Cathy Chartrand’s assist on Katia Clement-Heydra’s game-winning goal in the third period on Sunday was important in more ways than one.
The power play goal not only gave Les Canadiennes a 5-4 lead in their eventual 6-4 win over the Boston Blades, it also set a new all-time CWHL record for scoring among defenders.
The assist was Chartrand’s 96th point (in her 108th game) which passed former Montreal player Annie Guay for top spot among players who played exclusively on the blue line.
Sunday’s game at the Walter Brown arena in Boston was a back-and-forth affair that showed just how far the Blades have come.
Last year, in the final series between the two teams, Boston celebrated scoring a single goal - their first and only against Montreal in six games - like it was their biggest goal of the season. This year, they had a real chance to win.
Les Canadiennes opened up a 2-0 lead in the first period when Ann-Sophie Bettez and Marie-Philip Poulin scored 2:43 apart but the Blades fought back. Meghan Grieves cut the lead to 2-1 2:44 into the second period.
At 10:15 of the second, Kate Leary scored her sixth goal of the year to tie the game at 2-2. Then, just over four minutes later, Erin Kickham scored her third of the year and Boston went into the third period leading 3-2.
Just 2:38 into the third period, Bettez scored her second of the game to tie the game at 3-3. She gave the Canadiennes the lead less than three minutes later as she completed her hat trick.
But the Blades refused to stay down. Leary scored her second of the game, and seventh of the year, to make the score 4-4 11:43 into the third period.
One minute later, Clement-Heydra scored on the power play to give Montreal a 5-4 lead, where Chartrand picked up her milestone assist.
Poulin added an empty net goal for Montreal with 36 seconds remaining. Her and Bettez had five point nights (Poulin had two goals, three assists while Bettez had three goals and two assists). Caroline Ouellette had three assists. Lauriane Rougeau had two assists for Montreal.
For Boston, Grieves added two assists to her goal for a three-point night. Dru Burns also had two assists.
Lauren Dahm, playing her second game in two days, made 38 saves on 43 shots. Catherine Herron got the win for the Canadiennes, and made 14 of 18 saves.
- Montreal used the same lineup as the previous day, with six regulars out of the lineup: Carly Hill, Kim Deschênes, Noémie Marin, Julie Chu, Emmanuelle Blais, and Sarah Lefort. The only switch was Herron playing for Labonté.
- With the five-point games from Poulin and Bettez, Montreal once again has the top three scorers in the league. Ouellette has 27 points, followed by Poulin (25) and Bettez (22). Bettez is tied with Brampton’s Jess Jones for third spot. Cathy Chartrand leads all CWHL defenders with 14 points.
- Montreal’s next games are January 14 and 15 against the Calgary Inferno. Calgary is three points ahead of Montreal for first place in the CWHL. Saturday’s game is at the Complexe Bell in Brossard. Sunday is at the Dollard-des-Ormeaux Civic Centre.