronto Furies. Les Canadiennes are in the midst of a nine game winning streak dating back to their last loss a day earlier against Brampton.

The 4-0 loss to Brampton was only Montreal's second of the season. They actually outshot the Thunder 39-21 in the game and it was actually 32-11 after two periods when the score was only 2-0. Brampton's fourth goal was an empty net goal with just over six minutes left.

These are the final two meetings between the two teams. Montreal leads the season series 3-1 after they previously swept Brampton in their season-opening series at home.

If Montreal wins both games this weekend, they will clinch home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

The Goaltenders

Charline Labonté (12-1-0, 1.31 GAA, .933 sv%) is putting up incredible numbers as she tries to defend her CWHL Top Goaltender award. She is 9-0 in her last nine starts and didn't play in the December series between the two teams with a lower body injury. Saturday's game will be played at the Boisbriand Arena which was where Labonté grew up.

For Brampton, it is a story of two incredible seasons. Erica Howe (7-3-0, 2.22 GAA, .925 sv%) and Liz Knox (7-2-0, 2.56 GAA, .922 sv%) are the closest challengers to Labonté. You could argue the only reason they were not at the All-Star Game in January was because it would be impossible to choose one over the other.

Players to Watch

It's no secret who to watch on Montreal, and in truth the list has become longer. Marie-Philip Poulin (17g-13a-30p) and Ann-Sophie Bettez (13g-16a-29p) are one point apart in the CWHL scoring race. Caroline Ouellette (11g-10a-21p) and Kim Deschênes (9g-15a-24p) are also in the top 10.

For Brampton, there are a lot of names you might not know that you should. Canadian national team member Laura Fortino (7g-17a-24p) leads all CWHL defenders in scoring and sits in a tie for fourth in overall scoring with three others including Deschênes and teammate Jamie Lee Rattray (11g-13a-24p). Jess Jones (13g-9a-22p) is also in the top 10. Fellow All-Stars Courtney BirchardCandice StylesSarah Edney and Jocelyne Larocque are also some of the league's best.

The game on Saturday starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Boisbriand Arena. Fans are invited to bring their skates to the game as there will be an opportunity to skate with the team following the game where players will be available for autographs and pictures.