Labonte Turns Back Saints 2-1 in Exhibition
Sept. 30: The St. Lawrence University women's hockey team took on McGill University in their annual exhibition contest at Appleton Arena on Friday evening. Martlet goaltender Charline Labonte, a member of Canada's Olympic team, turned in a 31-save performance and Ann-Sophie Bettez scored the game-winner with 5:32 remaining in regulation, leading McGill past the Saints, 2-1.
St. Lawrence, which will open its 2011-12 regular season tomorrow against north country rival Clarkson in a non-league game, had numerous quality chances but was stifled by the Martlet netminder throughout.
"We really created some great looks offensively," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells, whose team was hindered by 10 minor penalties in the game. "Labonte played great, and I thought Caitlyn (Lahonen) matched her effort throughout. I'm excited about the way we played and we'll be ready to take on a solid Clarkson squad tomorrow."
St. Lawrence goaltender Caitlyn Lahonen turned in a quality start for the home team, notching 23 saves including nine in the third period.
After a first period that passed with most of the action in the neutral zone, McGill capitalized on a late 5-on-3 power play to take a 1-0 lead. Cathy Chartrand sent a crossing pass from the blue line to the far post to Katie Clement-Heydra, who one-timed a shot past Lahonen for the lead.
The Saints would even the game midway through the second period with a 5-on-3 power play goal of their own by sophomore Rylee Smith. Captain Karell Emard started the play, getting the puck to senior Alley Bero. Bero crossed a pass through the crease to Smith, who lifted a shot under the cross bar at 9:09 of the period to even the game at 1-1.
Despite an impressive 17-8 advantage in shots on goal in the second stanza including a penalty shot for rookie Amanda Boulier, St. Lawrence was unable to come away with the lead due to outstanding play by Labonte.
The game remained tied throughout the majority of the third period, as Lahonen made a fantastic save on Leslie Oles midway through the third period, sprawling to her right to knock away a deflection. Labonte would answer only moments later with a beautiful glove save on senior Vanessa Emond on a 2-on-1 try with just over 7:00 minutes to play.
After the 10th penalty of the game was called against St. Lawrence giving McGill its ninth power play try, Bettez tallied the eventual game-winner at 14:28 of the third period. Clement-Heydra sent a quick pass out from behind the net to a wide-open Bettez, who quickly fired a one-timer low past Lahonen's leg pad for the Martlets' second power play goal and a 2-1 lead.
Though the Saints pulled Lahonen for an extra skater in the final two minutes, they were unable to solve Labonte, falling 2-1 in the exhibition contest.
St. Lawrence will face the Golden Knights in the regular season opener tomorrow at Appleton Arena, with the puck scheduled to drop at 7:00pm. Prior to the game at 3:45pm, former St. Lawrence players will take on former Clarkson players in an alumnae game.