EXPRESS COMPLETE COMEBACK WITH SHOOTOUT WIN
WEYBURN, Sask. – Éloïse Dubé (St-Hyacinthe, Que.) and Joannie Garand (Otterburn Park, Que.) scored in the shootout as the Express du Richelieu erased a three-goal deficit to defeat the Brantford Ice Cats 5-4 on Thursday afternoon.
Richelieu’s first skater, Dubé waited out goaltender Emma Verbruggen (Ancaster, Ont.) and swept the puck into an open net. Garand then sent a backhand high into the net to seal the win.
Forcing the game past regulation clinched the Express a spot in the medal round.
When Nicole Kelly (Brantford, Ont.) went low stick side from the high slot to make it 4-1 at the 16:10 mark of the second period, Brantford seemed well on its way to its fourth win in five games.
It did spell the end of goaltender Carolanne Franc-Brown’s (McMasterville, Que.) day, and in came Marithé Lévesque (Baie-Comeau, Que.).
Two days earlier against the Weyburn Gold Wings, the Express changed goalies mid-game – with Franc-Brown relieving Lévesque – and staged a two-goal comeback.
Today, nine seconds off the ensuing face-off, Floriane Dion (Verchère, Que.) fed Dubé, who went forehand to backhand to deke Verbruggen and bring the Express to within two.
Six minutes into the third, Sandrine Cyr (St-Bruno, Que.) sent a pass up ice to Juliette Auger (St-Hyacinthe, Que.), who tipped the puck around Paige Cohoon (St. George, Ont.) and went high short side from the bottom of the face-off circle.
Seven minutes after that the comeback was complete, when Camille Fleury (Ste-Julie, Que.) sent a cross-crease pass to Katyanne Lebrun (St-Hilaire, Que.) for a one-timer.
Brantford had control of the first 40 minutes, gaining a 26-10 advantage in shots on net.
It got on the board early. Paige Rynne’s (Ancaster, Ont.) shot from the slot was stopped, but Franc-Brown was unable to cover the puck. Brooklyn Gemmill (Cambridge, Ont.) punched in the rebound at the side of the net, and it was 1-0 Ice Cat only 1:27 in.
The team doubled its lead midway through the period. Three Ice Cats took on four Express players down low, and after repeated attempts at the puck, Rynne was the one putting it in the net.
Richelieu got one back with only 1:30 remaining in the first. Flavie Cadorette (St-Hilaire, Que.) took a few strides in from the side boards and sent a shot past the glove of a screened Verbruggen.
Midway through the second, Lauren Martin (Cambridge, Ont.) sent a centering pass from behind the net to Rynne, whose shot went through Franc-Brown and in, then making it 3-1.