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Howe shuts out Rays, Maschmeyer shuts out Furies

Victoria Bach scores for the Thunder while Erin Ambrose scores on her old team.

Teri DiLauro - CWHL

Markham Thunder 1 - Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays 0 (Game Summary)

The Markham Thunder are back in their home arena and are seeking redemption for Thursday’s loss in Ancaster against their Clarkson Cup opponents the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays.

The starting lineup for the Thunder was Victoria Bach, Laura Stacey, and Jenna McParland. This was the first time Jim Jackson has stuck with the same starting forward lineup on two consecutive games. Megan Bozek and Jocelyne Larocque were on the blue line. Erica Howe took her usual Saturday spot in the net with Liz Knox as backup.

Starting for the Rays were Cayley Mercer, Hannah Miller and Hanna Bunton on forward, with Jessica Wong and Yu Baiwei on defense. Noora Räty was in the net with Kimberly Newell on the bench. Newell was sporting brand new red and gold pads which she looks like she’s trying to break in every opportunity she has, replacing her blue and orange Princeton pads.

First Period

The Rays get into penalty trouble early when Emma Woods is sent off for hooking. The Thunder aren’t able to capitalize.

With eight minutes left to go several Thunder players attempt an elaborate wraparound, but Noora spots them on both sides. Twice. Alex Carpenter manages to get a hold of the puck and speeds down the ice but she fumbles the puck and a Thunder stick manages to wave it away in time.

Jamie Lee Rattray manages to break away at one point for the Thunder’s best chance at the goal but Noora manages to save it with her body and the shot flies to behind the net.

With 6:24 to go, Madison Woo goes to the box for delay of game. I can’t actually tell why other than they were fighting for the puck along the boards a lot.

Bozek attempts a slapshot, Räty gets it in her pads. Laura Fortino attempts a slapshot, it goes just wide of the net. She gets the puck a few seconds later and attempts a wrist shot and Räty gets it in her pads as well.

The period ends with no score. There was a ton of fighting for puck possession along the boards throughout the period. With 14 shots, the Thunder have twice as many shots as the Rays this period.

Second Period

The whole period is extremely uneventful. There are a couple of good saves by both Räty and Howe. Most of the shots on both ends come from defender slapshots as the forwards on both sides are unable to even find the net.

Melanie Jue gets a penalty for body-checking with less than two minutes to go. She will start off the third in the box. The Rays prevent any goals and buy more time by icing the puck a couple of times and successfully kill of the penalty.

Shots for this period were 10 for the Thunder and 8 for the Rays.

Third Period

There is a dramatic moment at the midway mark where the Thunder are passing the puck around trying to find its way around Räty. In a rare moment, Räty actually fails to stop the rebound. It bounces in her hands as a desperate Thunder tries to swat it away. However, the puck eventually finds its way into Räty’s glove.

McParland gets a penalty for slashing with 8:46 left and Shenzhen calls a time out to discuss their powerplay plans.

Less than a minute later, Miller goes into the box for slashing Bozek’s stick out of her hands in front of the Thunder net right after the faceoff. The game is now 4 on 4.

Rattray goes into the box with 7:24 left for hitting Räty. Now the Thunder have 33 seconds of 3 on 4 to kill. The trainer is out and taking a look at Räty but she is fine and play continues. The Thunder wear out the double penalty.

With three seconds left on McParland’s penalty the Rays make a shot that Howe stops but she is knocked off balance and crashes into the net, knocking it off its moorings. The refs look annoyed but no penalty is called

The game goes back to a 5 on 5 with nary a goal. Both teams seem energized from the excitement and the game seems to take a quicker pace.

With 3:47 left, Bunton finds herself in the box for goalie interference. The Thunder now have the power play.

The Thunder finally manage to capitalize on the power play when Bach manages to slip one past the brick wall. Assist was credited to Bozek for setting up the play.

