Les Canadiennes win 2017 Clarkson Cup
Les Cannadiennes – Montreal’s Les Canadiennes have been crowned the CWHL’s 2017 Clarkson Cup champions after a 3-1 win against the Calgary Inferno on March 5th at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. The win was the fourth time in the Les Cannadiennes history to take home the cup – and it was even more rewarding given that last year, when the two teams also met for the final game, Calgary won 8-3. Les Canadiennes dominated the play except for a very intense 3rd period when Calgary, trailing 2-0, turned the steam on and scored their first goal with 7:43 still left in the period – leaving the possibility of tying the game within reach and putting the game into overtime.
Standout performances came from Montreal’s forward Katia Clement-Heydra who scored the first goal at 12:36 of the 1st period, followed by forward Marie-Philip Poulin scoring at 5:24 with another goal on an empty net in the last minutes of the 3rd period, and Goalie Charline Labonté who kept Calgary off the scoreboard board on more than several opportunities. They might have led the way but Les Canadiennes’ win was truly a team effort.
Julie Chu assisted on Poulin’s two goals and looked like lightning on her skates throughout the game and assists by Noémie Marin, Cathy Chartrand and Karell Emard were all part of what gave them the win. Caroline Oullette and Ann-Sophie Bettez , although they both didn’t make the scoreboard, played a phenomenal game, defining what team players are – opportunities were there for them to make a run on the nets, but they chose to play it right.
Calgary’s only goal came from Jill Saulnier at 12:57 in the 3rd period, a goal that could have been the game changer as the Inferno really put on the heat and had Montreal scrambling in their end zone for a nail-biting finish to the game. Goalie Emerance Maschmeyer played an outstanding game and if it wasn’t for Poulin’s shot bouncing off her glove and then trickling down into the nets, the game could have been tied into the 3rd period and the outcome different – but it didn’t happen.
Les Canadiennes had a great season; wearing their new Bleu/Blanc/Rouge uniforms as official partners of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens, playing a regular season game at the Bell Centre last December, three other home games at the Habs training center at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard – and with the news in February that the CWHL entered into a partnership with the NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA) things are looking up, not only for the team but for Women’s hockey in general.
It’s only unfortunate that Caroline Ouellette, 4x Olympic gold medalist, captain of 2014 Sochi’s Women’s team and a driving force behind Canadian women’s hockey since 1999, did not get a chance this season to become the all-time leading goal scorer of the CWHL. At 130 career goals, the Montreal Canadiennes forward ended the season tied with retired Brampton Thunder forward Jayna Hefford. There has been rumors of Oullette retiring, but we hope she puts her skates on next season and earns the well-deserved title.
The puck has dropped one final time for the 2016-17 season and we at the Montreal Times Newspaper would like to thank Les Canadiennes for a great season – and for bringing home the Clarkson Cup. Congratulations Ladies!