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Ann-Sophie Bettez leads Les Canadiennes to win in China

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Danièle Sauvageau wins her debut behind the bench led by her stars.

Shanna Martin / Eyes on the Prize

Ann-Sophie Bettez had three goals and an assist to lead Les Canadiennes to a 4-1 victory Wednesday morning against the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays in China.

Bettez’s big game moved her into a tie for the league scoring race with teammate Marie-Philip Poulin, who had a goal and an assist of her own. Bettez and Poulin have 22 points in 13 games.

Two of Bettez’s goals came shorthanded, including her third goal into the empty net. She opened the scoring shorthanded 13:54 into the second period after a scoreless first.

Montreal’s special teams continued to bear fruit with a power play goal after back-to-back Rays penalties left them with a two-player advantage. Poulin, as is the trademark, finished the passing back-and-forth with Erin Ambrose to double the Canadiennes lead.

Poulin and Bettez would combine to give Montreal a 3-0 lead in the third period as a nifty pass by Poulin allowed Bettez to use her moves in close to beat Noora Räty.

Emerance Maschmeyer was great - again - for Montreal, making 28 of 29 saves, including several top notch stops. Kunlun’s lone goal came on the power play with just over seven minutes remaining.

The win was the first for new associate coach Danièle Sauvageau, who was taking over as fellow associate coach Caroline Ouellette did not make the trip to China. Sauvageau coached Canada to gold at the 2002 Olympics and is one of the top coaches in women’s hockey history.

The two teams play again on Friday morning at 6:30am EST and on Saturday at 1:30am EST to close out the trip.

Notes

  • Les Canadiennes had Jill Saulnier and Katia Clement-Heydra return to the lineup after missing time with injuries. Saulnier played with Bettez and Poulin and had an assist. Hilary Knight (undisclosed) and Mélodie Daoust (injury) were out for Montreal.
  • Forward Kayla Tutino played her first game of the season after being recalled from the reserve roster. Montreal dressed eight defenders for the game.