Montreal beats Brampton at Clarkson Cup
Sarah Vaillancourt scored three goals in a 2:51 span during the second period to lead Montreal to a 7-4 victory over Brampton in Clarkson Cup action Friday night in Barrie, Ont.
Noemie Marin chipped in with a pair of goals while Lise-Marie Breton-Lebreux and Dominique Thibault added singles for Montreal (2-0), while Sabrina Harbec picked up three assists.
With the win, Montreal has clinched a spot in Sunday's final.
Gillian Apps responded with a hat trick for Brampton (0-2) while Cherie Piper added a single.
"From the drop of the puck to the final whistle, we proved tonight that our team can play 60 minutes," Vaillancourt said.
Montreal was ahead 1-0 going into the second period before Vaillancourt took over.
First, she picked up a rebound off of teammate Emmanuelle Blais' shot and shovelled it home. Just 65 seconds later, Vaillancourt scored from her knees during a scramble in front of the Brampton goal.
After Apps scored to put Brampton on the board, Vaillancourt completed the hat trick when she snapped a shot past goaltender Liz Knox to give Montreal a 4-1 lead.
"Sometimes it just happens like that," Vaillancourt said. "The opportunities were there and I just capitalized on some great passes from my linemates."
Breton-Lebreux and Piper traded goals to finish the second period.
Apps scored twice in the third period, with Marin's second goal sandwiched in between, bringing Brampton's deficit to 6-4.
But any threat of a comeback ended when Thibault scored on the power play with under seven minutes left.
Marin scored the only goal of the first period on a man advantage.
There were plenty of power-play opportunities, and Montreal capitalized, going 4-for-13. Brampton finished the game at 1-for-6.
Montreal's Kim St-Pierre turned aside 30 shots, while Knox made 34 saves in defeat.
Earlier Friday, Sami Jo Small celebrated her 35th birthday by stopping 40 shots to lead Toronto to a 6-0 win over the Minnesota Whitecaps in round-robin action at the Clarkson Cup.
Jennifer Brine, Frances McPhail, Tessa Bonhomme, Angela Di Stasi, Michelle Bonello and Jennifer Botterill had the goals for Toronto (2-0), which scored four times in the second period to pull away for good.
Sonya Sandahl stopped 29 shots for Minnesota (0-2), which outshot Toronto in each of the final two periods but couldn't beat Small.
The former national team goalie has stopped 93 of 95 shots she has faced so far in the tournament.
Botterill opened the scoring for Toronto in the first, deflecting Britni Smith's shot.
The second-period outburst began when McPhail deflected Di Stasi's shot past Sandahl. Brine finished a nice passing play to put Toronto ahead 3-0.
Bonhomme converted her own rebound to give Toronto three goals in under four minutes and a 4-0 advantage. Bonello rounded out the second-period scoring by firing a low shot past a screened Sandahl.
Di Stasi capped off the scoring in the third.