Boston 1 – Montreal 3 | The more than perfect return of Mélodie Daoust

(Montreal) The second period of the match between the Montreal team and the Boston team was four minutes and 47 seconds old when Marie-Philip Poulin appeared in the faceoff circle to the right of Aerin Frankel. Three seconds later, Mélodie Daoust scored her first goal of the season.

“We expected it,” Daoust explained after his team’s 3-1 victory. It was well choreographed by Pou. When she takes a faceoff, she can be very dangerous, so it was good that she executed the plan wonderfully. »

Poulin passed the puck between her rival’s skates before quickly passing it to Daoust, well positioned near the goalie, who pushed the puck back into the net.

There is nothing really exceptional about scoring for Daoust, because she has done it tons of times, in often much more important contexts. The fact is that this success, which turned out to be the winning goal of Saturday’s match, was not ordinary.

Earlier in the day, the 32-year-old athlete signed a 10-day agreement with the Montreal team of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (LPHF).

She admitted at a press conference that she didn’t even remember when her last match in a competitive setting took place. Checked, it was over a year ago.

The double Olympic gold medalist was warmly welcomed by fans at the 21.02 Performance Center in Verdun. “It was really incredible to see the atmosphere when we entered the ice. I got chills after my first goal when the fans started applauding. It is heartwarming. »

Immediate impact

The most impressive thing was to see how Daoust didn’t fall behind her teammates. Even though she had not played any of the first 13 games of the season, she was never behind Poulin and Laura Stacey on the team’s first line.

His contribution was considerable and even necessary for Montreal to snatch its ninth victory of the season. Daoust was in all the fights. She was the one who took the shot from the slot allowing Poulin to score the first goal of the game on the return leg. It was she who served as a screen to allow defender Erin Ambrose’s shot to find its way into the back of the net at the start of the third period. Daoust finished the game with a +3 record and 17:48 of ice time.

“If you play on Marie-Philip’s trio, you expect to have a lot of playing time,” she joked.


Marie-Philip Poulin

Still, the chemistry between the two veterans was of a quality identical to that of their glory years on the national team. It was almost poetic. “We have often played together in the past with Team Canada. We have good chemistry on the ice, we must not forget Laura too, who does the work on the forecheck like no other. We don’t give him enough credit. She’s the one who gives us the pucks so we can make plays. It was fun to be on the first trio. »

Although she was held off the scoresheet, Stacey was the most used attacker in the game.

Daoust declined to comment on his future with the team. Nevertheless, what she achieved on Saturday evening is worthy of the player who courageously managed a one-handed feint like Peter Forsberg in a shootout in the middle of the Olympic final in PyeongChang. The woman of great times had stayed away, but she had probably never left for good.


Laura Stacey (7)

“When I’m happy, when I have my guy around me, I have my teammates, I don’t think much about anything else. My preparation is very very simple. I know that I have my best performances when I’m having fun and today it was easy to have fun on the ice. »

Daoust obviously inherited the first star of the match.

Chuli always perfect

Who would have thought that the best goalie in the world, Ann-Renée Desbiens, would have competition in front of the Montreal team’s net?

Certainly, Elaine Chuli decided that this would be the case. The 29-year-old goalkeeper stood up in front of the Boston attack, repelling 30 of the 31 shots aimed at her. Only Hilary Knight was able to thwart her on a two-on-one surge at the end of the second period.


Elaine Chuli makes the save in front of Taylor Girard (17)

In the press conference room, Chuli didn’t seem particularly euphoric about another victory. However, it was his fifth in as many starts this season.

” I feel good. I just want to help the team win. I feel that we are improving and that we are going in the right direction,” she said.

However, if his remarks were quite generic, his performance is far from being so. A perfect record, a goals against average of 1.19 and an efficiency rate of .962.

She confirmed that she only learned a day in advance which of her or Desbiens would get the start of a match. A method that works quite well for him, obviously. “It’s different from what I’ve experienced in the past,” she admitted.

For the moment, she and Desbiens still get along like thieves. This kind of internal rivalry or competition could cause some friction in other contexts, but the situation in the Montreal camp is seen more as a weapon than as a distraction.

“It’s not an issue, it’s just wonderful. We’re in first position, we’re both playing well, it just makes us a more dangerous duo. »

And clearly, the recipe works. Because in all cases, Montreal wins.


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