After a 1-3-0 start that brought doubt as to whether the Stars dynasty was in decline, a convincing sweep of the Brampton hockey club has shown that the Stars are very much alive. The December 8-9 series featured third place Brampton and fourth place Montreal jockeying for position.
In the first game, Montreal draft pick Florence Schelling was between the pipes for Brampton. Although the Stars retain her rights, she was loaned to Brampton for the remainder of the season in order to gain playing time. Her first game against the team that drafted her saw Schelling peppered with 55 shots, including a remarkable 23 shots in the first period.
With Brampton called for 12 penalties in the contest, Schelling did everything possible to give Brampton a chance to win. The first frame was tied at 1 apiece with goals by Gillian Apps (Brampton) and Meghan Agosta-Marciano (Montreal). Montreal out shot Brampton 23-9 as four different Brampton skaters served penalties.
The second period saw Brampton take a 3-1 lead. Apps and Jayna Hefford scored within 27 seconds of each other. Montreal’s Caroline Ouellette would score at the 9:25 mark of the frame to reduce the Brampton lead to a 3-2 mark. With Apps serving a body-checking penalty, Bailey Bram scored short-handed as the Stars found themselves behind by two goals.
Once again, penalties were the story, as Brampton served two penalties in the last five minutes of the game. Carolyne Prevost and Emmanuelle Blais would both score on Schelling as the score was tied at 4. Heading into the final frame, the 10:04 mark would see Montreal take its first lead of the game. With Gillian Apps in the penalty box, Meghan Agosta-Marciano scored to give Montreal a 5-4 lead. Although Apps would tie the game less than two minutes later, Emmanuelle Blais and Ann-Sophie Bettez would score for Montreal in a 7-5 final.
The December 9 contest found Montreal fall behind again. Sensational rookie Laura McIntosh scored twice in the first eight minutes of the contest to give Brampton a 2-0 lead. Undeterred, Montreal would score three unanswered goals. Former McGill captain Cathy Chartrand would open the scoring for Montreal as she buried the puck past Liz Knox. Emmanuelle Blais and Carolyne Prevost would also score as shots were even in the period at 13 each.
With a 15-9 advantage in shots in the second period for Montreal, they would grab the lead for good. Four penalties for Brampton in the second did not help either. Jayna Hefford found herself called for hooking at the 3:01 mark, and Montreal exploited the error. Emmanuelle Blais scored on the power play to add to Montreal’s lead.
Meghan Agosta-Marciano would score two goals in a time span of two minutes and sixteen seconds as Montreal climbed out to a 6-2 lead. Her second goal was scored during a 5 on 3 power play, as Brampton had no means to control Montreal’s potent offense. Before the period ended, Jayna Hefford scored to reduce Montreal’s lead to a 6-3 margin.
Penalties would continue to haunt Brampton as Dania Simmonds was called for body checking at the 1:34 mark. Julie Chu would make Brampton pay for that mistake as she logged a power play tally. The final goal of the game would be scored by Ann-Sophie Bettez as Montreal emerged with a dominating 8-3 victory.
Brampton suffered 18 penalties in the two game series, while Schelling and Knox faced a combined 100 shots in the two losses. Meghan Agosta-Marciano led all skaters in scoring with eight points. With the sweep, Montreal climbs over Brampton to assume third place in the CWHL standings.
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