Toronto @ Boston: Blades sweep the Furies!
Boston’s home opening weekend was a rousing success, with the Blades sweeping defending Clarkson Cup champions, the Toronto Furies.
Saturday’s game was fast, high scoring, and low on penalties– the final score was 2-6 Boston, and there were three penalties in the entire game. Jillian Dempsey got a hat trick for Boston, with Janine Weber, Rachel Llanes, and Monique Lameroux making up the rest. Toronto’s Mallory Deluce converted on Toronto’s sole power-play opportunity, with Jenelle Kohanchuk adding the only other tally for them that night in the third. (Boston didn’t score on either of their power-play chances, despite having the top ranked power play % in the season so far.)
Sunday’s game, however, got a lot more physical, although it still remained high scoring. The game ended 2-5 Boston, with nine penalties between the two teams. Most of the scoring happened in the first two periods– going into the third, the score was 2-4, with Jillian Dempsey adding an insurance goal in the third. However, in the third, Boston picked up two penalties early on, and Toronto’s Tessa Bonhomme picked up three toward the end. (Cross-checking, hooking, and finally body checking, if you’re curious. 🙂 ) The increased physicality however, didn’t lead to a goal for either side– Dempsey’s was not a power-play goal.
Sunday was also Meghan Duggan’s first game for the Blades this season! She finished the game with an assist, and was a +1.
Montreal @ Brampton: Split Series!
Brampton took Saturday’s game, 4-2, for their first win this season. Going in, I would have been kind of surprised if you’d told me that Brampton would pretty much dominate this game– but they did. Both of Montreal’s goals came in the first period, the first from CWHL founding member Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux, and the second from last year’s Angela James Bowl winner, Ann-Sophie Bettez. Despite this early burst of life in the first period, Montreal spent a lot of the game looking pretty lifeless, and for such a speedy team, they spent a lot of time standing around. Even in the first, the game looked more like a tennis match than any sort of maintained offensive pressure. Brampton’s Laura Fortino, who went first overall in the 2014 Draft, got her first goal in the CWHL at the end of the first period.
Brampton was able to carry this momentum into the second, and really dominated in the second. In the second period, Lauriane Rougeau picked up a couple of penalties, and Brampton’s Jess Jones managed to convert on one. Lindsay Vine got the other goal for Brampton this period. Erica Howe, in net for the second time for Brampton, spent a lot of this period being ever so slightly too aggressive, I felt like– she seemed to be constantly scrambling to get back into position and make the save. There were a lot of really heart stopping moments where I’d think a puck had gone in, and then a Brampton player came up with it and got it out.
The third was a bit rougher, and a touch sloppier– I think players were more tired. Things got a bit more physical as well, and Brampton picked up four penalties in the period. Their penalty kill, however, was excellent, and all were killed without any goals given to Montreal. Howe was really on top of things this period, and was a large component of the PK. During one of these penalty kills, Fielding Montgomery got a short-handed goal for Brampton. A short-handed goal can sometimes be a sign of a disordered penalty kill– if you’re in position to score, you’re not in the right position to keep the other team from scoring– but in this case, I think it was more of a flub on the part of Montreal.
Charline Labonté came up HUGE for Montreal in this game, despite the eventual loss. This one definitely wasn’t on her. She made 30 saves on 34 shots, while Howe made 19 saves.
Check out the highlight reel from this game!
However, on Sunday, Montreal came back and won in a very physical game, breaking their losing streak with a 3-2 victory. The victory hinged hugely on their power play, specifically the top PP unit of Julie Chu, Cathy Chartrand, Caroline Oullette, and Ann-Sophie Bettez.
The first goal of the game came in the last minutes of the first, despite several power play opportunities for both sides. It was actually a power-play goal for Ann-Sophie Bettez, assisted by Cathy Chartrand and Julie Chu.
Penalty-wise, things calmed down in the second, with only one tripping call against Brampton very early in the first. Brampton also tied it up 1-1 with Laura Fortino’s second goal of her CWHL career.
In the third, Carly Mercer capitalized on a power play opportunity for Brampton early in the period to make things 2-1 Brampton. They held this thin lead until a penalty fairly late in the period led to a Caroline Ouellette power-play goal, assisted by Chartrand and Chu. Bettez got another assurance goal, this time at even strength, a few minutes later, to finish things off 3-2 Montreal.
CWHL League Standings:
- At the end of this weekend’s action, Calgary remains on top of the league with 7 points in 5 games, but Boston is in second with a perfect record of 6 points in 3 games, two games in hand on Calgary.
- Toronto and Montreal are tied with 4 points each, but Toronto has two games in hand against Montreal, and thus are 3rd.
- Brampton remains at the bottom of the league, with 3 points in 4 games.