Blades Comeback Falls Short in 4-3 Battle against Montreal During Final Home Game of Season

The Blades took a promising 2-0 lead early in the second period, but one minute and 41 seconds was all it took for Montreal to score three unanswered and take the lead. A late comeback bid came in the third as the Blades came within one, but ultimately fell by a final score of 4-3.

Pregame

For the final home game of the season, the Blades hosted Worcester Sports day. Sport organizations such as the Worcester Bravehearts, Massachusetts Pirates, Worcester Smiles, Worcester’s Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Team, and Worcester 78’s came out to support the Blades.

Lauren Dahm got the start for the Blades after playing the first period of yesterday’s game against Montreal. She made 13 out of 16 saves in the effort before being relieved by Mariah Fujimagari.

Marie-Soleil Deschenes started her second straight game against the Blades after earning a 7-1 win on Saturday. All four of her starts this season have come against Worcester.

First Period

Katia Clement-Heydra got the Canadiennes going early, putting a shot on net 48 seconds in. However, Dahm made the save.

Courtney Turner gave the Blades their first shot of the game three minutes in. The long shot from the point was shouldered aside by Deschenes.

At 4:30, Sarah Lefort put a one timer from the slot on net. Dahm managed to get a piece, enough to redirect the puck off the crossbar.

Demi Crossman managed to steal the puck and entered the zone at 5:42, but Deschenes covered up her shot.

Off the ensuing faceoff, Lauren Williams sent a slapshot towards the net, but went just wide.

Another chance for Clement-Heydra came at 7:30, as she received the drop pass with an open lane to shoot, but Dahm stood solid once again.

Worcester managed to break through at 9:40 to score the game’s first goal. Megan Myers found the rebound and beat Deschenes stick side to make it 1-0 Blades. Carrie Atkinson and Kaitlin Spurling earned assists on the goal.

Dahm made a strong save on Lefort just a minute later to maintain the Blades’ lead.

Montreal’s penalty at 10:31 gave Worcester their first power play of the game as Sophie Brault went to the box for body-checking.

Erin Kickham rang a shot off the post, leading to a couple of chances on doorstep, but the Blades couldn’t finish.

It then became 5-on-3 for 15 seconds as Catherine Daoust went to the box for hooking.

A couple scoring opportunities came as Lauren Williams sent a slapshot on net and Demi Crossman had a chance up close. However, Deschenes made the saves.

The second penalty expired with the Blades doing all but scoring, as they peppered Montreal’s net with shots.

Dahm made two solid saves to maintain the lead, gloving a shot by Kayla Tutino at 15:27 and another by Lefort at 16:03.

The Blades countered with a 2-on-1 at 17:20, however Deschenes saved Atkinson’s shot high glove side.

A scramble in the crease sent Dahm down, but she held on and prevented a score with two minutes to go in the period.

The Blades created a flurry of chances of their own at 18:30, but couldn’t find the back of the net.

Dahm continued to be a brick wall, stopping a wraparound chance in the last minute of the period.

Taryn Harris took a tripping call as the buzzer sounded, putting Montreal on the power play for the start of the second period.

After the end of the first period, the Blades lead 1-0. This was the first period of play at home this season when Worcester outscored their opponent as well as maintained a lead, giving the team some well-earned confidence heading into the second. Shots on goal were 10-8, in favor of Montreal.

Second Period

Montreal’s power play cancelled out as Nicole Anderson drew a tripping call just 20 seconds into the period. Melodie Daoust prevented her from going on a shorthanded breakaway to make it 4-on-4 for 1:40.

Dahm made a solid save on a 2-on-1 chance for Montreal, then redirected the puck up ice to generate a 2-on-2 for the Blades. However, Meghan Grieves’ pass to Morgan Turner just missed the redirection chance.

However, the Blades were able to cash in to make it 2-0 Worcester at 2:37. Kaitlin Spurling found the rebound and pushed the puck through, under Deschenes’ pads. Meaghan Spurling assisted on the goal; Worcester’s first two-score lead of the season.

Les Canadiennes generated some chances that lead to a scramble in crease at 5:26, but Dahm held on.

Melodie Daoust entered the penalty box at 6:14 for crosschecking, giving the Blades their second full power play opportunity.

Anderson had a solid chance towards end of the advantage. She put a shot on net from the slot and had a second chance on the rebound, but Deschenes held on.

The Blades took a penalty at 9:06, as Crossman went for body checking. However, there were no major chances for Montreal as Worcester killed the penalty.

Myers generated a breakaway chance at 12:00, but Deschenes made the save. Dahm countered on the back end with a solid save of her own.

At seven minutes in, Casey Stathopolous had the chance for a redirect on the doorstep, leading to another end-to-end rush with Dahm again making a strong save to maintain the two-goal lead.

Morgan Turner sat in the box for tripping at 13:27 to put Montreal back on the power play. However, the Blades defense and Dahm again held on to prevent a score.

Morgan Turner and Anderson went in on a 2-on-1 after the penalty expired with four minutes left, but Deschenes made the pad save.

