Big things were expected for Marie-Philip Poulin when she entered the CWHL Draft and was Montreal’s first round pick. After all, this is someone who is considered as one of the best players in women’s hockey.
I don’t know if anyone expected her to dominate as much as she did. She won the CWHL Most Valuable Player award with 23 goals and 23 assists in 22 games. If it wasn’t for her teammate Ann-Sophie Bettez, who was only two points behind, she would have had an 11 point cushion for the Angela James Bowl as the league’s top scorer.
Poulin added eight points in three playoff games.
She had some of the most incredible moments I have ever seen live in hockey. She scored two goals in the opening minute of a game she didn’t start, and scored a goal directly off of a faceoff... that she lost.
But those two things aren’t even the most impressive thing she did this season. This goal against Toronto with a national Sportsnet audience watching takes the cake.
I don’t think I even need to describe what happened. Just an incredible display of skill.
Poulin only had four games where she did not record a point and she had at least two points in 14 of her 22 games, including the first six to start the season.
Her dominance goes back to when she was in the league prior to going to university. In her CWHL career, she has played in 44 games and is already in the top-25 in league scoring all-time with 97 points.
She has played the equivalent of two full seasons and is already among the top scorers.
Perhaps most impressive is Poulin’s ability to rise to the occasion. In her six games against the Calgary Inferno, she had eight goals and three assists - and that was despite the fact she was held scoreless in the final two regular season games between the two teams.
This penalty shot was with the team trying to fight back from a 5-3 deficit in the third period. Between her stick skills and her shot, she’s almost impossible to stop. She also scored the winning goal in a shootout in Montreal’s come-from-behind 5-4 win against Brampton.
At the CWHL All-Star Game, Poulin was once again the best on the ice. She scored two goals and was named the game’s first star. Her first goal in that game showed the quickness and ability she has, and it was scored on her teammate Charline Labonté.
Poulin’s biggest contribution might be what she brought the entire team. Last year, Les Canadiennes scored 67 goals en route to a third place finish in the regular season. This year with Poulin, Katia Clement-Heydra, and Leslie Oles among newcomers, they had 114, 17 more than any other team and a difference year-to-year more than Poulin’s point total.
Poulin also helped Caroline Ouellette coach the all girls team at the Quebec City Pee-Wee tournament. She represented Canada on two occasions this year, and was named captain for both the 4 Nations Cup and the World Championships.
She had two goals and four assists in five games at the Worlds.