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Les Canadiennes Season Review: Ann-Sophie Bettez

Ann-Sophie Bettez has finished in the top five of league scoring every year she's played in the CWHL

Shanna Martin

Four of the top five point getters in the CWHL this season played for Les Canadiennes, three of which spent most of the season playing on the same line.

Sophomore Kim Deschênes finished third with 33 points. Marie-Philip Poulin finished first in scoring with 46 points, winning her first Angela James Bowl.

Veteran Ann-Sophie Bettez was the runner up, finishing the 2015-16 season just two points behind Poulin. Bettez has been an integral part of the Montreal squad for the past four seasons, however this season is may be her most impressive one yet.

Bettez was the Angela James Bowl winner in 2014 with 40 points, and her career best 44 this season would have been enough for her to repeat as the league's leading scorer, were it not for the fact that arguably the best women's hockey player in the world came to play in Montreal this season.

As is often the case with truly extraordinary athletes, Poulin makes her linemates and teammates better when she's on the ice, and that was the case with Bettez this season.

Bettez's outstanding play can't entirely be credited to Poulin, however. The 28-year old had two goals and an assist in two games without Poulin this season, including one powerplay goal and a game winner.

There's no question that playing with Poulin helped Bettez this season, but when you watch her on the ice, you can tell that while Poulin is the one finishing, Bettez puts her in great positions as well. This isn't only a case of Poulin lifting Bettez. This is a case of both players making each other even more dominant.

The McGill University alum had 14 multi-point showings this season, including seven multi-goal performances. Though she may be small at five-foot-four, the opposition always knows when Bettez is on the ice.

Bettez plays with an unmatched level of heart, and has a natural nose for the net, just like Brendan Gallagher does. Not to mention, they both have the ability to get under the skin of their opponents. As the season winded down and points were at a premium against the Brampton Thunder, most of the scrums after whistles included the Montreal forward.

What stands out the most about Bettez's play this season was perhaps her work on the power play. She displayed incredible skill, potting several beautiful PPGs, but her patience in setting up her teammates was a thing of beauty as well. In addition to six goals, Bettez racked up six assists with the extra player.

The way that Bettez sets up her linemates is a thing of beauty, as was evident during the Clarkson Cup.

Bettez is no stranger to the big game, having won three championships with the McGill Martlets during her CIS playing days. While she has yet to win at the CWHL level, Les Canadiennes have made it to the Clarkson Cup final in three of Bettez's four seasons with the team.

Bettez flies under the radar of Poulin and Caroline Ouellette because she's not in the national spotlight, but anyone who has watched a Canadiennes game will tell you that she belongs. And make no mistake, she's a significant part of this Montreal team and will be going forward.