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Les Canadiennes season review: Charline Labonté

Montreal’s goaltender was the best in the CWHL for the second straight year.

Shanna Martin

The biggest tragedy of Les Canadiennes' loss in the Clarkson Cup Final is that the 8-3 loss is the last thing we will remember of Charline Labonté’s 2015-16 season.

Labonté was the first goaltender to win the CWHL Goaltender of the Year award a second time, and has done it in back-to-back years. She has won the award in two of her three CWHL seasons.

She had a pretty incredible year, posting a 17-2 record in 19 starts (20 games), a 1.52 GAA, a .925 save percentage, and five shutouts. She led the league in all of those categories.

She had a stretch of 11 straight wins from November 15 - February 7, and all of her losses came to the eventual Clarkson Cup champions: the Calgary Inferno.

Labonté has a knack of making everything look so easy. She’s usually in the right position and doesn’t have to make the incredible save (but she still can).

She is so consistent and reliable that it’s jarring when she has subpar games like the 5-4 loss to Calgary on November 14 or in the Final.

But after a game that wasn’t up to her standards, she always came back strong. In the two games immediately following a loss (both against Calgary) she allowed a total of one goal and made 57 of 58 saves.

In the second of those two games she stopped 34 of 35 shot in a 2-1 win. It was her best performance of the season and it clinched first place for Les Canadiennes.

It is what gave her the confidence to say that she was sure if there was a best-of-three series for the Cup instead of a one game final, her team would win the next game.

Labonté also played for Canada at the women’s World Championships in Kamloops. She played two games with a 2.00 GAA and .879 save percentage.