Montreal erupts in final frame to top Calgary on home ice at Dream Gap Tour

Montreal continued its strong start to the Dream Gap Tour Secret Cup in Calgary on Tuesday.

Led by Marie-Philip Poulin, Montreal crushed Calgary 6-1 for its second victory in as many nights. 

Poulin, Sophie-Ann Bettez, Jessie Eldridge, Laura Stacey, Karell Émard and Kristin O’Neill also scored for Bauer-sponsored Montreal, while Sarah Potomak responded with Calgary’s lone goal.

Poulin recorded three points for the game, including the opening tally and two assists — the first of which came on what wound up as the game-winner off the stick of Eldridge midway through the first period.

Following a blast from the point, Poulin found the puck amid a crowd in front of the net and tapped it to Eldridge, who roofed it over Calgary goalie Marlène Boissonnault. Calgary is sponsored by Scotiabank.

The goal gave Montreal a 2-1 lead, which it took into intermission. After a second period in which neither team found the back of the net, Montreal exploded in the third.

Stacey got things started just under five minutes into the final frame before Émard and Bettez scored within three minutes of each other to bump the lead up to four goals.

WATCH | Stacey doubles Bauer lead early in 3rd:

Team Bauer defeats Team Scotiabank 6-1 for back-to-back victories at the Secret Cup women’s hockey tournament in Calgary. 0:50

O’Neill added the final goal with less than two minutes left in the game.

Under the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association’s scoring system, the win earned Montreal three points — two for the win, plus an additional point for scoring at least five goals.

Montreal is now up now five points for the series after defeating Toronto’s Team Sonnet 3-2 on Monday.

1st real hockey for Canadian women in over a year

The three-team Secret Cup started Monday in Calgary featuring 60 players, including the majority of Canada’s national team, will be their first real hockey games in well over a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cancellation of the women’s world hockey championship in Nova Scotia in both 2020 and 2021 because of the coronavirus also contributed to a women’s hockey desert in Canada.

Toronto’s Sonnet, Montreal’s Bauer and Calgary’s Scotiabank will vie in a six-day, round-robin tournament for the right to meet in the May 30 final at the Saddledome.

“It’s crazy to think we’ve gone almost a year and a half without playing games, really,” said forward Rebecca Johnston, a two-time Canadian Olympic gold medallist from Sudbury, Ont.

“Women’s hockey has been a little bit frustrating right now for sure. This event that’s going to happen with the PWHPA here in Calgary, I think we’re just really excited to be able to play some games.

“It is obviously a very weird time. The circumstances are a little bit strange and different for us. We’re going to make the most of it.”

The first four games will be played in the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex on the Tsuut’ina Nation. The final three will be played at the Saddledome in partnership with the NHL’s Calgary Flames.

Sportsnet will broadcast the final three games at the Saddledome and will stream all seven.

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