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Les Canadiennes sweep Toronto Furies, extend winning streak to four games

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Montreal’s offence explodes in the second game of the weekend series.

Chris Tanouye/Canadian Women’s Hockey League

For the second straight weekend, Les Canadiennes swept a team from the Greater Toronto Area. They outscored the Toronto Furies 8-0 over the two games one week after they swept the Markham Thunder by a combined score of 12-1.

Saturday’s game saw a tight 1-0 win for Montreal. Erin Ambrose scored her first goal of the season to win the game against her former team. Emerance Maschmeyer made 21 saves in the shutout.

On Sunday, the floodgates opened. Montreal scored three times in each of the second and third periods en route to a 7-0 win. Maschmeyer got her second straight shutout, making 17 saves. She now has a 5-1-0 record on the season with a 0.84 goals against average and .956 save percentage. She earned her 10th career shutout during the weekend as well.

“The Saturday game was a tougher game, but getting two wins is amazing,” said Canadiennes forward Ann-Sophie Bettez. “We’re getting contributions from all over. It’s a team sport. Our team has a lot of depth and that’s what’s going to make the difference.”

Mélodie Daoust opened the scoring in the first period with her CWHL-leading fifth goal of the season 5:47 into the first period with assists from Ambrose and Bettez.

Katia Clement-Heydra, who was moved to the second line with Jill Saulnier and Hilary Knight for Sunday’s game had a goal and two assists in the win. Her first goal of the season came 4:14 into the second period. Clement-Heydra was credited with a second goal at 10:18, but that goal will be changed to Hilary Knight’s second of the year.

In between the two goals, Bettez scored her third goal of the season.

“We’re pretty confident,” Bettez said. “We have a lot of skill all over at every position. We just need to put pucks on net and look to get some ugly goals sometimes.”

The third period saw three players get their first goals of the season. Tracy-Ann Lavigne and Olivia Atkinson scored 36 seconds apart as the fourth line got into the act with two goals. It was Atkinson’s first goal in the CWHL.

“That’s what makes the biggest difference,” Bettez said about the fourth line. “They don’t get a lot of ice time but they still have a lot of skill. It’s an energy line and the fact that they got two goals in [36 seconds] shows they can definitely contribute.”

Rookie Taylor Willard scored three minutes later with her first goal in the CWHL.

“We all [pay attention to who gets their first CWHL goals],” Bettez said. “With all the newcomers there’s always someone who screams at the players on the ice to get the puck. It’s such a memorable moment for them and we won’t do it every time but for the first one it’s important.”

Les Canadiennes also killed all nine of their penalties over the weekend, and have yet to allow a power play goal through six games this season.

For Bettez, this weekend was about more than just two wins. Playing two games, she reached the 150 career games plateau, and perhaps most remarkably, she did it without missing a game setting a new record for most consecutive games played in CWHL history.

“[I feel] old,” she said before laughing when asked how it felt. “It just means I’ve been around for a long time and hopefully I can still bring a lot of leadership and passion for the game to the younger players.”

The CWHL is now taking a break for the 4 Nations Cup, to be held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan from November 6-10. Four Canadiennes are on Canada’s roster: Daoust, Maschmeyer, Saulnier and Marie-Philip Poulin. Hilary Knight will be playing for the United States.

Montreal’s next games are November 17-18 when they will make their first visit to Worcester to take on the Blades.

Worcester will be the first CWHL team to make a trip to China. They will play the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays three times from November 6-10.