Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Les Canadiennes de Montreal maintain proud tradition of Pink at the Rink

Ending the month of January with their “Pink at the Rink” fundraiser, Les Canadiennes de Montreal provided the fans with a true win-win situation. Not only were the pink game-worn jerseys auctioned off for breast cancer research, providing fans with a remarkable treasure, the home team prevailed by a 5-2 tally against the first-place Calgary Inferno.

Continuing a proud tradition that began when the club was known as the Montreal Stars, the franchise has become remarkable hockey humanitarians in this noble cause. Taking into account that club founder Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux (currently part of Montreal’s coaching staff) and Caroline Ouellette have seen cherished family members survive the disease, their hearts are filled with compassion on what has evolved into the most popular event during the season. 

After a scoreless first period which saw Montreal outshot the visiting team by a 9-4 margin while successfully kill a pair of penalties, Ouellette would factor in the scoring. With Aina Takeuchi serving a penalty for interference, Ouellette capitalized on the power play opportunity, providing Les Canadiennes the early lead. Scoring on Delayne Brian, who were both teammates on Team Black at the recent All-Star Game, assists were credited to Ann-Sophie Bettez and Lauriane Rougeau, a pair of fellow All-Star Game competitors.

Entering the third period, both teams exploded for a six goal output, as the scoring floodgates were opened. Coincidentally, not one of the goals was scored on the power play as an energetic, high paced period saw a total of 25 shots.

Just 34 seconds into the period, Noemie Marin, who earned her 200th career CWHL point just a few weeks ago, added to the lead of Les Canadiennes as rookie sensation Katia Clement-Heydra logged the assist. It would not take long for Calgary to reply as Elana Lovell, the CWHL’s leading scorers among rookies snapped Charline Labonte’s bid for a shutout at the 1:55 mark.

Such momentum would not last long for Calgary as Montreal regained their two-goal lead just 36 seconds afterwards. Ouellette would log her second goal of the game to a roar of approval from the Montreal faithful as Rougeau and Marin earned their second points of the night with assists. All-Star Game MVP Marie-Philip Poulin would follow with her own goal as the goals were scored within 25 seconds.

Despite their best efforts, Calgary was unable to regain momentum. After Poulin’s goal, both teams served penalties, which would contribute to over ten minutes of scoreless play. With Montreal looking to protect their lead, it ground down the first place Calgary club, making it difficult to reduce their opponents lead.

At the 14:03 mark, second-year player Louise Warren managed to score, providing Calgary with its second goal of the contest. Lovell and Brittany Esposito registered the assists, as the two have been significant factors in Calgary’s offensive attack this season.

With less than two minutes to play, Calgary displayed some bravura, opting for an open net. Although Calgary had the extra attacker on the ice, it would not prove to be advantageous as Poulin took full opportunity to place the puck in the open net, gaining her second goal of the game in a convincing 5-1 final.

Caroline Ouellette would gain First Star of the Game honors, a fitting tribute on such a memorable day, as she has worked tirelessly in the community for charitable causes, including breast cancer research. Marin was honored as the Second Star while Lovell was the lone Calgary player to be recognized, obtaining the Third Star of the Game.

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