Poulin, Rougeau, Daoust, Follow Up on Les Canadiennes From Olympic Centralization

Canadiennes Trio on The Upcoming Winter Olympics and Playing for their Hometown

Marie-Philip Poulin leads a trio of Canadiennes in preparation for the 2018 Olympic Games.  Courtesy Louis-Charles Dumais/CWHL
Lauriane Rougeau attempts to skate her way past a Calgary Inferno player. Courtesy Louis-Charles Dumais/CWHL

SAN JOSE — You can take a woman out of Montreal, but you can’t take Montreal out of the woman.

Marie-Philip Poulin, Lauriane Rougeau, and Melodie Daoust are spending their time at Team Canada headquarters in Calgary in preparation for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. However, they still have Les Canadiennes de Montreal on their minds.

“I follow the team a bit, their Twitter and Instagram accounts,” said Rougeau after a 3-1 win against Team USA in San Jose as part of Canada’s exhibition series against the Americans. “There’s also Snapchat and the team chat. I keep up with current events and what’s going on with the team.”

“I have many former teammates on Les Canadiennes and other friends on the team too,” said Daoust. “I’m close with them and cheering them on.”

“Les Canadiennes have been a big part of my career,” said Poulin. “I’ve played with my good friends the last two years on that team. I miss them. I’m trying to follow them from afar.”

Poulin missed Montreal so much, she returned in mid-November during a break in Team Canada’s schedule to visit friends and teammates. During her few days back home, Poulin paid a special visit to the home of close friend and teammate Caroline Ouellette, who recently welcomed daughter Liv with former Canadienne and current Concordia Stingers women’s hockey head coach Julie Chu.

“It’s just great to see them and their little baby,” said Poulin. “Having that little girl there and seeing how happy they are, there’s no better feeling. I’m so happy for them.”

Les Canadiennes have gotten off to a dominant start to the 2017-2018 CWHL campaign. As of Dec. 18, the team has won 11 of its 13 games. They sit second in the league standings behind the Calgary Inferno and ahead of the Kunlun Red Star.

Montreal is averaging 4.36 goals per game while conceding only 2.55 goals a game. They have won their past five games, including the team’s final games of 2017 last weekend in Montreal against the Markham Thunder.

The trio isn’t surprised to see Les Canadiennes picking up from where they left off after last season’s Clarkson Cup championship.

Former McGill Martlets captain was drafted by Les Canadiennes last August. Courtesy McGill Atheltics

“They have great players and leaders,” said Poulin. “I wish them the best and am looking forward to seeing what happens with Les Canadiennes. I know they are in good hands.”

“There’s a lot of tradition and pride with that team,” said Rougeau. “Watching Les Canadiennes doing what they are doing without some of the veterans from the past is nice to see. It’s really fun to see the team being successful.”

Daoust was drafted fourth overall by Les Canadiennes this past August after a standout five-year stint at McGill University. Although she has not yet suited up for Les Canadiennes due to international duty, Daoust is eager to participate first-hand in a Canadiennes game and be a part of the close-knit team dynamic she has heard so much about.

“Les Canadiennes is such a great organization,” said Daoust. “For me to be able to go there after this experience with Team Canada is really special. I’m looking forward to it.”

The group is also excited about the current state of the team. They are thrilled about the summertime trade of Emerance Maschmeyer to Montreal from the Calgary Inferno and the acquisition this past week of defender Erin Ambrose from the Toronto Furies. Ambrose was originally centralized with Team Canada, but did not survive the first wave of cuts.

They’re all are confident that these new pieces to the puzzle will greatly help the team in their pursuit of a second straight Clarkson Cup title.

“It’s great to see those two additions,” said Poulin. “Ambrose and Maschmeyer are great players and great people. Having those two players back with us in Montreal is great. It just shows how well this program has done. It’s thanks to the volunteers, coaches and staff behind the team that players want to come there.”

“We want to always bring the Clarkson Cup back home to Montreal,” said Rougeau. “Our team has always been very steady and strong. Bringing in Ambrose on defense is going to help the team tremendously.”

Although all appear on Les Canadiennes’ extended roster for this season, none would confirm their presence in the Montreal lineup during the team’s likely playoff run this spring, preferring to see “how the body feels” come the end of the Olympic season.

For now, the focus is on winning gold in South Korea with Team Canada.

“It’s really fun to be a part of this group and this team here,” said Rougeau. “It’s been a great experience. So far, so good.”

“We have a group of veterans that have been together for a while now,” said Poulin, who captains the squad. “We have a great team chemistry and keep building. It’s only going to get harder from here, though.”