In a series that missed the likes of Erin Ambrose and Marie-Philip Poulin, Les Canadiennes de Montreal came out with the victory in a three game series, beating the Markham Thunder to punch their ticket to the Clarkson Cup Final on March 24th in Toronto.
Goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer led the way between the pipes for Montreal, keeping Laura Stacey and the Markham Thunder silent through sixty minutes at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, Quebec.
Erica Howe got the start for the Markham Thunder on Sunday afternoon, however, struggled to keep the net covered through most of the game, letting one slip by her quite easily early on, the goal assisted by Lauriane Rougeau to Canadian forward Melodie Daoust.
While that was all the action that was seen in the game’s opening frame, Montreal broke out of the locker room hungry to add on some more, Jill Saulnier opening the flood gates to double Montreal’s lead on the Markham Thunder. Hilary Knight and Melodie Daoust would be credited with assists on the play.
Laura Stacey then got called for tripping, giving Montreal their first power play of the game, making no mistake this time around with Lauriane Rougeau banking in her first of the game. Jill Saulnier and Hilary Knight would be credited with assists on the play.
Within just moments later and Montreal looking to do further damage, Hilary Knight would be next to the party, giving Les Canadiennes a 4-0 lead. Taylor Willard would be credited with an assist while Saulnier would record her second of the day.
Markham would then call for a timeout to regroup and reconfigure around the ice before Jamie-Lee Rattray took a shot on Emerance Maschmeyer, though she would keep the door closed and the Thunder held at bay.
With Les Canadiennes not finished yet and looking to keep their season alive, Tracy-Ann Lavigne would go top shelf to give Montreal a 5-0 lead. Marie-Joelle Allard and Ann-Sophie Bettez would be credited with assists on the play.
With the Thunder not standing down, looking to put themselves on the scoreboard in the frame’s dying minutes, Jamie-Lee Rattray would be back seeking more, though she would go just high of Les Canadiennes net. This would bring the game’s second period to a close in Brossard, Quebec.
The third and final period would get off to a hot and fiery start for Montreal yet again, though it would be Markham making the difference early on in the frame, Jocelyne Larocque with a pair of nice blocks.
Laura Stacey would then drive to the net, looking to get at least one point on the board, however, Maschmeyer wouldn’t allow it, stopping the puck with a strong glove save.
On Les Canadiennes end of the ice, Kristen Richards would find herself in a scuffle up against the boards with Tracy-Ann Lavigne, putting the Thunder on the penalty kill while sending herself off to the box. In the final minute of play, Markham would very quickly kill off the advantage, though unable to do anything more, handing Montreal the well deserved shoutout and victory.
This would pave the way for Les Canadiennes to punch their ticket to the Clarkson Cup Final where they will take on the league leading Calgary Inferno in the winner takes all game at Coca-Cola Coliseum in just two weeks time.
With the help of Brianna Decker as well as Brianne Jenner, the Inferno led the way to a 4-1 win over the Toronto Furies on Sunday afternoon. Both teams were able to force a best of three semi-final series, however, it came down to a matter of offensive strength as both Montreal and Calgary advanced with a win.
Upcoming is the yearly annual award show on Friday March 22nd which will be held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at Ryerson University at 7:30pmET. Following that will be the Clarkson Cup Final held nearby the exhibition grounds in Toronto, puck drop scheduled for 12:00pmET while it will be available for viewing on Sportsnet.