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PWHL: Montreal falls in shootout after fighting back against New York

Marie-Philip Poulin and Abby Roque battle. (Photo Credit: PWHL)

Abby Roque and Alex Carpenter scored in the shootout as New York defeated Montreal 3-2 on Wednesday night at UBS Arena.

Laura Stacey was stopped by Abbey Levy to clinch the victory for New York, their first win on home ice this season. Montreal erased a two-goal deficit after falling behind 2-0 to force extra time. Carpenter’s shootout goal came after she scored twice in the first period. Carpenter leads the PWHL in points.

Carpenter opened the scoring with a snipe coming down the left wing on the power play just 2:43 into the game. The period was bookended with Carpenter special teams goals as with 1:13 remaining in the first period, she one-timed a shot from the slot to beat Ann-Renée Desbiens for a jailbreak shorthanded goal. Carpenter has eight goals and six assists for 14 points this season. The second goal came right after Desbiens stopped Abby Roque on a breakaway chance.

“New York outplayed us in the first and it’s it’s tough to play down two goals for a game because you’re maybe using players a little bit differently trying to get something sparked, maybe changing a couple things around and it’s tough on the players to do that,” said Montreal head coach Kori Cheverie. “We know that as coaches and so the longer you’re down, the longer you’re maybe exhausting some of your key resources in order to try to get the game tied up. So then when you have the opportunity when the game is tied, some of your players who play in those moments are tired.”

The lead was cut to 2-1 late in the second period. On the power play, Stacey took advantage of the free space in front of her and wired a shot past Levy. It was her sixth goal of the season and only the team’s third power play goal midway through their season.

“We need to help [Poulin and Erin Ambrose] out,” Stacey said. “We need to put the puck in the net too because it’s really easy to take out two people when you focus on them a lot and obviously they have a ton of skill so all teams want to shut them down. So the three of us really need to help them out as much as we can and be threats when we do have the puck. It’s extremely important, and we’re trying our best to help those two out up top.”

In the third period, there was some controversy as Montreal pushed for the tie. With just under 12:30 left in the period, Marie-Philip Poulin appeared to get a power play goal that deflected in front and behind Levy to make it 2-2. The goal was reviewed for goaltender interference, however, and it was ruled that Stacey had made incidental contact preventing Levy from making the save.

“Personally I don’t think there was any contact but I’m not 100% sure,” Stacey said. “Honestly I haven’t even seen [a replay]. I don’t remember touching her and [Levy] actually came up to me and mentioned that she didn’t think I did.”

The team didn’t let that faze them. Exactly one minute later, Tereza VaniÅ¡ovĂ¡ drove the net and the puck bounced in front to Maureen Murphy, who made no mistake and tied the game at 2-2. However, this goal was also reviewed. VaniÅ¡ovĂ¡ was pushed into the net by the New York defender and lifted the net off the ice and its moorings. This review was ruled as a good goal.

“Honestly, that’s how hockey goes,” Stacey said. “Sometimes it’s not an easy sport and sometimes you’re on the right side of a call sometimes you’re not and unfortunately that one didn’t go in for us but at least our team bounced back right after that and put another one in the net to tie it up.”

“I was happy with our resiliency to come back after that disallowed power play goal,” said Cheverie. “I think those moments are really important to keep on banking and as we move closer to playoff contention, we’ll keep we’ll keep building on those moments and banking them in the vault.”

New York had one more chance in regulation to win, with a power play with four minutes remaining. Montreal had a shorthanded chance of their own, with a two-on-one with Poulin and Stacey. Poulin made the pass to Stacey, and Stacey’s one-touch pass back to Poulin was blocked.

Late in the game, both teams had chances. Ann-RenĂ©e Desbiens was forced to make some big saves to keep the game tied, and Montreal’s best chance came when Claire Dalton rang one off the post in the game’s final minute.

Overtime saw two key saves by Levy on Poulin, and Desbiens had to come up big on Alex Carpenter as well. Both teams had four shots in a back-and-forth extra frame. It was all for naught, however, as the game eventually needed a shootout. Desbiens made 20 saves, while Levy made 21.

The five-round shootout saw Poulin shoot twice for Montreal, VaniÅ¡ovĂ¡ and Stacey also went once each but were all stopped by Levy. New York’s Carpenter was stopped on her first attempt but Abby Roque scored and Carpenter scored on her second attempt. Followed by Levy’s save on Stacey, the game was over.

With the point, Montreal moves into a tie with Minnesota for top spot in the PWHL at the halfway mark. Both teams have played 12 games this season. The other four teams in the league have played 11 games each but they hold a four point lead on Toronto, meaning no team can catch them with their game in hand.

“We’ve got to play the full game,” Cheverie said. “We’ve been in a situation where we need to start the game really strong and we just haven’t the past two games, but we keep managing to get points. One point is just not enough. It’s not enough. It’s hard to get three [points] in this league and know if we can put together a full 60 minutes we’ll be in a good spot.”

The battle for the playoffs is sure to be intense as only the top four teams will make it. Montreal’s next game is Saturday afternoon at the Verdun Auditorium against Ottawa.


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