Today is the Markham Thunder’s You Can Play game, so naturally rainbows adorned the place.

Starting forwards for the Thunder are Nicole Brown, Jess Jones, and Nicole Kosta. The latter two are back from the injured list. On defense are Megan Bozek and Laura Fortino. Erica Howe takes her usual Saturday night spot in the net, with Liz Knox backing her up on the bench. Alexis Woloschuk is listed as the only scratch.

Ann-Sophie Bettez, Jill Saulnier, and Marie-Philip Poulin make up the deadly front line for Les Canadiennes. On their blue line are Erin Ambrose and Melanie Desrochers. Starting in the net for Les Canadiennes is Emerance Maschmeyer and Geneviève Lacasse is on the bench. I am wondering if she and Maschmeyer are going to start a goalie tandem like they have in Markham.

First Period

Five and a half minutes in, Kristen Barbara gets a penalty for tripping but the Thunder successfully kill off the Canadiennes powerplay.

Eight minutes into the game, Jamie Lee Rattray passes the puck to Taylor Woods, who takes a shot. Maschmeyer is there to stop it but it bounces off her pads onto her open side and Victoria Bach is there to pop it in. Markham is up 1-0.

Ambrose gets a penalty for slashing at 13:40. Les Canadiennes kill off that penalty easily.

Shots on goal after the first period are 18 for Les Canadiennes and 6 for the Thunder.

Second Period

Bozek gets a slashing penalty about four minutes in. The Thunder successfully kill it off.

At 13:38, Poulin gets a penalty for hooking. The puck is in les Canadiennes’ end. Montréal’s defense gives the Thunder too much room in front of the net and too much time to shoot. Eventually Bach puts one in top shelf over Maschmeyer’s glove side for the powerplay goal. The Thunder are up 2-0 and Poulin exits the box.

11 minutes in Lauriane Rougeau gets a penalty for tripping. That one is killed off quickly.

At the 15 minute mark, there is a scramble in front of the net. Ambrose takes a shot and the puck lands in the Thunder net. As a Canadiennes fan describes, it bounced off the post, it bounced off some bodies, and it went in. The goal was awarded to Ambrose.

With a minute and a half left, Jocelyne Larocque and Katia Clément-Heydra are tangled in a corner without the puck in sight. They both go into the box for roughing and will start the next period in the box.

Shots on goal after the second period are 6 for Les Canadiennes and 5 for the Thunder.

Third Period

The period starts off with a four on four due to the penalties late in the second period.

Poulin gets two minutes at 10:43 for cross-checking Jenna McParland who goes down hard. McParland does get up and gets to the bench by herself though. Les Canadiennes kill off that penalty.

Maschmeyer is pulled with a little over a minute left.

Larocque goes to the box for body checking. The Thunder are on a six on four penalty kill for the last 34 seconds and call a time out.

Shots on goal for this final period are 9 for the Thunder and 17 for Les Canadiennes. Total shots on goal for this game were 22 for the Thunder and 47 for Les Canadiennes.



Howe was on top of her game today, as were the Thunder defense. I’d really like to know what kind of mental preparation she did. It is clear from the shots on goal that the Thunder played an extremely defensive game tonight and it paid off for the first periods and most of the second.

Les Canadiennes had a ton of shots, but almost none connected to the net. They also missed a couple of dozen passes.

Seriously, why hasn't anyone done anything about the posts that always come off and need to be reset in this arena?

This is a crucial win for the Thunder because it gives them two important points in the playoff push.

Three stars

3. Laura Stacey, Markham Thunder, partially because of this

2. Erica Howe, Markham Thunder (46 saves)

1. Victoria Bach, Markham Thunder (2 goals)

The Thunder and Canadiennes go again tomorrow at 12:30 pm EST in Clarington, ON. Tickets are available here, and there may be a stream available here.