Markham Takes Two Points In Final Series Against Montréal

 

With the previous three games before this series against les Canadiennes needing extra time, it was fitting that two hard fought games to end the regular season series once again these teams needed more than 60 minutes.

Game One

Erica Howe and Emerance Maschmeyer faced off in goal for the first game of the weekend. Within the first minute the Thunder were on the power play as Karell Emard went to the box for tripping. With nothing materializing in the advantage, Montréal came back hard, forcing Howe to make key saves. Kristen Richards took a shot high on Maschmeyer, but the glove save was made. At the 7:44 mark, Jessica Hartwick sat for interference. With les Canadiennes on the power play, new squad member Erin Ambrose passed it to Cassandra Poudrier the shot bounced through traffic. It was Emard in front who would tip it in the back of the net to take the lead. Shortly after the ensuing faceoff, Ann-Sophie Bettez connected with Emard who got the puck to Marion Allemoz and Montréal took a 2-0 lead. Howe bounced right back making a stellar blocker save, keeping her team very much still in the game. With 2.2 seconds left in the opening frame, Jamie Lee Rattray took a wrister that was snagged by the glove of Maschmeyer.

Markham came back from the intermission with guns blazing. After Rattray just misses the net, the Thunder found themselves with another early power play as Poudrier was called for tripping. Howe made a brilliant glove save on Katia Clement-Heydra who had blocked a shot and went streaking in short handed. At 13:50, Ambrose and Emard set up Bettez for Montréal’s third goal of the evening. The Thunder continued to pressure. Laura McIntosh has a good chance at the side of the net, but the puck hit the goalie’s mask and stayed out. With about five minutes remaining in the period, McIntosh received the puck at the blue line, waited for Rattray to enter the zone and sneak behind the defender. She received the puck and shot it over Maschmeyer’s pad on the backhand to make the score 3-1.

On the next shift, Sophie Brault was called for tripping and the Thunder went to the power play. Lindsay Grigg got the puck at the point, sending it down to McIntosh below the circle, who found Rattray alone at the side of the net to bring Markham within one. As the period wound down, Howe made some great saves to keep the score 3-2.

Teri Di-Lauro

The Thunder got another power play to open the period when Emard went to the box for slashing. It didn’t take long for Markham to tie the game. Rattray took the puck from the blue line and sauced it over to Richards as she came into the crease and flipped the puck shortside into the twine. After the ensuing faceoff, Richards got a penalty for hooking, giving les Canadiennes their first power play of the period. The penalty kill units and Howe did a great job shutting down Montréal. A few minutes later, the Thunder would return to the kill as Simmonds was sent off for body checking. Howe made some outstanding saves to keep her team in the game, but Grigg was flagged for cross checking and Montréal was given a 5-on-3 for 31 seconds. Taylor Woods laid down her body to block a shot, but les Canadiennes got the puck back and got it behind Howe to retake the lead. Markham would kill the remainder of the Grigg penalty with the help of a well positioned goal post. The Thunder continued to press, and with 1:46 left McIntosh passed the puck from behind the net out to Richards in the slot who put it top shelf on Maschmeyer to tie the game!

Within the last minute of the period, Howe kept the Thunder in the game by making key saves with tons of traffic in her crease. Richards went down to block a shot a the side of the net, and was called for delay of game as she had covered the puck. Les Canadiennes were put on the power play with 49 seconds left. Luckily, no goal was scored in the remainder of regulation, and we headed to another overtime frame.

With 1:09 left on the advantage, Montréal continued to press. Howe and the penalty kill unit were up to the task and Richards returned to the ice. After a couple of turnovers in the defensive zone, Emard connected with Kayla Tutino who put the puck shortside and won the game for Montréal.

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Game Two

Another goalie duel this afternoon, this time with Liz Knox in the net for Markham. The Thunder got out to a good start, clearing their zone soon after Montréal would enter it. Woods stripped Sarah Lefort of the puck, sending it down to Rattray at the other end of the ice. She would get a good scoring chance on Maschmeyer, but the puck didn’t hit the twine. Knox continued to make solid saves, one on a rolling puck making sure the rebound was covered quickly, and another with the blocker denying Bettez. A few minutes later, Dania Simmonds took a blast from the point. Richards tried to redirect the shot from in front of the net, but the save is made. As the period wound down, Karolina Urban was called for tripping. The frame would end scoreless, thanks to the brilliant work of Knox swing through traffic.

The Thunder started the second period by finishing off the penalty kill, and then heading to the power play. Chartrand sat for holding after hauling down McIntosh. The advantage didn’t last long, as Woods was also called for holding giving just under a minute of 4-on-4 play. McIntosh dangled around multiple Canadiennes players, but the puck rolled on her shot. When Chartrand returned to the ice, she blasted the puck from the blue line but it hit the post. Markham got the next power play when Desrochers was sent off for hooking at 8:29. Nothing materialized on the power play, and after Desrochers returned to the ice, Knox had to make several key saves. Unfortunately, 14:45 into the period Ambrose connected with Allemoz who shot the puck over Knox’s glove to put les Canadiennes ahead 1-0. Shortly after, with a great forecheck, Becca King got the puck behind Maschmeyer for the Thunder. After Markham lined up to faceoff at centre ice, the officials decided to call the goal back and sent King to the penalty box for goalie interference. The successful penalty kill ended the period.

The third frame started with lots of back and forth action. Montréal used their timeout, and came back blazing. Knox made more stellar saves including one where she reached back to cover the puck with players crashing the net. Around the halfway mark, Rattray took the puck in the offensive zone and sailed the puck over Maschmeyer to tie the game! After more back and forth, 60 minutes was not enough, and we headed to overtime.

The Thunder had many great scoring chances during the 4-on-4 five minute extra frame, but nothing went in. The final game in the regular season series with les Canadiennes would be decided by a shootout.

Teri Di-Lauro

 

Woods shot first for Markham and was stopped by Maschmeyer.

Katia Clement-Heydra was up next for Montréal, and scored on Knox.

Up next for the Thunder was Rattray, who was denied.

Bettez was next over the boards for les Canadiennes. Her shot went wide of the net.

McIntosh was the third shooter for Markham, but she could not get the puck past Maschmeyer. Montréal took the game 2-1.