Montreal repeats as Clarkson Cup hockey champs
Vanessa Davidson's goal midway through the second period proved to be the winner as the Montreal Stars defended their Clarkson Cup Canadian Women's Hockey League championship title with a 4-2 victory over Brampton HC on Sunday.
Alyssa Cecere, Emmanuelle Blais and Caroline Ouellette, who was named tournament MVP, also scored for Montreal.
Former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, whom the Cup is named after, presented the winning trophy to the Stars after the final in Niagara Falls.
"It means so much and is an amazing feeling," said Ouellette. "We are known as a team that scores a lot of goals but in the tournament we played very well defensively."
Courtney Birchard and Cherie Piper each scored in the third period for Brampton.
After a scoreless first period, Montreal got on the board 23 seconds into the second when Cecere fired a shot past Brampton goalie Liz Knox.
Ouellette made it 2-0 at the four-minute mark when she converted on a beautiful setup pass from Sabrina Harbec on a 2-on-1 break.
Davidson made 3-0 at 12:18 for what would be the eventual winner.
Brampton scored twice in the final period but couldn't beat Stars goaltender Jenny Lavigne to complete a comback.
"Jenny played so well and it was her time to get the glory," said Ouellette, referring to Lavigne playing backup behind Kim St. Pierre in previous years. "She allowed only two goals in the entire tournament."
Lavigne says she was glad to step up and contribute in a meaningful way.
"All the team played very well in front of me," she said. "My players helped me by blocking shots and they did great offensively."
Blais cemented the victory on a marker with seven minutes to play.
Four players from the Stars will take part in the Canadian selection camp for the 2012 IIHF World championships: Ouellette, Meghan Agosta, Catherine Ward and Blais. Players will report to camp Monday night in Ottawa.
Stars winger Julie Chu, who will be looking to crack the U.S. squad, articulated how it felt to defend the championship with a team effort.
"This is the pinnacle of our hockey season, getting a chance to win the Clarkson Cup," she said.
"The scoring was varied today from players that maybe don't get as much playing time as others, but that started us off strong. For us, everyone plays their role and that's a big part of our success."
Brampton will also send four players to the Canadian selection camp: Jayna Hefford, Gillian Apps, Piper and Birchard.
Molly Engstrom hopes to earn a roster spot with the U.S.