International Ice Hockey Federation

Montreal takes Clarkson Cup

Montreal takes Clarkson Cup

Poulin does it again in 3-1 win

Published 06.03.2017 03:14 GMT-5 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Montreal takes Clarkson Cup
Marie-Philip Poulin scored the gold-winning goal for Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, and she did the same for Montreal in the CWHL on Sunday. Photo: Jeff Vinnick / HHOF-IIHF Images
Les Canadiennes de Montreal defeated the Calgary Inferno 3-1 to claim the city’s fourth Clarkson Cup, emblematic of supremacy in the CWHL.

Marie-Philip Poulin, who scored the gold-medal-winning goals at both the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, scored the game winner today and added a second goal into the empty net in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League final.

Sunday’s championship final at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, where the NHL’s Senators play, was a rematch from last year when Calgary whipped Les Canadiennes by an 8-3 score.

“We lost big time last year but we’ve been on a mission since,” said winning goalie Charline Labonte, who was named playoff MVP. “This is it!”

Labonte has won three Olympic gold medals and eight medals at the Women’s World Championship, but this is her first Clarkson Cup. “We’re not only a team; they’re all my best friends,” she enthused. “Winning with them is a beautiful thing. I’m so proud.”

"We came out a little flat in the first and took a little too long to get things going," Calgary captain Brianne Jenner admitted. "We had a chance at the end, and we thought we had the momentum, but sometimes it doesn't go your way.”

Montreal was playing in its third straight finals and sixth in the eight-year history of the tournament with the Clarkson Cup on the line. Montreal has won three times when the team was named the Stars.

The eponymous trophy was donated by former governor-general of Canada Adrienne Clarkson.

Both teams featured many players who will be teammates at the end of the month for the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Plymouth, Michigan, or who have played in the past for the Canadian national team.

Montreal had captain Poulin, Lauriane Rougeau, Labonte, former national team star Caroline Ouellette, and former American national team defenceman Julie Chu.

Calgary included Rebecca Johnston, Jessica Campbell, Meaghan Mikkelson, Bailey Bram, Jenner, Haley Irwin, and Blayre Turnbull as well as Russian national team player Iya Gavrilova.

Montreal advanced to the finals by beating the Brampton Thunder 7-1 and 5-1 in the best-of-three semi-finals, while Calgary had a much tougher time. The Inferno lost to the Toronto Furies 5-2 in the opening game but rallied to win games two and three by identical 3-1 scores.

Montreal dominated the opening 20 minutes, looking quicker and more lively than a tired Calgary team.

The first period included four penalties, two to each team, but it was the Canadiennes that opened the scoring with the extra man at 12:56. Katia Clement-Heydra recovered a loose puck in front of Emerance Maschmeyer’s goal and fired a quick backhand over the goalie’s glove.

Poulin made it 2-0 at 5:24 of the second. Skating over the blue line, she decided to shoot instead of trying to beat a defenceman one-on-one, and Maschmeyer flubbed the puck. It dribbled off her glove and in to give Les Canadiennes a solid lead.

"Poulin did a really good job shooting through the d[efenceman],” Maschmeyer explained, “and I lost it in the legs of my d[efenceman]. I thought I had it, but it trickled in."

The Inferno started the third with an energy that had been lacking through the first 40 minutes. They drew a penalty and went hard to Labonte’s crease, but the goalie held Les Canadiennes in the game.

However, a giveaway by defenceman Cathy Chartrand behind her goal allowed Calgary to get back into it. Johnston stole the puck, fired a quick pass to Jillian Saulnier in front, and she wasted no time with a shot that beat Labonte to make it 2-1.

Calgary continued to press, and with 2:13 remaining coach Scott Reid pulled Maschmeyer for a sixth attacker. Just 21 seconds later, though, Poulin scored into the empty net to put the game out of reach.

NOTES: The CWHL handed out its awards at a dinner on Friday night. Poulin was the big winner, taking home the MVP and Jayna Hefford Trophy. The MVP is voted on by coaches and general managers while the Hefford is voted on by the players. Labonte was named best goaltender and Mikkelson best defenceman. The top rookie was Laura Stacey of Brampton. Campbell was honoured with the Humanitarian Award and Reid was coach of the year.


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