Carlee’s Crew Steal the Show

More than 8,000 fans were on hand at Air Canada Centre to witness Team White defeat Team Blue at the 2017 CWHL All Star Game in Toronto, Ontario.

Jess Jones opened the scoring for Team White at the 14:38 mark of the 1st period, tipping in a shot by Team White captain Carlee Campbell from the blue line. Rebecca Johnston also grabbed an assist on the goal.

Jones would pick up her second goal of the night just seven minutes later, walking around Team Blue goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer after picking up teammate Jill Saulnier’s shot from the top of the hash marks. Rebecca Johnston started the play, passing to Saulnier through traffic from the point and earning her second assist of the game.

But who wants to stick with two goals when you can have three? Not Team White. At the 5:55 mark of the 1st, Marie-Philip Poulin made a heads-up play through traffic to Jill Saulnier, who was just waiting in the slot to cash in Team White’s third goal of the game.

Team Blue gained momentum in the 2nd period, peppering Team White’s goaltenders Christina Kessler and Charline Labonte, who split the 2nd period, with shots.

That pressure on Team White would pay off when, with just four minutes left in the period, Team Blue would finally get on the board. A shot at the top of the circle from Jamie Lee Rattray was redirected by Kelly Terry and tipped in the net to make it a 3-1 hockey game.

Team White responded only a minute later with a nice 2-on-0 from Jill Saulnier and Marie-Philip Poulin. Saulnier picked up her second goal of the game, going short side on Christina Kessler.

With 39 seconds to play in the 2nd period, Team Blue answered with a goal from Brianne Jenner. Jamie Lee Rattray and Team Blue co-captain Natalie Spooner earned assists on the final goal of the middle frame.

Team Blue came out dominant in the 3rd period, scoring not even a minute and a half in with a snapshot from the slot by Jenelle Kohanchuk. Hayley Irwin assisted the goal to make it 4-3.

Team White responded with two goals. The first, scored by Rebecca Johnston, came off a pass from captain Carlee Campbell. Marie-Philip Poulin netted the next goal to make it 6-3, after receiving a crisp pass from behind the net by Laura Stacey. Rebecca Vint also assisted.

Just 10 seconds later, Team Blue made it 6-4. Jenelle Kohanchuk fed Hayley Irwin a nice give-and-go pass, and Irwin was able to walk in on Charline Labonte with a quick wrist shot.

Team White extended their lead after a scrum in front of Team Blue’s net. Jess Jones poked the puck in and completed the hat trick, with an assist coming from Rebecca Johnston.

But Team Blue wasn’t giving up. Jenelle Kohanchuk picked up her second of the game with a shot from the hash marks, with the assist going to Ann-Sophie Bettez to make it 7-5 White.

As fate would have it, Team White would score the final two goals. The first came from Meghan Grieves, with assists from Poulin and Fortino. The final goal of the game was an empty netter from Saulnier, giving her a hat trick and Team White a 9-5 victory over Team Blue.

“There’s so many fans that come out the game and are able to watch on television,” said Team Blue co-captain Natalie Spooner. “They’re able to watch the best of the best, which is what we want to showcase.”

Carlee Campbell, captain of Team White, echoed those sentiments.

“Back when we were growing up, we didn’t have the opportunity to see events like the CWHL All Star Game,” said Campbell. “For the fans in attendance, especially the little girls, it’s just so special.”

The CWHL’s five teams rap up the regular season next weekend as they compete for playoff positioning in their quest for the CWHL Clarkson Cup, which comes to Ottawa March 3-5th, 2017.