Montreal 3 – Boston 4 | A defeat to end the season

One team was playing for survival, the other was preparing for the playoffs. Both have, in a way, found their account.

This Saturday match in Boston, the last of the season for Montreal, was one without stakes for Kori Cheverie’s troop, who already knows their final rank. No matter the result, nothing would take away his second place in the standings. For Boston, however, it was quite the opposite. The team led by Courtney Kessel had to either win in regulation time to get their ticket to the playoffs, or get a small point to stay in the fight.

If Montreal lost 4-3, it can take something positive from this meeting, which mainly served as preparation for the playoffs.

First, she was able to overcome a 0-3 deficit in the third period, after two disappointing first periods. Mikyla Grant-Mentis and Mariah Keopple both scored on the power play to make it 3-2, then Marie-Philip Poulin – obviously – took care of the equalizer late in the game with her 10e goal of the season.

Boston played lucky in the last two minutes to regain the lead and secure its place in the playoffs; Kaleigh Fratkin’s shot hit Amanda Boulier’s shoulder, which beat Ann-Renée Desbiens.

“In a match like this, there is not much to say or do. The players said the right things in the locker room, on the bench. We made some adjustments before the third period and the players had in mind to take it one goal at a time. »

This game meant everything for Boston. For us, it was building our game. (Before the third period, the players) didn’t have the sense of urgency that we, the coaching staff, wanted them to have. Unfortunately, we cannot give it to them. They have to have that in them, they have to take charge of that and I think they have.

Kori Cheverie

In the opinion of Mikyla Grant-Mentis, “the way of playing in the third period is what (the team) must bring to the playoffs”. “We were really aggressive. »

“We knew, as a group, that we had to finish strong and that the third period would be the one that would take us to the playoffs,” added Mélodie Daoust. We remained positive heading into the third period, and that’s what we’ll remember for the future. »


Marie-Philip Poulin

Kori Cheverie was also delighted with the contribution of Grant-Mentis and Keopple to the scoresheet, while the team is used to being led offensively by its best players – Marie-Philip Poulin, Laura Stacey, Erin Ambrose…

“I think this is what will make the difference (in the playoffs): our attackers 7 to 12 and our defenders 5, 6 and 7. These players must be able to contribute,” noted the coach.

“A good challenge”

Montreal therefore ends this first season of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (LPHF) in second place, behind its Toronto rivals, with a record of 13 wins and 11 losses, including five in overtime. However, she will not know her opponent until Sunday evening, or even Monday.

Last Wednesday, after his team’s training, Kori Cheverie told us that he did not want to have to choose his opponent, a “privilege” which goes to the first team in the ranking.

“I don’t think our opponents need one more reason to want to beat us,” she said on Saturday. “I’m happy that our opponents are determined organically. »

At the end of the day, rank doesn’t really matter in these four-team series. Firstly because hockey is played on the ice, especially in the playoffs – it’s a cliché, yes, but it’s not false. Then, because none of the four teams to have qualified is really inferior to another. Throughout the season, the matches were as close as possible.

Still, Montreal hopes to know its opponent sooner rather than later. Toronto will have 24 hours, starting at the end of the season on Sunday evening, to choose its opponent between Boston and the other team that has not yet qualified – either Ottawa or Minnesota.

“The more time you have, the better you can prepare, but we have a good coaching staff that works diligently to prepare our team, no matter who we are playing,” Cheverie said.

“I think most of the players on our team have never played in a series of this magnitude, in a three of five. They have probably mostly taken part in twos of threes in their career. So it will be a good challenge for our team and I can’t wait to attack it. »


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