Hard Weekend in Montreal

All photos by Teri Di-Lauro

The first road trip of the season saw Markham return to Montréal for the first time since the Thunder’s playoff sweep of les Canadiennes last season. Unfortunately, this time it was the home team who swept the weekend series.

Game One

Erica Howe and Emerance Maschmeyer dueled in goal, and the Thunder went on the advantage early as Kim Deschênes went to the penalty box for hooking. Nothing came of the power play, and Ella Matteucci was helping out Howe with a string of good blocks. Howe made a huge save with her left pad, but the puck popped out to Hilary Knight who sent it to the back of the net to open the scoring. Victoria Bach went on a streak a couple minutes later, but couldn’t tuck the puck past Maschmeyer. She then headed to the box for tripping, but Howe and the Thunder were able to kill it off.

The second period kicked off with Mélodie Daoust sitting for cross-checking, but once again Markham couldn’t convert. Shortly after returning to play, Daoust scored, followed by another quick goal from Jill Saulnier. After using their timeout, the Thunder came out strong. Nicole Brown dished the puck over to Jenna McParland who got it past Maschmeyer to get Markham on the board!

Unfortunately, the rest of the period did not go as planned. Even with a power play, and not taking a penalty until the last minute of the period, the Thunder were outshot 15-6. Genevieve Bannon would score to widen les Canadiennes’ lead to 4-1 heading into the third period.

With Stacey still in the box, Saulnier scored her second of the evening. Victoria Bach hit the crossbar a couple minutes later, and Laura Fortino and Nicole Brown went buzzing in the offensive zone, but nothing materialized for Markham. About six minutes in, Jocelyne Larocque would head to the box for body-checking. The penalty killers put that one away, and the game would end in a 5-1 win for Montréal.

Game Two

Just like the game the night before, Howe and Maschmeyer tended to the nets, and there was an early penalty. This time it was Montréal with the advantage as Jess Jones sat for tripping. Howe made a huge blocker save to help kill off the penalty, and followed it up with another great save on Deschênes. Megan Bozek let go of a blast from the point, but Maschmeyer directed the puck up into the netting.

Nearing the halfway point of the opening frame, Saulnier would get a lucky bounce off Howe’s blocker to give Montréal the 1-0 lead. A few minutes later, Knight was cited for tripping, but on the delayed call, Stacey interfered with Maschmeyer so we headed to 4-on-4 action. The crossbar bailed out the Thunder, but the period would end without any further scoring.

Markham got into some trouble early in the second as Ann-Sophie Bettez would score, and Daoust would follow up with another as Gina Repaci was in the box for tripping. After sitting for a slashing penalty, Rattray scored off a pass from Jess Jones to make the score 3-1. Markham went on the advantage as Deschênes sat, but Bettez would get a shorthanded marker. Kristen Richards was next to go to the box, and Daoust potted another goal.

The final period started with a good chance from Brooke Webster and Rattray, but Jones and Sarah Lefort would receive coincidental roughing minors. Later in the period, Howe made a point-blank save on Bannon, but at the halfway mark, Deschênes made it 6-1 for les Canadiennes.

Stacey went off for body-checking, and had a good chance on goal when her two minutes were done. Markham would go on the power play as Melanie Desrochers was called for roughing. Larocque would also visit the penalty box for interference before the end of the game, and Lefort would score the final goal of the game for Montréal.