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Montreal drops fourth straight game in shootout loss to Minnesota

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Making the third trip this year to the twin cities ended up in another loss for Montreal as they enter the international break.

On Sunday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center Montreal lost its fourth straight game losing 3-2 in a shootout to Minnesota who on the the other side of the spectrum won their fifth straight.

“I liked the killer instinct to start the game,” Montreal head coach Kori Cheverie said. “I didn’t like our response afterward.”

The visitors got off to a flying start and less than four minutes into the game Kati Tabin scored her first-ever PWHL goal when she found a loose rebound off a shot from the point from Maureen Murphy to give Montreal the early 1-0 lead.

“We stuck to the game plan and we tend to get away from it when we get up by a couple of goals but I like that we stuck to it and followed it to the letter.”

Three minutes later Murphy doubled Montreal’s lead when she found herself on a two-on-one with Gabrielle David and made no mistake beating Minnesota goaltender Nicole Hensley who got the start in goal for the home team.

“We got the puck out and Gab did a great job,” Murphy told me when describing her goal in her post-game press conference. “She has the patience and she sucked the defender in and hit me with a great pass and Hensley is a great goalie so I knew it was going to be difficult to beat her with a clean shot and it’s a huge credit to Gab.”

The home team bounced back in the second period in a period that was one to forget for Montreal and six minutes into the middle frame Natalie Buchbinder with a shot from the point got Minnesota on the board and a mere 24 seconds later riding the momentum Lee Stecklein tied the game beating Elaine Chuli low blocker side with a quick shot.

“At the end of the day, it is a loss and we have had four of them in a row and at the end of it we are playing for a playoff spot so we continue to build and put our process in place and I have liked what I have seen from our team in the last few days and games and it’s just that we haven’t been able to score more than the other team.”

With 10:39 on the clock, Michela Cava who has been red hot for Minnesota thought she scored when she was able to tip a puck past Chuli but after a quick review requested by the league, it was waved off for a high stick.

“We need to find a way to build,” David told me post-game. “They took the momentum from us after that first period and we need a solid 60 minutes of playing good hockey.”

With no goals in the third period, the game shifted into a five-minute period of three-on-three overtime which again solved nothing so the game went into a shootout and Grace Zumwinke scored the game-winner in the fourth round to get the extra point and keep their winning streak alive while Montreal gets a point for a shootout loss.

David spoke about getting a bigger role since Marie Phillipe Poulin missed her third game in a row due to injury and played one of her best games of the season.

“It was a good time for me to step up offensively and I know I can do it and I have the confidence and I can show it and just build off that so I think the opportunity was there and I took advantage of it in the first period.”

Montreal will now enter the three-week break for the Women’s World Hockey Championship and will return to action on April 19th and will play four games in nine days to wrap up the inaugural PWHL season.

Featured Image ©️ Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL)

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In this article: #ProfessionalWomensHockey, #ProHockey, #WomenInSport, #Womenshockey, Elaine Chuli, Gabrielle David, Grace Zumwinkle, grow the game, Hockey, Kori Cheverie, Lee Stecklein, Marie Phillipe Poulin, Maureen Murphy, Micheala Cava, Natalie Buchbinder, nicole hensley, PWHL, PWHL Minnesota, PWHL Montreal, Xcel Energy Center
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