Montreal, Brampton will meet for Clarkson Cup
Defeat Boston Blades 5-4 on Saturday
Caroline Ouellette provided the heroics on Saturday, scoring the game-winning goal 45 seconds into overtime as the Montreal Stars defeated the Boston Blades 5-4 in Canadian Women's Hockey League playoff action.
The overtime was decided quickly, when Ouellette fired the winner past Boston goalie Molly Schaus.
"It felt great," she said. "I didn't feel so good about the tying goal from them because it hit my leg and went in, so I wanted to make up for that."
That sets up Sunday's championship final between the defending champion Stars, who won all three of their round-robin games and Brampton HC, with a record of two wins and one loss.
Dominique Thibault, Catherine Ward, Sabrina Harbec and Meghan Agosta scored in regulation time for Montreal.
Captain Erika Lawler scored twice in the third period for Boston, while Shannon Sisk and Gigi Marvin had goals as well.
Ouellette and her teammates are looking forward to the championship final against Brampton.
"We've had a really good team effort in all three round-robin games, so we will continue to do what we've been doing."
Stars assistant coach Philippe Trahan was pleased with the team's effort. He had high praise for Schaus, who kept the Blades in the game.
"It's been like that all season long," Trahan said. "She's a great goalie, square to the puck all the time. We just wanted to get shots to the net and hope for deflections and we did end up with two like that."
The coach expects a very tight game in the final against Brampton but is confident the Stars will come out on top.
"It's probably going to be a tight-checking game," he said. "It's likely going to be more physical than against Boston. They are very talented with players from Team Canada and Team U.S.A. It should be a very good match."
The Blades got on the scoreboard first while shorthanded midway through the opening period.
Sisk's initial shot was stopped by Stars goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens, but the rebound went high into the air, over her shoulder, and into the net.
Marvin increased the lead to 2-0 just under four minutes later on a wicked snapshot that whizzed over Desbiens' glove.
Montreal managed to salvage Boston's dominating opening frame on a late goal from Thibault with just 32 seconds left on the clock.
"As a team you feel great when you are generating chances," said Ouellette. "Molly Schaus is one of the best goalies in the world, but getting that late goal in the first period really helped. People are accepting their roles and it's a great team to be part of."
Despite trailing 2-1, the Stars outshot the Blades 20-4.
After continued relentless pressure, the Stars finally evened the contest when Ward fired a backhand shot from the front of the slot.
Boston retook the lead seven minutes into the third on a power-play goal from Lawler with Kelli Stack picking up her second assist of the day.
But Montreal came back yet again with Harbec scoring on a great solo effort to tie the game 3-3.
The Stars appeared to have sealed the outcome on a goal by Agosta with under two minutes left in regulation, but the Blades stormed back to tie it when Lawler scored her second of the contest with just 54 seconds on the clock.
Earlier in the day Brampton HC disposed of the Toronto Furies 4-2 to finish the round-robin tournament.
Lori Dupuis cemented the victory with an empty-net goal with just 16 seconds remaining in the third. Molly Engstrom, Vicki Bendus and Allyson Fox also tallied for the winners.
Kristy Zamora and Frances McPhail replied for Toronto.
The championship final between Montreal and Brampton gets under way Sunday.