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Montreal suffers loss to Ottawa, loses back-to-back games for the first time

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Montreal lost consecutive games for the first time this season when they lost 4-2 to Ottawa on Sunday in Laval in another physical and gritty match.

With less than 10 games to go in the regular season the time to collect points and make that final playoff push is so crucial but on Sunday Montreal who were in first place suffered a setback losing back-to-back games for the first time this season 4-2 to Ottawa in front of a packed crowd at Bell Place in Laval 4-2.

Ottawa got goals from Brianne Jenner, Aneta Terjalova, Daryl Watts, and Gabbie Hughes who sealed the win with an empty net goal while Montreal got goals from Laura Stacey and Melodie Daoust whose 10-day contract expires on Monday.

“On doit apprendre de ce si”, which translates to ” we need to learn from this”, Montreal head coach Kori Cheverie said in her opening remarks. ” The strength of our team is in our depth and there were a couple of pieces we didn’t like today which included special teams both the powerplay and the penalty kill so that hurts us for sure and it was a heavy week so it’s not easy but no excuses.”

Before the game, it was announced that Montreal had signed Mikayla Grant Mentis to the reserve squad while also confirming that Marie Phillipe Poulin would miss her first game due to injury and was held out for preventative measures after being seen limping after the game against Toronto on Friday.

“I think our PK hasn’t been good”, Cheverie said when asked about the fact that it looked like they were struggling to score five on five,

The first period was extremely tight and physical until the last two minutes of the period when Sarah Bujold got called for interference and with 36 seconds left on the clock Brianne Jenner opened the scoring for the visitors with a quick wrist shot that fooled Anne Renee Desbiens.

“There wasn’t much communication which is tough”, Cheverie mentioned when I asked her about the officiating. ” That’s something I value very much as a coach and I think the relationship today was hard and it just wasn’t there so that’s hard because I think that’s a part of it and that’s what makes them really good at their job is the ability to communicate.”

The second period was a penalty-filled period with six penalties being called including a controversial one against Desbiens for attempting to freeze the puck outside the blue paint and she was penalized for delay of game.

“We are all in a connected game and we as coaches want to get things right and I think the referees want to get things right as well so I don’t think it’s them against us mentality and we need to work together to make it right and stop worrying about who is right and that is really the goal of the game is to get the best result that you can.”

With seven minutes left in the second period, Ottawa doubled its lead when Darryl Watts managed to beat Desbiens again with a powerful wrist shot.

“We have allowed three powerplay goals against in this week that came from shots from the top so we are not getting in the shooting lanes quick enough so we miss getting to the blocking lane and tipping from the high slot is obviously a great skill and to disrupt that would have been a great deal.”

Ottawa took two penalties in the third period and on the second opportunity Laura Stacey got her team within one scoring Montreal’s lone goal on the powerplay with a one-timer just inside the offensive zone.

“We need to let the dust settle and special teams will be on the docket this week and they will get plenty of rest in the next few days but we do have three practices before the next game which is nice because it rarely happens so that’ll be nice to be home and have some routine and we will come up with a gameplan.”

Montreal took another penalty with 6:58 remaining in regulation and 22 seconds later Aneta Terjalova made it 3-1 with a shot from the point to regain Ottawa’s two-goal lead.

“There were sparks around our line up and it was just about getting everyone sparked at the same time and some of our d played with a lot of grit and determination which was awesome to see.”

Three minutes later Melodie Daoust got Montreal within one again off a mad scramble in front of the Ottawa net and she managed to score while sitting on the ice and made a quick motion with her stick hitting the puck into the net.

“I liked our gameplan and there were things from the game in Toronto that just needed to be tweaked and put a little more emphasis on it and I think some people stepped up and did that.”

Montreal pushed hard for the equalizer throwing everything at the net but with 65 seconds left in the game Ottawa sealed the win when Gabbi Hughes scored into an empty net.

“I think our group stuck with it and we were a resilient group and we asked a lot of them and it’s a third game in five days and we need to turn the page on go on to the next.”

After the game, I also had a chance once again to speak with Stacey and asked her to give her honest opinion of the officiating and to give her perspective on it.

“It’s hockey and it’s not an easy game to ref”, Stacey told me. ” I would have loved a few more calls and to have some calls back but that’s how hockey goes sometimes and we need to be better than that both on the powerplay and penalty kill so it’s on us.”

I also asked Sarah Lefort who was made available to the media post-game if she felt fatigue was a factor post-game and she admitted it’s been a long season so far,

“It’s for sure a long season”, She responded. ” Everybody has to go through it and we know the schedule and have to be prepared for it and have to do the little things right.”

Both players were asked about the special team factor and Stacey admitted it is a work in progress and the plan is to work on it and improve every single time they have the opportunity to do so.

“We talk about it a lot”, she answered. ” We do hear about our numbers and we do see them and we are a numbers group but our group focus is how do we gain momentum off it and in tight games like this you need your special teams to win those games and unfortunately we didn’t do that so we need to continue to work on it and continue to push forward.”

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

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In this article: #ProfessionalWomensHockey, #ProHockey, #WomenInSport, #Womenshockey, Aneta Terjalova, Anne Renee Desbiens, Brianne Jenner, Darryl Watts, Gabbi Hughes, grow the game, Hockey, Kori Cheverie, Laura Stacey, Melodie Daoust, PWHL Montreal, PWHL Ottawa, Sarah Bujold, Sarah Lefort
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