Canadiennes 3, Thunder 0: Fabs Take Game One Behind Maschmeyer Shutout

Odd Day for the Fabs Turned Into a Dream Scenario

  • Les Canadiennes took their first game of a best-of-three series against the Markham Thunder on Friday night. File Photo Caroline Marsh

For the second year in a row, Montreal’s Les Canadiennes face the Markham Thunder in the first round of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League playoffs. The series kicked off on Place Bell’s community ice in Laval on Friday night.

The Fabs had to offer a better showing this time around and the players showed their desire to redeem themselves from the initial faceoff.

“We’re very proud of the effort,” said co-head coach Caroline Ouellette. “It was a gutsy win. I felt like everyone contributed. Everyone stepped up when we needed them. It really felt like a collective effort.”

Coming into this one, Montreal had to figure out a solution to fill in the hole left by the absence of CWHL regular season leading-scorer, Marie-Philip Poulin.

To make things worse, Montreal lost veteran defender Erin Ambrose midway through the first period.

Karell Emard, who had to step into Poulin’s place in the roster, was tasked with double duties after Ambrose’s exit from the game, moving back to play defence. Emard played most of her rookie season on defence and didn’t seem to mind the switch.

“I felt good with what I could bring to the team today,” said Emard. “But I’ll be try to be more prepared to play both [positions] if I need to that again tomorrow.”

Ouellette had only good things to say about Emard’s performance. She praised her ability to step fill in the roles of arguably the two best players on the squad.

Emard was not the only young player on display during the game. Rookie defender Catherine Daoust offered a strong showing as well. Paired with seasoned veteran Lauriane Rougeau, Daoust was able to fend off the menacing rushes from Markham.

She was able to prove her offensive might as she managed to find the back of the net on Montreal’s fourth power play opportunity. Her shot made a few strange bounces but managed to make its way to the net to beat Erika Howe.

“I was definitely not a laser of a shot,” said Daoust. “I hoping it was going to get deflected in traffic and that’s what happened.”

Daoust’s and the rest of Montreal’s talent on the back-end allowed for a quiet game in net for goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer. The Fabs’ starter was a wall in the team’s win, facing only 13 shots and stopping them all to collect the shutout.

“Goalies love shots,” said Maschmeyer. “I kind of joked around that we could have gave up more shots today. But it’s all in good fun. I am very happy with how they played.”

Maschmeyer was impressive despite having to use her old pair of skates. In fact, there were four other Canadiennes that had to find a backup plan for skates.

The situation stemmed from one of the players getting their Jeep Wrangler stolen in Montreal, just a few hours before the game. The vehicle contained five pairs of skates belonging to Les Canadiennes and their players.

“Nothing can come easy,” joked Ouellette. “I couldn’t believe it happened. Eric Hurtubise, our scout works for Sports Rousseau, so he helped with some of the girls.”

Some like Maschmeyer were able to use backup skates, but Emard had to break in a new pair during the game.

“Not only did I have new skates,” she said. “But I was super tight in my skates and I had to skate backward. It was a nice challenge. That’s the way I see it.”

On the bright side, the skates will all have been broken in for game two. The Fabs will try to replicate their success from Friday night and complete the sweep at Brossard’s Bell Sports Complex at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

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