Les Canadiennes were without Caroline Ouellette, Julie Chu, Noémie Marin, and Emmanuelle Blais and at the end of 60 minutes they would be without a goal in a 3-0 loss to the Calgary Inferno on Saturday night at the Winsport Arena.
The third period was an odd one, to say the least. With Montreal trailing 2-0, Calgary defender Jacqui Pierri was called for seven minutes in penalties on one play, two minutes for boarding and a five minute major for kicking.
If you look at the video below, you can see the boarding penalty on the left hand side of the screen, then after the scramble, when the camera zooms in, you can see the Montreal players react to Pierri, who was the Calgary player on the ice.
With all the officials around, I assume that’s where the major came from but you can’t really see it in the video.
That gave Montreal a seven minute power play with just over nine minutes left, but they were unable to score. Montreal was missing 3/5 of their first unit power play (Ouellette, Chu, Marin) and Emerance Maschmeyer was outstanding, making 25 saves in the win.
The power play was cut short when Montreal was called for too many players on the ice. That, also, was a controversial call. Montreal did have six players on the ice, but they had already pulled Charline Labonté so it shouldn’t have been a penalty. Marie-Philip Poulin and Cathy Chartrand appealed to the referee, but to no avail.
That penalty didn’t cost Montreal alone, but it probably didn’t help them feel better about the loss.
Calgary opened the scoring in the second period when Haley Irwin re-directed a Rebecca Johnston pass past Labonté, who was great for Montreal in the loss.
Down 1-0, Montreal would be shorthanded twice, but would get chances to tie the game. Karell Emard rang a shot off the post, and on a different penalty, Ann-Sophie Bettez was stopped by Maschmeyer.
Calgary would double their lead late in the period when Blayre Turnbull would beat Labonté in front of the net.
Jill Saulnier would add an empty net goal for Calgary late in the third period.
Labonté made 21/23 saves for Montreal in the loss, and was great in the first period to keep the game scoreless. As is the norm for her, she wasn’t busy often, but when she was, she had to face dangerous scoring chances.
The game was special for Calgary who were wearing their purple jerseys in their annual ‘Start the Spark’ game which helps the Do It For Daron movement which advocates for youth mental health.
With the loss, Calgary clinched the regular season CWHL title. They will host the Toronto Furies in a best of three series next weekend while Montreal will finish second and host the Brampton Thunder.
The two teams close out the regular season Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET at Winsport Arena in Calgary.