In two tightly contested battles in front of two great crowds, special teams were at the forefront as Les Canadiennes skated away with a split against the Brampton Thunder on Saturday and Sunday.
Les Canadiennes (7-2-1) battled back from three one-goal deficits to claim an overtime victory on a power play on Saturday. On Sunday, the Thunder tied it late in the third period before clinching an extra session win on a 5-on-3 advantage, handing Montreal its first home loss since March 1, 2015.
Caroline Ouellette recorded a pair of goals and an assist over the weekend to bring her to within seven points of the 300-mark for her CWHL career. Ouellette sits second in CWHL scoring with 15 points on the season, just one shy of Marie-Philip Poulin, whose two helpers kept her atop the leaderboard.
Les Canadiennes hit the road next weekend to face the Boston Blades. They’ll return to home ice the following week, hosting the Calgary Inferno for Montreal’s Heritage Game on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Bell Centre (tickets), and on Sunday, Dec. 11 at Étienne-Desmarteau Arena.
Saturday, Nov. 26 at Bell Sports Complex: Les Canadiennes 4, Brampton Thunder 3 (OT)
In a game featuring an electric crowd and end-to-end action, the goaltenders were on top of their games in the first period with Charline Labonté and Liz Knox trading highlight-reel saves. Labonté, on her back in the crease, got her stick over to the other side to deny defenceman Courtney Birchard. Moments later, Knox replied with a quick glove save on Caroline Ouellette before denying Kim Deschênes on a breakaway.
Rebecca Vint opened the scoring on the power play 37 seconds into the middle frame when she drove along the right side before cutting into the middle. Cathy Chartrand tied it three minutes later, beating Knox top shelf with a perfect snipe from the left circle.
Jess Jones’s power play tally made it 2-1 Brampton at 5:29 when she picked up the rebound of Birchard shot. But Les Canadiennes responded again, this time on the power play, with Chartrand pausing in the slot before feeding Ouellette inside the blue line, whose shot was tipped by Noémie Marin in front midway through the period.
Jones notched her second of the night, again on the power play, when she batted the puck out of the air and into the net at 1:48 of the third period. Montreal had its chances to tie and did just that at 8:43 when Marie-Philip Poulin sent a perfect feed to Ouellette in front.
Ouellette clinched the win with a power-play marker from the right circle just under two minutes into overtime.
Game summary: http://bit.ly/20161126vsBRM
Sunday, Nov. 27 at Étienne-Desmarteau Arena: Brampton Thunder 3, Les Canadiennes 2 (OT)
After a scoreless first period, Brampton’s power play found success again 3:19 of the second when Courtney Birchard’s point shot found its way through traffic into the back of the net. Karell Emard connected on the power play from her knees to tie it for Les Canadiennes at 11:42.
Katia Clément-Heydra showed off her skill when she went coast to coast to give Montreal the lead two minutes into the third period. But the Thunder evened the score at 13:56 on the power play.
Jamie Lee Rattray made the most of Brampton’s 5-on-3 advantage in overtime to give the visitors the win.
Game summary: http://bit.ly/20161127vsBRM
Dec. 3-4: at Boston Blades
Dec. 10: vs. Calgary Inferno at the Bell Centre (Tickets)
Dec. 11: vs. Calgary Inferno at Étienne-Desmarteau Arena.
Full schedule: http://montreal.thecwhl.com/en/schedule?team=2