Räty is pulled for a 6 on 5 but the Rays fail to find the net. Thunder have 11 shots this period to the Rays 9. Total shots on goals for the game was 35 for the Thunder and 24 for the Rays.

Thunder win the game 1- 0. They split their home series with the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays.

Notes

  • Wraparounds do not work on Noora Räty. Why does anyone even try?
  • Even when Räty is on the ground she keeps her eyes on the puck. She saved one by sitting on it and covering another when it lands on the floor right between her legs. This was with her defense and Thunder offense looking for and poking for the puck.
  • I love seeing Bozek’s slapshot. I love seeing Larocque, Barbara, and Fortino slapshot too and there were slapshots aplenty tonight. But Bozek’s almost always lands the puck between the pipes and below the crossbar.
  • Alex Carpenter just hasn’t done much since the season opener. In every game I’ve seen her in since then she seems to lack any kind of presence on the ice. She could do a lot more to make Patty Kazmaier proud.
  • At just under 2 hours, this is one of the shortest games in recent Thunder history. Being a relatively penalty-light game and having very little stoppage time might explain why.
  • It is Jenna McParland’s 75th game tonight. Looks like many Thunder players have hit their milestone games recently.

Three stars

3 Daniella Matteucci

2 Noora Räty (34 saves)

1 Victoria Bach (1 goal)

Toronto Furies 0 - Canadiennes 1 (Game Summary)

I knew going into today’s game that we were going to see some good hockey. To be honest, the Furies impressed more than I thought they would.

Shea Tiley got the start in net. Renata Fast and Emma Greco were the starting defenders, with Julie Allen, Jess Vella and Carolyne Prévost up front. Jessica Platt, Jordan Hampton and Amanda Makela were the scratches. Mackenzie MacNeil, who had been out for the last three games, drew back into the lineup tonight.

As they did last weekend against Markham, the Canadiennes put out their nightmare starting lineup of Marie-Philip Poulin, Ann-Sophie Bettez and Mélodie Daoust with former Fury Erin Ambrose paired with Taylor Willard on the back end. Emerance Maschmeyer was in net, making it a battle of Team Canada goalies.

First period

The first period started off a little slow for both teams. The Canadiennes started off with possession, but a slashing call on Daoust put them on the kill just 32 seconds into the game. The Furies power play started with an offensive zone faceoff but lost control of the puck fairly quickly. Sarah Nurse brought the puck back in but then a Furies shot missed the net and they were back chasing. The power play looked a bit slow, maybe everyone was just warming up.

Back at even strength Tiley had to make a few stops before Toronto got their first 5 on 5 time in the Montréal zone. Brittany Howard put the puck into the netting.

MacNeil tried to feed Nurse at the side of the Canadiennes net, but Nurse had too many Canadiennes on her and couldn’t keep the puck.

Sarah Lefort went to the box on a holding call a little under five minutes into the period. Not only did Montréal kill off the penalty, but Jillian Saulnier managed a breakaway that got everyone nervous. Fortunately, her shot went wide.

Natalie Spooner combined with Nurse for a chance but Maschmeyer wasn’t having it.

There was a hard shot from Vella that didn’t quite get through, and Maschmeyer got her glove out on a puck from Shiann Darkangelo.

As the halfway mark of the period approached Emily Fulton got in a battle against the boards with Lefort. Fulton went down, hitting her head against the boards as she fell. She stayed down on the ice for a while, clutching her head. The trainer came out to her, eventually managed to get her mostly upright, and then enlisted Spooner and Nurse to help skate her off the rink. Hopefully she recovers quickly, it did not look good. Lefort was called for bodychecking on the play.

Howard had another shot attempt but it was deflected away. MacNeil tried a wraparound and Maschmeyer kept the door shut.

I kept expecting the Canadiennes to start pinning the Furies down in their own zone but every time it looked like that was what was happening, Toronto managed to disrupt the Montréal game and head out through the neutral zone. Tiley was busy but not unduly so. Howard and Nurse got a number of tries at Maschmeyer.

