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Sarah Lefort shines but Kunlun beat Les Canadiennes in a shootout

Montreal forward has a hat trick, but Canadiennes can't hold on to late lead

Shanna Martin

Sarah Lefort had yet another multi goal game, scoring a hat trick but Kelli Stack had two assists and the shootout winner as the Kunlun Red Star defeated Les Canadiennes 4-3 on Wednesday morning.

Lefort took the game's first penalty (body checking) and was joined by Karell Emard in the box shorty after (high sticking). Montreal was unable to kill the five on three and Zoe Hickle fired home the game's opening goal.

Montreal's first power play came later in the first when Kunlun's Baiwei Yu was sent to the box for hooking. Montreal had several chances on the power play, including a shot by Kayla Tutino that went just wide, yet the score remained unchanged.

As the end of the first drew near, Lefort had a breakaway, and was able to capitalize by tapping in her own rebound by Kunlun's Noora Räty, making her first start since the bronze medal game in PyeongChang, and tying the game.

With one second left on the clock things got heated as Kunlun's Kelli Stack threw a punch at Ann-Sophie Bettez. Stack was sent to the box for two minutes, while Bettez was given an extra two minutes as she was called for tripping earlier in the play and given another two for roughing.

The penalty was killed off in the opening minutes of the second period, but shortly after Jessica Wong regained the lead for Kunlun with an end-to-end rush and then beat Emerance Maschmeyer with a backhand.

Sarah Lefort scored her second of the game when she tapped in a Noemie Marin rebound off of a Bettez play, once again tying the game this time at 2-2.

Lefort’s second goal was followed shortly thereafter by her third, earning a hat trick, and Montreal's first lead of the game.

Stack closed the second period the way she started it, from inside the penalty box. The penalty came late in the period, giving Montreal 1:37 of power play to start the third.

The penalty was killed off by Kunlun, as Räty continued to make highlight-reel saves. Mashmeyer also killed off her share of penalties in the game which had an abundance of special teams time.

Kayla Tutino was sent off on a tripping call, that looked more like she had received a high stick to the face, however the disadvantage was nullified shortly after when Stack returned to the box.

Late in the game, the Canadiennes Tracy-Ann Lavigne took a penalty when Räty tripped while Lavigne tried to skate around and avoid the Kunlun goaltender. Stephanie Anderson took advantage of the power play and the game was once again tied with 3:51 remaining.

Anderson had Kunlun’s best chance in overtime, with the puck on her stick and Maschmeyer on the other side of her net, yet she misfired the puck. Räty was able to answer all of Montreal’s chances in overtime.

Maschmeyer made 20 of 23 saves while Räty made 28 of 31.

The first five shooters all failed in the shootout before Stack was able to beat Maschmeyer to secure the win.

Notes

  • Sarah Lefort had her third hat trick in seven games and between January 28 and February 28, she had 12 goals and six assists in seven games.
  • Karell Emard returned to the lineup after missing Monday's game.