Meaghan Spurling took a holding call at 17:10, giving Montreal their third power play in a row and in the period.

They wasted no time, finally managing to break through and score just eight seconds into the advantage. Lefort beat Dahm high stick side from the face-off dot to make it 2-1 Blades. Clement-Heydra and Lauriane Rougeau earned assists on the goal, coming at 17:19.

In lightning-quick succession, Clement-Heydra scored just 18 seconds later to tie it at two. Lefort passed cross-crease and Clement-Heydra tucked it under Dahm’s pads. The 2-2 score came at 17:37.

The rapid-fire attack from Montreal didn’t stop there, as it became 3-2 Montreal at 19:00. Clement-Heydra found twine again, this time off a slapshot from the point. Melodie Daoust assisted on the goal, which just beat Dahm high stick side.

After two periods of play, a stunning reversal as Montreal lead 3-2. Shots on goal for the period were 16 for Les Canadiennes, totaling 26 and 5 for Worcester, totaling 13.

Third Period

Montreal looked to extend their lead early, as Dahm made a leg save on Genevieve Bannon at 1:30 as she came in 1-on-0. This lead to a flurry of chances after, but nothing beat Dahm.

A minute later, Grieves had a great chance to tie with the backdoor open, but just couldn’t get good wood on it.

Kim Deschênes entered the box for tripping at 4:09, giving the Blades their fourth power play opportunity.

However, Katlin Spurling received an interference call at 5:28, making it 4-on-4 for 40 seconds.

No major chances for either team with the open ice, as the Blades killed the remainder of Spurling’s penalty. Clement-Heydra had a chance for the hat trick after the power play expired, but whiffed on the one timer.

Another Blades penalty came at 8:45, as Meaghan Spurling was sent for hooking.

It became 4-2 Montreal as they scored just 13 seconds into the advantage. Rougeau’s slapshot from the point hit crossbar and redirected into the back of the net. Lefort assisted on the goal coming at 8:58.

Montreal gave the Blades their fifth powerplay at 11:14, as Lefort went for roughing.

However, Les Canadiennes defense kept the Blades to the perimeter, blocking shots and closing passing lanes effectively to kill it off.

Crossman and Grieves generated a 2-on-1 at 14:30, but Deschenes delivered a very strong glove save on the cross-crease pass and shot.

The Blades managed to cut into the lead, making it 4-3 at 15:39. Morgan Turner found the rebound and beat Deschenes while she was down, getting assists from Chelsey Goldberg and Anderson.

A stoppage came at 16:36 as Lefort was taken off the ice due to injury, she did not return to the game.

A scramble and flurry of chances came for the Blades with just over two minutes to go, but Deschenes covered up the puck to prevent a tying score.

Dahm made a huge save on Karell Emard’s slapshot with 1:19 to go, to keep it within one.

Coach Kennedy then pulled Dahm, giving the Blades a chance with the extra attacker.

The Blades managed to win an offensive zone face-off with 18.5 to go, but the slapshot by Alexis Miller was blocked. The final seconds of the game were killed as the puck was pinned along the boards by Montreal.

The final score: 4-3 Montreal. Shots on goal for the period were 17 for Les Canadiennes totaling 43, and 13 for Worcester, totaling 26.

Three Stars

First Star – Meghan Myers, Worcester forward

Second Star – Kaitlin Spurling, Worcester forward

Third Star – Morgan Turner, Worcester forward

Post Game

Kaitlin Spurling spoke after the game about the battle the Blades put up today and what they hope to accomplish in next weekend’s season finale in Toronto.

“Coming into the weekend, we were really excited. We had three lines, and just kept them rolling. I mean, it’s the end of the season and we really just want to get that first W,” she explained. “So, we were a bit bummed today that we came up short, but it’s just a sign that we can go out there and compete. We’re really excited for next weekend, because this is a great weekend to go off of,” she expressed. “You know, we played well today, it just didn’t happen to bounce our way. We’re ready to go next weekend – definitely – and hopefully come out with two wins.”

Photo by Mimi Murad

She also touched on her goal and connection with her sister Meaghan.

“We were just talking in the locker room about how cute it was to finally put one in the net and have her pass it to me,” she said. “It was awesome, for sure.”

Lastly, she reflected on the team’s first year in Worcester, and what playing for the city has been like.

“It’s awesome, we love being here, the facility, the people. We’re trying to get a huge community, have everything wrapped around us,” she explained. “Like today, we had all the other mascots from the other Worcester teams. It’s been great, they’re embracing us here and we’re hoping to embrace the community,” she recognized. “We hope that in the near future/next few years that it’s going to get a lot better, we’ll have more fans, and have a big community. So, overall it’s been great.”

Next Game

That was the last home game of the season for the Blades. They will finish out the year with a two-game set in Toronto facing the Furies on Saturday, February 23 at 6:00 pm and Sunday, February 24 at 1:00 pm.

Be sure to follow the Blades on Twitter to follow the games and stay up to date with the CWHL.

Zach Bamberger is a Communications Intern for the Worcester Blades. All media requests and inquiries should be sent to Merisa Boyd, Director of Communications, at [email protected].