Minnesota Whitecaps edge Montreal Force in St Jerome

The Montreal Force scored the first goal, but the visitors responded and never looked back en route to a comeback win.

Less than five minutes into the first period Catherine D’Aoust opened the scoring with a powerful shot from the point to give Montreal the early 1-0 lead. The visitors almost tied the game a couple of minutes later as Sydney Brodt was denied by Tricia Deguire, who came out with an outstanding save.

The Montreal Force got the game’s first penalty seven minutes later as Kaity Howarth was called for cross-checking. The Minnesota Whitecaps took full advantage as Jonna Albers found a loose puck at the side of the net and put it in to tie the game at one.

The Force were given their first powerplay on the ensuing play, but the Whitecaps were able to kill it off and had some decent chances to score shorthanded. With three and a half minutes left in the first, Montreal went back to the powerplay as Olivia Knowles was called for tripping.

Ninety seconds into the second period, the Montreal Force was penalized as Catherine Dubois was called for slashing but was able to kill it off. 10 minutes into the period Minnesota went back on the powerplay as D’Aoust was called for slashing.

Montreal was able to kill the penalty once again, and as soon as the penalty expired, it was the Force’s turn to go on the powerplay as the Whitecaps were penalized again, and Knowles made her third trip to the penalty box.

After killing that one off, Minnesota was called for another penalty giving the home side another chance to take the lead on the powerplay. Forty-five seconds into the powerplay, the Force was called once again, this time for hooking, and the game shifted to four on four.

After 40 minutes of play, the score remained 1-1 as both teams went to the locker room with 20 minutes to go in regulation.

Eight minutes into the third period, Montreal was again penalized as Howarth was called for tripping in her second penalty of the game. The Whitecaps capitalized on the powerplay as Liz Schepers beat Deguire five-hole with a quick shot in front of the net to give them the 2-1 lead and their first lead of the game.

With eight minutes left in regulation, D’Aoust went to the penalty box for high sticking, giving the visitors another chance on the powerplay. On the ensuing play, shorthanded Alexandra Labelle found herself on a breakaway but was denied by the Whitecaps goaltender Amanda Leveille.

With 2:20 left in the game, head coach Peter Smith pulled Deguire and his team down by one, looking for a goal to force overtime. Minnesota sealed the win with 61 seconds left as Sidney Morin forced a turnover and put the puck into an empty net.

Forty seconds later, with Smith opting to keep his net empty in favor of an extra player, the Whitecaps scored another empty-net goal as Brittyn Fleming ripped a shot into the yawning cage. The final whistle went, and the Montreal Force suffered another loss.

These two teams will meet on Monday afternoon in St Jerome once again to play the game scheduled for Saturday but postponed due to weather and travel issues.

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