It was an important weekend for the Brampton Thunder. After splitting the previous weekend against the top ranked Inferno, the Thunder faced-off against 2nd place Montreal Les Canadiennes. Montreal was coming off of a weekend where the Toronto Furies swept them and coach Tyler Fines made sure his team was aware. “My assistant coach (Kevin Stone) and I talked at length about momentum. Montreal is well coached and have great leaders and we knew they would be coming at us.”
Game 1: Loss 4-3(OT)
Portrayed by the fans as one of the best of the season, the Thunder and Les Canadiennes did not disappoint. Playing at the Bell training centre in front of over 500 fans, the game was fast and ruthless. The goaltending, shooting, speed and skill were on display. Although the 1st period ended 0-0, there were highlight reel saves and creativity all over the ice. A little different story in the 2nd, as the Brampton Thunder would open the scoring on a goal from Rebecca Vint assisted by Jess Jones and Laura Fortino. Montreal would tie it up 3 minutes later however Jess Jones would put it past Charline Labonte to take a 2-1 lead. Montreal would tie it up before the end of the frame on a goal from Noemie Marin.
The 3rd period was an interesting one beginning only 2 minutes in. The Thunder would score a controversial goal turning the momentum in their favour. However the Thunder were assessed four straight penalties after the goal and Montreal capitalized to tie it 3-3. The Thunder penalty killing units spent most of the time in the 3rd blocking shots from the likes of Poulin and Oullette. Forty second into overtime, the Thunder would be assessed their 5th straight penalty putting them down 4 on 3. Oullette would end up buring a cross crease pass to seal the game for Les Canadiennes. Despite the Thunder’s misfortune they took many positives from the game.
“Liz Knox got the start on the road and played exceptional. It’s a shame the arguably one of the best games of the year was put into the officials hands and they dropped the ball.” Fines explains. “At the end of the day it’s about consistency and that didn’t happen. I feel for my team because we really deserved that win and were well prepared for it.”
Game 2: Win 3-2(OT)
Maybe it was karma. Maybe it was sheer luck but the Thunder would get their revenge. After the disappointing overtime loss from the night before, the Thunder came out with the same physical play and established momentum early. “We dictate the pace of games whoever we play against. Other teams in the league want to get crafty and play safe hockey. We grind and push you to the limit and we are fun to watch.” Says Fines. They did just that. Erica Howe would get the start in this game and the first 20 minutes of her contest was perfect. Brampton would begin the scoring, burying a shot from the point. However Montreal would tie it up on a seeing eye shot mid way through the 2nd period. The Les Canadiennes score early in the third but the Thunder’s powerplay pulls through late in the third on a shot from McParland. Once again the teams would head to overtime and karma showed up.
After a hooking call against Les Canadiennes, Montreal defender Rougeau launched the puck over the glass for a ‘delay of game’ penalty putting Brampton on a 5 on 3. Jamie-Lee Rattray would end up burying the OT winner to decide the game.
Both games were extremely exciting and regarded as games of the year among the Montreal crowd. The physical play and grit showed by these amazing athletes continues to be the reason to follow the Brampton Thunder. The next series will feature the cross-town rival The Toronto Furies on December 3rd and 4th.