Late in the period the puck went over the glass and Howard sat for delay of game, giving Montréal their first power play. The Furies blocked a few shots and mostly kept the Canadiennes away from the net, but had trouble getting the puck out. Still, they escaped the penalty, and the period, scoreless.

Shots were even at 7 apiece.

Second period

Shea Tiley was busy the first few minutes of the period. She had a glove save on Saulnier, had to resolve a mess in front of her crease, and faced down Hilary Knight, who shot high off the glass. (I do not recommend being eye-level with a Knight shot, even with the glass for protection, that thing is loud and scary.)

Katia Clément-Heydra was taken down in the Furies crease while she had the puck. I think the official thought it was Tiley’s doing, because there was no call.

Fast sent a pass to Spooner, who was waiting at the Montréal blueline, but Spooner couldn’t make things happen.

Howard had a breakaway, but she was hauled down by Melanie Desrochers at the last second. She crashed into the boards feet first. It was loud and it took her a second to get up but she went to the bench and stayed in the game. Desrochers was called for tripping. The Canadiennes managed to keep the Furies out of their zone for most of the penalty.

The Ambrose goal was a bit of a surprise. She fired a shot from the hashmarks at Tiley’s left that ended up in the top corner at her right, a fast in-and-out goal that Tiley was juuust too far forward to stop. Clément-Heydra got the assist.

Maschmeyer stopped another attempt by Nurse, Tiley had to cover up on a bouncing puck, no one was ever going to score again.

Lefort went off for her third penalty of the night, a cross-checking call with just over a minute left in the period. Less than ten seconds later Maschmeyer made a spectacular windmill save. Not sure by who, but she robbed whoever it was.

Shots were 8 to 7 in favour of Montréal.

Third period

The Furies looked good on the power play to start the period, passes connecting, keeping the puck in the zone, but only got a couple of shots and lost possession with less than ten seconds to go.

The power play went to work again a few minutes later after a roughing call on Desrochers when Prévost went down. Again Maschmeyer stopped all comers and there were a few.

Toronto looked better and better as the game went on and the third was their best. They were only credited with seven shots in the period but Maschmeyer seemed to be pretty busy, making a number of glove saves. Shots and shot attempts were made by Brittany Zuback, Jess Vella and Julia Fedeski, along with the expected multiplicity of chances for Spooner, Nurse, and Howard.

The Furies took their timeout with 1:22 left in the game and Tiley headed for the bench with a minute left. Bettez nearly had an empty net goal but the play was whistled dead for... reasons. The game ended with Toronto in the neutral zone trying to get the puck out.

Total shots were 23 for the Canadiennes and 21 for the Furies.

Notes

  • Renata Fast is not the most defensive defender but she’s pretty great at carrying the puck out and she had a couple of shot attempts as well.
  • Brittany Howard cannot buy a goal. When she scores her first there’s gonna be a party.
  • This series is not good for national team unity (I saw Nurse shoving Poulin against the boards!) but it’s good that Tiley and Machmeyer both look good going into 4 Nations Cup.
  • Once again Nurse, Spooner and Howard were all active around the net. Darkangelo had a couple of chances and was trying to set Howard up for a few others.
  • Jess Vella had a diving shot that would have been storybook if it had gone in, but Maschmeyer’s too good for that sort of thing.
  • Mellissa Channell had a couple of good zone exits, and few opportunities, including a point shot that I could hear thud off Maschmeyer’s pads from the other end of the rink.

Three Stars

3 Erin Ambrose (1 goal)

2 Shea Tiley (22 saves)

1 Emerance Maschmeyer (21 save shutout)

The Markham Thunder are on break until after 4 Nations Cup when they’ll see the Rays again, this time in China, starting on Wednesday, November 14. The Furies have a rematch with the Canadiennes Sunday at 1:00pm