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Montreal @ Boston Game 3 Preview: Tomorrow is not guaranteed

Marie-Philip Poulin and Hannah Brandt battle. (Photo Credit: Pascal Ratthe/PWHL)

Best of Five series, Game 3 (Boston leads 2-0)
Tsongas Center

Start time: 7:00 PM ET / 4:00 PM PT
In Canada: TSN1 (English), RDS2 (French)
In the United States (Regional): NESN+, Bally Sports North, MSG2
Streaming: YouTube, Women’s Sports Network

It’s easy to forget now, but there was a time when things were pretty precarious for Montreal. They were riding a four-game losing streak, they were coming back from the international break, and had a Bell Centre game against Toronto looming.

Against Minnesota at the Verdun Auditorium, they were losing 3-2 with less than three minutes to go. By now, you may know what happened. Montreal scored twice in regulation to win the game, which put them in the driver’s seat not only for a playoff spot, but for home ice.

But what would have happened if they didn’t pull out the win, or even force overtime? Well, Minnesota would have pulled ahead, seven points up and pretty much out of reach. Ottawa, a team that missed the playoffs remember, would have been only four points back with a game in hand. Boston was also looming, just six points back.

Montreal Statistics (Playoffs) Boston
0-2 Record 2-0
1.00 (3rd) Goals per game 2.00 (T-1st)
2.00 (T-3rd) Goals against per game 1.00 (2nd)
22.2% (2/9) (1st) PP% 0% (0/4) (T-2nd)
100% (4/4) (T-1st) PK% 77.8% (7/9) (4th)
0-2 Head-to-Head Record 2-0

Kristin O’Neill, who scored the game-winning goal said a switch just flipped for the players.

Going into a must-win Game 3 on Tuesday, Montreal knows their season is over with one more loss. They can sit and feel sorry for themselves about how they have lost two games in overtime, or how they have (in the words of head coach Kori Cheverie) dominated seven of the nine periods they played. Or how (in the words of Marie-Philip Poulin) Boston goaltender Aerin Frankel is a brick wall.

Somehow despite all the opportunities, Marie-Philip Poulin is without a point in these playoffs. She’s known to rise in big moments and right now, there is none bigger.

For Montreal, tomorrow is not guaranteed. The only way they play another game is by winning one.

Big time players step up in big moments. Boston’s team is full of big time players too, they aren’t going to go down lightly and they do not want to give Montreal any momentum. They will also get Jamie Lee Rattray back for Game 3 after she missed the first two games.

If Montreal extends the series and avoids being the first team to ever be swept in a PWHL playoff series, Game 4 would be Thursday.

Montreal potential lineup

FORWARDS
43 KRISTIN O’NEILL 29 MARIE-PHILIP POULIN 7 LAURA STACEY
18 MIKYLA GRANT-MENTIS 15 MAUREEN MURPHY 25 MÉLODIE DAOUST
16 SARAH LEFORT 8 GABRIELLE DAVID 42 CLAIRE DALTON
28 CATHERINE DUBOIS 14 JILLIAN DEMPSEY 12 LEAH LUM
DEFENDERS
9 KATI TABIN 23 ERIN AMBROSE
2 MARIAH KEOPPLE 44 AMANDA BOULIER
6 MADISON BIZAL 4 CATHERINE DAOUST
10 BRIGITTE LAGANIÈRE
GOALTENDERS
35 ANN-RENÉE DESBIENS
20 ELAINE CHULI

Extras: G 1 Marlène Boissonnault, F 17 Alexandra Poznikoff, F 26 Sarah Bujold (injured), F 24 Ann-Sophie Bettez (LTIR), D 96 Dominika Lásková (LTIR), F 22 Kennedy Marchment (LTIR)

Boston potential lineup

FORWARDS
11 ALINA MÜLLER 88 SUSANNA TAPANI 37 TERESA SCHAFZAHL
47 JAMIE LEE RATTRAY 20 HANNAH BRANDT 21 HILARY KNIGHT
77 NICOLE KOSTA 8 LEXIE ADZIJA 9 SOPHIE SHIRLEY
12 TAYLOR WENCZKOWSKI 19 GIGI MARVIN 16 AMANDA PELKEY
55 KELLY BABSTOCK
DEFENDERS
5 MEGAN KELLER 2 EMILY BROWN
22 JESSICA DIGIROLAMO 13 KALEIGH FRATKIN
97 JESS HEALEY 7 SIDNEY MORIN
GOALTENDERS
31 AERIN FRANKEL
30 EMMA SÖDERBERG

Extras: G 35 Cami Kronish, D 18 Abby Cook, F 17 Taylor Girard (LTIR), F 36 Loren Gabel (LTIR)

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