Montreal lost their first game of the season on Saturday afternoon in St Paul, Minnesota losing 3-0 in a game that shattered another world record in attendance. After Tuesday night’s record of 8,312 in Ottawa the people of Minnesota came out in droves and smashed the record with a confirmed total attendance of 13, 316.
After coming back to beat Ottawa on Tuesday night in overtime Montreal was shut out by Minnesota who became the first home team to record a win after the first four belonging to the road team.
” I think we are still young in this season”, said Kori Cheverie post-game to the Montreal media on a Microsoft Teams call. ” No need to panic at this moment and time but we need to put pucks and bodies into the higher percentage of the ice otherwise I am not concerned at all”.
Unlike Tuesday night at TD Place Arena in Ottawa Montreal came out firing in the first 20 minutes of the game and took it to Minnesota outshooting them 5-0 in the first five minutes of the game and credit Minnesota native and goaltender Madison Rooney.
” I think for the first time you are seeing a brand of hockey you have never seen before and we are all working together but we are ok with where we are at right now.”
With less than three minutes left in the opening frame, Minnesota opened the scoring when Grace Zumwinkle from the side of the net managed to get a backhand shot that fooled Anne Renee Desbiens and squeaked by her to the delight of the home crowd who celebrated the first goal scored in franchise history at home.
” Obviously I would like that goal back”, Desbiens told me. ” I am a perfectionist and I want to give the opportunity to my team to win and I couldn’t do that today so it’s a little disappointing on my part but I need to be better and find a way to get my team energy when they need it.”
Montreal had two chances in the second period with the home team taking two penalties but they were able to kill it off as it looked like the visitors were making too many passes or when they had chances consistently got denied by Rooney.
” It’s not easy going into a rink and having that many fans against you and it was pretty loud in there but I am looking forward to when we have a crowd like that for us in Montreal and starting three games on the road is never easy so we learn what we can from this game and we move on.”
Minnesota doubled their lead early in the third period as Zumwinkle once again from the point fired a shot that went right through Desbiens into the back of the net and it looked like it got tipped but after a review, the puck bounced off the ice, and in.
” I was happy with our game for about half the game and it got away from us in the second period and against any team in this league you can’t take your foot off the pedal and it’s a 60-minute game, especially with the caliber of players in this league and it will come and take some time and I would have liked a different result but here we are.”
After staying out of the box for 40 minutes Montreal finished the game taking four penalties which didn’t help and took time away from a potential comeback.
” I think that we have some ultimate competitors on our team and they are doing what they can to help us win and we play with an edge and some physicality and maybe we crossed a line and we can’t take that many penalties and again we are still trying to figure things out.”
Zumwinke sealed the win with 2:47 left in regulation when she scored into an empty net completing the first hat trick in PWHL history and helping Minnesota become the first home team to record a win after road teams started the season 4-0. After the game Marie Phillipe Poulin spoke about being unable to produce early on in the season.
” It’s a part of hockey and the puck is not going to go in every single time and it’s only the beginning of the season and it’s a new team and we continue to improve and right now we are not in panic mode just yet.”
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