Team captain Kim Deschenes proved to be the game changer as her two scores led the Montreal Carabins to their first ever Canadian Interuniversity Sport national title. In a rematch of last year’s CIS title game, the Carabins faced off once more against the Calgary Dinos.
After beating the undefeated McGill Martlets in the Quebec Student Sport Federation finals, the Carabins carried the momentum towards a strong national title run.
Montreal’s road to their first national title began with a 1-0 overtime victory over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. The semifinal resulted in a 5-3 triumph over the Cinderella story UBC Thunderbirds from Vancouver.
Without Hayley Wickenheiser, the Calgary Dinos were at a disadvantage before the contest even began. Playing valiantly, the Dinos managed to open the scoring. After Carabins backstop Elodie Rousseau blocked a shot by Iya Gavrilova, forward Sinead Tracey grabbed the rebound and scored at the 5:14 mark.
Before the period would end, Montreal would manage to tie the score. With only 25 seconds remaining, Kim Deschenes grabbed a rebound on the first shot from Elizabeth Mantha and buried it past Dinos netminder Amanda Tapp.
Heading into the second frame, the Dinos peppered Rousseau with shots. An aggressive Dinos squad spent a lot of time in the Montreal zone, applying pressure to the Carabins defense. The persistence paid off at the 9:32 mark. Sophomore Stephanie Zvonkovic buried a rebound from Gavrilova for the 2-1 advantage.
Two minutes and 48 seconds later, Montreal managed to tie the score. Freshman Marion Allemoz (hailing from France) buried the puck between Amanda Tapp’s legs for the equalizer. While Tapp played valiantly for the remainder of the period, the Dinos were ineffective in breaking the tie score.
Deschenes found the back of the Dinos net again with only 25 seconds remaining in the period, as she did in the first. Deschenes grabbed a rebound—a method employed for many of the goals scored in the contest—and buried it top shelf past Tapp for the 3-2 lead.
With a scoreless third period, Deschenes' second-period goal would stand as the game winning tally. She would be selected as the Most Valuable Player of the game, while teammate Rousseau was named to the CIS Tournament All-Star team. The championship represents the first national title in any sport for the Montreal Carabins athletics program. Of note, head coach Isabelle Leclaire holds the unique distinction of having won a Clarkson Cup as a head coach (in 2009 with the Montreal Stars) and a CIS National Title.