Ottawa Can't Solve Desbiens, Loses 2-0 to Montreal

One of those games.

Ottawa Can't Solve Desbiens, Loses 2-0 to Montreal
Photo by Waldemar / Unsplash

The stakes going into this final regular season home game for PWHL Ottawa were simple: win and you're in.

They only need three points to make it impossible for Boston to catch them. A regular season win would have done that. Even taking the game to overtime would have helped. Unfortunately, Montreal has had Ottawa's number all season, and today's game was no exception.

The first period was thrilling, high-event, end-to-end hockey. Both teams got an opportunity on the powerplay, but no goals were scored. At one point Daryl Watts pulled off an absolutely jaw-dropping move, as she does, and then the puck went right down the other end as Maschmeyer was forced to stay sharp. It continued like that for a while.

Unfortunately, it was Montreal that finally broke the tie early in the second period. I don’t know if Laura Stacey has a personal vendetta against Ottawa, or if she’s this good in every game and I only notice it against Ottawa because those are the only games I watch, but I feel like she’s been especially good against us this year, right? Like, Marie-Philip Poulin has not made our lives hell the way her fiancée has.

Montreal dominated most of the second period, with Ottawa not getting their first shot on goal until over halfway through, and their second until there were about 3 minutes left. Maschmeyer held down the fort as Montreal took over. The good news is that Ottawa’s two shots were both pretty good!

The start of the third period was basically the opposite of the second, with Ottawa doing everything they could to get that equalizer. About five minutes in, Scamurra somehow missed a wide open net, got the rebound, and got stopped by Desbiens who was literally lying on the ice at the time. Sometimes Ann-Renée Desbiens just decides that she isn’t letting anything through. 

It felt a lot like those first 15 or so games of the season. Ottawa did absolutely everything they could, but even their league-best powerplay couldn’t get them past Desbiens, until a scramble in front of the net with just over 5 minutes left finally - FINALLY - resulted in a goal…

That ended up being overturned.


Although Savannah Harmon’s shot beat Desbiens, Becca Gilmore had pushed her pad away from the net, making it impossible for her to get back to make a save. It was goaltender interference. That’s how the rule works.

It was all Ottawa for a few minutes following the no-goal call, giving us hope that they might be able to salvage this after all. Then the puck went down the ice once, and it was 2-0 Montreal.

Game notes

  • I felt like I noticed Jincy Roese a lot more in this game than I usually do, in a good way. She was so solid on the penalty kill, and made a good attempt at tying the game in the third.
  • Daryl Watts, man. What else is there to say? She's unreal.
  • That Clark-Hughes-Scamurra line is nasty. They were behind the almost-goal in the third, as well as several other good chances.
  • Can't fault Maschmeyer on this one. She kept them in it in the second, and didn't have a chance on those goals.

This playoff race might go down to the wire. For anyone curious about the stakes: Ottawa is three points ahead of Boston, and they have the tiebreaker. Boston needs at least four points in their final two games. One of those games is happening right now. If Boston loses either of those games in regulation, then Ottawa is in. Ottawa, meanwhile, needs three points in their final two games to make it impossible for Boston to catch them, so any regulation win will do it. They control their own fate, and they might end up clinching by the end of the day anyways if Boston loses in regulation.

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