Les Canadiennes sweep home openers
Les Canadiennes sweep home openers – It’s off to a great start for Montreal’s Les Canadiennes, CWHL’s 2016-17 Clarkson Cup champions. Not only is the league now in partnership with the NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA) with two more teams added to the league and players starting to be paid this season – but the team swept their first two games against the Boston Blades on the weekend.
On Saturday October 14th at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, Les Canadiennes were down a goal in the first period after Boston forward Michelle Ng scored. It didn’t last long as Montreal’s Bettez tied the game with a shorthanded goal towards the end of the period and then another early in the second, giving them the lead. Melanie Desrochers and Karell Émard both scored their first goals of the season, also in the second period, making it 4-1. In the third period, Boston’s Kate Leary scored, narrowing the gap to two goals. Kayla Tutino then scored Montreal’s second shorthanded goal of the game to help lead the team to a 5-2 victory.
On Sunday, October 15th at the Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard, forwards Kim Deschênes and Noémie Marin opened the first period with two power play goals to give Les Canadiennes a 2-0 lead. It was followed by two more goals by Katia Clément-Heydra and Cathy Chartrand to end the period 4-0. In the second period, Boston Blades’ Kate Leary and Kristina Brown reduced the lead to two goals, with each scoring on power plays, then Montreal’s Chelsey Goldberg scored early in the third to make it 4-3. Despite Boston’s pressure to mount a comeback, Les Canadiennes held their ground and then Tutino added an empty net goal after the Blades pulled their goalie.
After next weekend off, the team will hit the road for their first games against the Markham Thunder on October 28th and 29th at the Thornhill Community Centre. The team’s next home game will be against the newly minted Kunlun Red Star team from China on November 11th at the Bell Centre.
Photos: CELINE GELINAS