Brampton Beat Les Canadiennes 3-2 in Montreal

Thunder Hands Montreal Its First Home Loss Of The Year

Unlike yesterday, it was the Brampton Thunder who came out on top by the score of 3-2 Sunday afternoon at Etienne-Desmarteau Arena. Courtesy: Louis-Charles Dumais / CWHL

For the second straight game, Les Canadiennes found themselves in overtime against the Brampton Thunder. However, unlike yesterday, it was the Thunder who came out on top by the score of 3-2 Sunday afternoon at Etienne-Desmarteau Arena.

After successive penalties to forward, Sarah Lefort and defender, Lauriane Rougeau for hooking and delay of game, respectively, Brampton found themselves with a 5-on-3-man advantage.

Brampton defender Laura Fortino directed a point shot through heavy traffic that eluded the Canadiennes’ penalty killers. Thunder forward Jamie Lee Rattray was positioned perfectly to bury the rebound shot into an abandoned cage and give her team the win.

Despite the loss—the first one on home ice this season—Canadiennes forward Katia Clement-Heydra saw some positives from her team’s game.

“It’s the kind of game we want to play,” said Clement-Heydra. “We want fans at our games. This is such an exciting game. We don’t want blowouts. Adversity makes us better.”

Both teams exchanged goals in the second period to open the scoring. Brampton defender Courtney Birchard’s shot from the point appeared to deflect off a Canadiennes player and in. Her power-play marker—and first of the season—gave Brampton the lead.

Les Canadiennes responded with a power-play tally of their own. Noemie Marin found Karell Emard in the slot with a centering pass from the right side boards at the 11:42 mark of the second period.

The home team would get their first lead of the hockey game early on in the third period. Clement-Heydra entered the zone with great speed, before breaking free of two Thunder players. She sent a backhand shot towards the goal that beat Thunder netminder Erica Howe and give Les Canadiennes a 2-1 lead.

“I was just skating,” said Clement-Heydra, when asked to describe her goal. “I was going to pass, but she came at me. I just went around a few times. I just put the puck on net and it went in.”

The lead would last just under 12 minutes as Jenna McParland converted on the power-play to knot the game up at two and send the teams into overtime once again.

“When you are losing, you just want to get shots on net,” said Fortino. “That was our goal going into the third. Crash the net and it worked to our advantage.”

Special teams were a key factor in the hockey game. All three Thunder goals came while a Canadiennes player was in the penalty box. The three goals, coupled with their three power-play tallies on Saturday, allowed for a 55 per cent conversion rate with an extra player this weekend. Fortino was happy the team’s hard work paid dividends.

“The power play was all we worked on at practice this week,” said Fortino. “We are really happy as a group that it paid off this weekend. We moved the puck well, kept it simple. We got shots and made really good plays.”

Another key to the Thunder’s success was their ability to neutralize both Caroline Ouellette and Canadiennes captain Marie-Philip Poulin. It marked the first time all season that both players were held off the scoresheet in the same game.

“They have some of the best players in the world,” recognized Fortino. “When they are on the ice, you have to pay that much more attention and be physical against them. As a group, we did that. We were aggressive on them and were aware of them.”

“They play a very physical game,” said Clement-Heydra. “They take away your room and your time and space. They are in your face right away. We had to move the puck quicker and execute faster.”

Les Canadiennes have now lost three of their last four games. However, they still remain in second place in the overall standings, three points behind the league-leading Calgary Inferno. Les Canadiennes will play against the lowly Blades holding a 0-7-1 record next weekend in Boston.