Chuli Remains Undefeated As Montreal Beats Minnesota In Battle Of Top PWHL Teams | CBC Sports

Professional Women’s Hockey League

Elaine Chuli made 21 saves for her fourth win in as many starts as Montreal defeated Minnesota 2-1 in the Professional Women’s Hockey League on Sunday afternoon in Laval, Que.

Lefort nets winner, Dalton also scores for 2-1 win at Place Bell in Laval, Que.

Daniel Rainbird · The Canadian Press

· Posted: Feb 18, 2024 4:26 PM EST | Last Updated: 5 hours ago

Minnesota forward Clair DeGeorge moves in to shoot on Montreal goaltender Elaine Chuli during the second period of Montreal’s 2-1 win in Professional Women’s Hockey League action on Sunday at Place Bell in Laval, Que. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)Montreal head coach Kori Cheverie sleeps just fine knowing she has two brick walls in net.

“It’s not a worry,” Cheverie said. “I don’t lose sleep at night, I lose sleep over other things.”

Elaine Chuli made 21 saves for her fourth win in as many starts as Montreal defeated Minnesota 2-1 in the Professional Women’s Hockey League on Sunday afternoon in Laval, Que. Playing back up to Canada No. 1 Ann-Renée Desbiens, Chuli is the only PWHL goalie to see action without a loss this season.

Chuli has a league-leading .961 save percentage, while Desbiens is fourth with a .928 in seven starts.

“We have two very, very good goalies,” Lefort said. “That much is clear.”

“Chuli did what she needed to do again tonight,” Cheverie added. “When you have a goalie duo like that, I think It’s pretty scary for the other teams.”

Sarah Lefort scored the game-winning goal and Claire Dalton also found the back of the net for Montreal (4-3-2-2), which was shut out 3-0 against Toronto on Friday in front of a women’s hockey record crowd of 19,285 at Scotiabank Arena.

WATCH l Montreal edges PWHL-leading Minnesota:

Montreal edges Minnesota in battle of top 2 teams in PWHLMontreal is now just a point behind PWHL-leading Minnesota after a 2-1 victory in Laval, Que., on Sunday.

Captain Kendall Coyne Schofield scored the lone goal for league-leading Minnesota (5-2-2-3) after winning 2-1 at Ottawa on Saturday. Maddie Rooney stopped 18 shots.

A rowdy sold-out crowd of 10,172 spectators took in the battle between the PWHL’s top two teams at Place Bell.

Dalton opened the scoring on the power play 3:41 into the first period.

It was only Montreal’s second power-play goal this year after going 24 opportunities without scoring.

“Finally, the power play,” Cheverie, a New Glasgow, N.S. native, said in her limited French to start her press conference.

“It is a little bit of a relief,” she added. “But I knew it was coming. It was just a matter of time.”

🚨 Dalton compte son deuxième but de la saison

Dalton tips it in

MTL 1, MIN 0

—@PWHL_MontrealCoyne Schofield got Minnesota on the board at 17:42 after finishing a sweet backhand over Chuli’s left shoulder.

Lefort scored her first on the season 14:06 into the second to put Montreal up 2-1. She started the play by setting up Madison Bizal for a one-timer, and finished it by burying the rebound.

“It was about time,” Lefort said. “Once you make that pass you still gotta go to the net, you still gotta finish the play.”

Montreal captain Marie-Philip Poulin nearly extended the lead short-handed with 12 minutes left but hit the crossbar on a deke to the backhand. A short-handed goal would have simultaneously killed the penalty with a “jailbreak” under PWHL rules.

“I’ve noticed our PK is cheating a little bit for the jailbreak, and I just let them know I don’t like the jailbreak,” Cheverie said. “Funny enough that Pou gets a breakaway.”

Minnesota earned a second power play just as the other expired but Montreal managed to kill it off.

Lee Stecklein nearly tied the game with a slap shot off the post while Minnesota had the goalie pulled for an extra attacker, but Montreal hung on for the win.

WATCH l PWHL game at Scotiabank Arena boosts women’s sports: 

Toronto vs. Montreal PWHL match at Scotiabank Arena boosts women’s sportsThe Professional Women’s Hockey League matchup between Montreal and Toronto was a highly anticipated game and when the venue was upgraded to Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena to increase seating capacity, tickets sold out quickly. This has women and supporters of professional women’s sports leagues celebrating with the feeling of long-awaited acknowledgement and a growing excitement for what is to come.

Montreal signs DuboisMontreal forward Catherine Dubois was overcome with emotion when general manager Daniele Sauvageau called her Saturday night to offer a standard player agreement.

“I cried, as soon as Daniele told me I was on a full contract and have my chance to play today, I just cried,” Dubois said. “I think it was a bottle of all the emotion and I called my family obviously first, my dad and my mom, and we are an emotional family, so we all cried together.”

More PWHL coverageThe 28-year-old from Charlesbourg, Que., produced one goal in seven games while playing on 10-day contracts for Montreal.

Upon learning she’d play an eighth, a bunch of family members — including her grandmother and some nephews — quickly arranged to get in the sold-out building. Dubois was even rewarded with a few shifts on Montreal’s top line with Poulin.

“Every day I thought I might not have that chance to play on a full contract,” Dubois said. “You doubt yourself, you wonder, ‘what do I do wrong.’ But at the end of the day, I play it because I love it and I couldn’t stop working. I couldn’t stop thinking that maybe one day I will make it.

“Thank God it happened.”

In a corresponding move, the team placed Czech defender Dominika Lásková on long-term injured reserve.

Montreal hits the road for a game in New York on Wednesday, while Minnesota opens a two-game homestand next Sunday against Boston.

The full schedule of PWHL games airing on CBC Sports this season is available here.

WATCH l Natalie Spooner on Canada winning Rivalry Series, PWHL Toronto’s turnaround: 

Natalie Spooner on Canada winning Rivalry Series, PWHL Toronto’s turnaroundHost Rob Pizzo is joined by PWHL Toronto forward Natalie Spooner, fresh off helping Canada to victory over the United States in the rivalry series.

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