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Les Canadiennes survive scare, shorthanded roster to sweep Worcester

A two-goal deficit did not prevent Montreal from completing the sweep.

Shanna Martin / Eyes on the Prize

Les Canadiennes were missing seven players due to the Rivalry Series but they still defeated the Worcester Blades twice over the weekend to keep their hopes of top spot in the league alive.

Montreal was missing their top two goaltenders Emerance Maschmeyer and Geneviève Lacasse plus defender Erin Ambrose and forwards Marie-Philip Poulin, Ann-Sophie Bettez, Jill Saulnier, and Hilary Knight.

To deal with the short roster, they recalled Kayla Tutino and Emmanuelle Blais from their 40-player roster and had Mélodie Daoust return from injury. Goaltender Maude Nicol was also recalled to back up Marie-Soleil Deschênes.

On Sunday, the Blades opened up a 2-0 lead in the second period, as they tried to record their first win in over a calendar year. However, Sarah Lefort and Katia Clement-Heydra would score two goals in 18 seconds late in the period to tie the game up at 2-2. Clement-Heydra would add a second less than two minutes later and the Canadiennes went into the third period up 3-2.

Lauriane Rougeau would add a fourth goal in the third period, and it ended up being the game-winning goal as the Blades would get a third goal late to make the final 4-3.

Deschênes made 23 saves in the win. Lauren Dahm made 39 saves for Worcester.

On Saturday, Les Canadiennes got off to a much quicker start. They scored just 21 seconds into the game when Catherine Daoust got on the board. Worcester would tie the game on a goal from Kaitlyn Spurling but Montreal would score six unanswered goals to finish with a 7-1 win.

Tutino, who also played for the team in China, had a goal and two assists. On Tutino’s goal, Blais earned an assist that moved her into 10th in CWHL scoring. Both players retired from full-time play prior to the start of the season.

Mélodie Daoust, returning to the lineup after missing over two months, had two goals and an assist. Her presence in the top-six just in time for the playoffs will be a huge boost to the Canadiennes.

Montreal’s final series of the regular season comes this weekend against the defending Clarkson Cup champion Markham Thunder. Saturday’s game is the team’s annual Pink in the Rink fundraiser and will be played in the Laval Rocket’s arena at Place Bell following their game against the Manitoba Moose.

One ticket to the Rocket game gets you access to both games. Tickets are available here.