Buesser’s tally leads Blades past Stars
MARKHAM, Ont. – Kate Buesser’s goal at 6:34 of the third period gave the Boston Blades a 1-0 victory over the Montreal Stars in an exciting opening match for both teams at the 2014 Clarkson Cup on Wednesday night.
Brittany Ott was brilliant in goal for the Blades, stopping all 32 Montreal shots, while Montreal’s Catherine Herron was impressive in her own right, turning aside 28 of 29 shots.
“Every time we play them is a huge game for us, and we just wanted to make sure we were playing up to our standards,” said Ott. “We were doing all the little things right, and we knew we had to be sound all over the ice.”
A spirited opening frame saw Montreal have the edge in play, with the best chance falling to Canadian Olympic captain Caroline Ouellette, who stole the puck from a Blades defender in the offensive zone.
However, Ott was up to the task, punching Ouellette’s wrist shot away with her blocker for one of her 12 saves in the first frame.
The second period belonged to the Blades, who started to gain momentum by asserting themselves physically, as their offensive chances began to mount. Kelli Stack and Hilary Knight had quality opportunities midway through the period with back-to-back rebound chances, but were denied by Herron. Montreal nearly opened the scoring late in the period on a partial break through Noemie Marin, but her wrist shot was turned aside by Ott.
Blades forward Casey Pickett had a golden opportunity to start the third period, taking a cross-ice pass from Ashley Cottrell. But once again, Herron was ready, making an excellent pad save to keep the game scoreless.
The game then experienced a short delay following a power outage in the arena, though Ott downplayed its significance. “We didn’t think much of it,” she said. “We were coming together before the power outage and focused on not losing our momentum.” A few minutes after play resumed, the teams continued to trade chances in search of the game’s opening goal. After her initial shot was stopped, Buesser followed up on her own rebound to beat Herron for the only goal of the contest.
Montreal had its fair share of opportunities the rest of the way, but just as she had done all game, Ott was there to shut the door.
Boston will look to maintain its unbeaten record on Thursday, when they take on the Calgary Inferno at 11 a.m. Meanwhile, Montreal will look to get back on track as they face the Toronto Furies at 7:30 p.m. The first-place Stars came into the game leading the season series against the second place Blades, 4-2.
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