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Ann-Sophie Bettez leads Les Canadiennes to back-to-back wins in first games as captain

The new captain scored five goals over the weekend including Saturday’s shootout winner

Chris Tanouye

The turning point of the weekend may very well have been as Les Canadiennes fell behind 2-0 to the Markham Thunder on Saturday night. From that point, Montreal outshot the Thunder and ended up winning 3-2 in a shootout before beating the Toronto Furies 8-3 on Sunday afternoon.

It seems like when the Markham Thunder and Les Canadiennes play, you’re going to get some free hockey.

For the third straight game this season, Montreal and Markham went to overtime to settle things but this time they needed a shootout as Les Canadiennes overcame a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2.

Ann-Sophie Bettez, in her first game as captain, tied the game in the third period and then won it with the only goal in the shootout.

Markham took a 1-0 lead when Laura McIntosh broke in all alone for her second goal of the season 11:56 into the first period, beating Emerance Maschmeyer.

The Thunder would take a 2-0 lead early in the second period as Kristen Barbara would knock in her rebound just 41 seconds into the frame.

That goal would wake up Les Canadiennes. They were outshot 11-4 in the first period, but were dominant in the final part of the game. They would have two goals disallowed, one because the net came off the moorings before the puck crossed and another for goaltender interference.

Despite getting outshot 11-4, Montreal would end up winning the shot battle for the game, and the third period was just a dominant display and the game would have settled before the end of regulation if not for the play of Thunder goaltender Erica Howe. The teams did trade chances and Maschmeyer was big for Montreal as well.

The weekend featured a new top line, putting Bettez with Marin and Karell Emard and it was Marin who opened the scoring for Montreal at 14:37 of the second period to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Early in the third period, Bettez would score to tie the game at 2-2 batting a puck in with a baseball swing that was legal because it was under the crossbar.

Late in the period, the action continued to be furious. Chances were happening on both ends of the rink. Late in the period, Katia Clement-Heydra thought she scored to give Montreal the lead, but it was called back due to goaltender interference.

Howe would stand tall in the final minute, making a series of saves on Marin to send the game to overtime. In the overtime period, played at four-on-four, there would be more chances but Howe and Maschmeyer - both alternates for the Canadian Olympic team - wouldn’t budge.

In the shootout, Bettez was the only player to score leading to another extra-time win for the Canadiennes against Markham.

Sunday’s win was a lot less dramatic. Only 38 seconds into the game, Montreal was leading 2-0. Katia Clement-Heydra, playing this weekend with Sarah Lefort and Kayla Tutino, scored 27 seconds into the game and Bettez scored her first of the game 11 seconds later.

Bettez would end up with a hat trick. She scored her second of the game at 13:44 of the first period and completed the hat trick with a shorthanded goal with less than five minutes remaining to make the score 7-2.

Montreal had a 3-0 lead after the first, and Clement-Heydra made it 4-0 with her second of the game in the first half of the second period. Marion Allemoz and Emard would also score in the second period, with Jenna Dingeldein scoring in between the two Montreal markers to make it 6-1 after two periods.

Toronto swapped goaltenders at 10:01 of the second period when the score was 4-0. Starter Sonja van der Bliek was replaced by Sami Jo Small, who also allowed four goals.

In the third period, Carolyne Prevost would make the score 6-2 before Montreal got two goals late in the period by Bettez and Cathy Chartrand to make the score 8-2. Emily Fulton got one last goal for Toronto in the final minute to make it the 8-3 final.

Maschmeyer got the start in back-to-back games for Montreal who had to play only 15 hours after their game against Markham ended. She made 22/25 saves in the win as Montreal outshot Toronto 43-25.

Sarah Lefort had three assists. Tutino also had two assists. Chartrand, Allemoz and Emard also had multi-point efforts.

The game ended at 3-on-3 due to late penalties including six calls all happening with 28 seconds left. There were three roughing calls along with a holding, a body checking and cross checking call. The two teams will play again this weekend with two games in Montreal.

With the two wins, Montreal improves to 7-2-0 on the year, and move into a tie with the Kunlun Red Star for third spot in the CWHL. Montreal has played two fewer games than the Red Star.

CWHL Standings

CALGARY 10 8 0 1 17 39 18
VANKE 9 8 1 0 16 37 11
MONTREAL 9 7 2 0 14 34 24
KUNLUN 11 7 4 0 14 28 24
MARKHAM 13 3 7 3 9 19 36
TORONTO 11 3 7 1 7 15 33
BOSTON 9 0 8 1 1 14 40

As mentioned, Montreal’s next two games are Saturday (5:30 p.m.) and Sunday (1:30 p.m.) at the Michel-Normandin Arena against the Furies. On Sunday, the team will raise their Clarkson Cup championship banner.

Tickets are available here.