Montreal (November 30, 2015) – Back home for the first time since opening weekend and with two large and enthusiastic crowds on hand, Les Canadiennes’ top line offered up a show en route to a pair of wins vs. the Toronto Furies on Saturday and Sunday at E?tienne-Desmarteau Arena.
The trio of Marie-Philip Poulin, Caroline Ouellette and Ann-Sophie Bettez combined for 16 points in the sweep and now hold three of the top five spots in CWHL scoring. Poulin picked up seven points over the weekend (two goals, five assists) to claim the League’s scoring lead with 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) in just six games played. Ouellette’s 14 points (six goals, eight assists) rank the veteran third overall while Bettez, who notched a hat trick in Sunday’s triumph, ranks fifth overall.
The wins moved Les Canadiennes (7-1-0) into second place behind the League-leading Calgary Inferno, with Montreal holding two games in hand.
Special guests throughout the weekend
Saturday’s game was streamed live and free to over 100 cities worldwide, and Lynda Baril, author of Nos glorieuses : plus de cent and de hockey feminin au Quebec, was Les Canadiennes’ esteemed guest. She was interviewed on the live stream, the archive of which can be viewed for free on cwhllive.com.
The weekend outings also included recognition of Les Canadiennes’ continued commitment to the grassroots game, through the organization’s focus on minor hockey. The Mystique de Laval and the Pionniers de Lanaudie?re were the featured associations for the games, participating in the pre-game ceremony, and playing mini-matches during the first period intermissions.
Les Canadiennes’ community connection also includes a new initiative this season, in which the team donates a block of tickets to underprivileged youth. Kids from the Le Centre jeunesse de Montre?al were the lucky recipients for Saturday’s game.
Saturday, Nov. 29: Les Canadiennes 3, Toronto Furies 1
After a scoreless first period in which Les Canadiennes held an 11-4 edge on the shot clock, Ann-Sophie Bettez kicked off the top line’s weekend domination with a power play tally just over a minute into the second period. Marie- Philip Poulin sent a perfect feed to Bettez in the right circle for a quick shot into the net that Furies goaltender Christina Kessler couldn’t slide over in time to stop.
Outshooting Toronto 22-13 after 40 minutes with only one goal to show for it, Les Canadiennes got things going in the third. Poulin was first to the puck after a lost face-off and wasted little time getting her shot off, firing a wrister that hit the crossbar before going in the net and popping back out at 1:58.
Caroline Ouellette made it 3-0 when her shot hit Kessler’s mask and deflected up before dropping behind the netminder and sliding into the net at 12:40.
Carolyne Pre?vost broke goaltender Charline Labonte?’s shutout bid with less than a minute remaining in the game. Game summary: http://bit.ly/20151128TOR
Sunday, Nov. 29: Les Canadiennes 6, Toronto Furies 3
Les Canadiennes had their chances early but it was the Furies who were first on the scoresheet. Sarah Stevenson picked up the loose puck off a rebound during a scramble in front of the net and put it past Charline Labonte? at 7:01 of the first period.
Montreal’s league-leading power play tied it up just over four minutes later. Peppering Toronto goalie Sonja van der Bliek throughout the man advantage, Les Canadiennes finally got it one by her when a rebound bounced out to Poulin in the right circle.
Natalie Spooner restored the visitors’ lead when she came down on an odd-man rush before beating Labonte? at 9:12 of the second period.
The top line connected for Les Canadiennes to square things up when Ouellette sent a cross-crease saucer feed to Bettez for her first of the afternoon at 16:28.
Owning a 39-12 edge in shots on goal through two periods, Les Canadiennes continued to push the pace in the third, scoring three times in three minutes. First, Bettez notched her second of the day when she was left alone at the side of the net at 8:46. Then Jordanna Peroff was in the right place at the right time, picking up a rebound on the right side for her first in a Canadiennes' jersey. Karell Emard capped off the quick strikes less than a minute later with her third of the season, a snapper from the high slot.
Spooner brought the Furies to within two at 15:37 but Bettez sealed it with an empty-net tally, completing the hat trick and becoming only the 14th player in CWHL history to record 50 goals.
Game summary: http://bit.ly/20151129TOR
Tickets for Les Canadiennes home games are on sale now. Individual tickets are $15 per person and free for all children under the age of 6. Family packs and discounts for groups or teams of 10 or more are also available. Tickets can be purchased by visiting lescanadiennes.com/tickets.
The team is scheduled to practise twice this week, on Tuesday and Thursday, from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at E?tienne- Desmarteau Arena. Media are asked to please confirm their presence in advance.