COMEBACK WINS LIFT STARS TO WEEKEND SWEEP VS. BRAMPTON THUNDER
The Montréal Stars couldn’t have asked for a better start to 2015.
Hosting the Brampton Thunder in a two-game weekend set, the Stars rallied from deficits in both
meetings, capped off by a three-goal rally for a shootout win on Sunday.
Montreal (7-4-1) has now won three in a row and sits one point back of the CWHL-leading Calgary
Saturday, Jan. 3 at Étienne-Desmarteau Arena: 2-1 Montréal
The first 20 minutes were quiet ones on the scoresheet, with Montreal outshooting Brampton 6-3 in a scoreless opening period. While neither side found the back of the net, it wasn’t for a lack of opportunityon the Stars’ part. Montréal enjoyed three power plays and created several chances with the advantage.
But it was the Thunder who would strike first, when Carly Mercer’s shot beat Stars goaltender CharlineLabonté at 1:16 of the second period. The Stars added to the excitement of the lively crowd on hand at18:52. Brampton goalie Sonja van der Bliek made the initial pad save on a Montréal chance but captain Cathy Chartrand was there to pick up the rebound and tie the game, 1-1.The Stars’ power play finally connected early in the third to produce the game-winning goal. Speedy forward Emmanuelle Blais went for the wraparound on a standing van der Bliek and got the puck between the netminder’s legs but not through. Rookie Kim Deschênes picked up on the loose puck andpoked it in to put Montréal up 2-1. Chartrand, with a goal and an assist, and Deschênes earned first and second star honours, respectively.
Game Summary: http://bit.ly/20150103BRM
Sunday, Jan. 4 at Étienne-Desmarteau Arena: 4-3 Montréal (shootout)
Making her third start of the season, Stars goaltender Catherine Herron came up with several key savesagainst a pressing Brampton squad over the course of the first period. And, for the second straight day, itwas the Thunder who broke the ice when forward Jess Jones struck on the power play at 15:40. Ellie Seedhouse doubled the visitors’ lead just over two and a half minutes into the second period. A Brampton shot from Herron’s left was flipped up near the crossbar before landing to the netminder’s rightside. Seedhouse got a couple of whacks on the puck before finally sending it to the back of the net.
Montréal had chances to cut into the Thunder’s lead in the middle frame with numerous power play opportunities, a shorthanded breakaway by Caroline Ouellette and a two-on-one – but couldn’t convert ongoaltender Liz Knox. Brampton pulled ahead 3-0 at 2:19 of the third with what appeared to be a dagger goal by forward Jesse
Scanzano. The Stars, however, did not give up.
First, the power play finally delivered when Cathy Chartrand rifled a slap shot from the point at 10:15, amere five seconds into the advantage. Then, just 26 seconds later, Ouellette fired from the circle to pull Montreél within one and forcing the Thunder to call a timeout. That settled the visitors, Brampton forcing Herron into a big save less than a minute later and forward Jamie Lee Rattray skating in on a breakaway, only to miss on her shot. Pressing for the equalizer, the Stars pulled Herron for the extra attacker and were rewarded. Julie Chu turned a perfect feed from Ouellette into a nifty shot to send the game to a tiebreaker.
Both goalies came up big in the shootout, denying all shooters before Stars forward Emilie Bocchia scored the lone tally in the eighth round to cap off the exciting comeback win. Chu and Ouellette were named the game’s first and second stars.
Game Summary: http://bit.ly/20150104BRM
The Stars’ calendar resumes next weekend, Jan. 10-11, with a pair of games against the Furies in Toronto.