Behind the strength of a Jenna McParland hat trick, the Markham Thunder defeated the defending champion Les Canadiennes de Montreal 4-1 on Saturday night (Mar. 17) at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, Que. The Game 2 win sweeps the best-of-three playoff series, booking the Thunder’s ticket to the Clarkson Cup Final for the first time since 2012.
Rebounding from an overtime defeat the previous night, Montreal opened the scoring on Saturday night with a powerplay marker from playmaker Sarah Lefort. Defence pairing Cathy Chartrand and Erin Ambrose earned assists on the games opening goal.
The Thunder responded less than 20 seconds later as McParland picked up her first of three goals on the evening, with her first period effort assisted by Nicole Brown.
A scoreless second period saw Les Canadiennes dominate possession and chances, outshooting Markham 13-8 in the frame. Starting for the second straight game, Thunder goaltender Erica Howe turned aside all 13 Montreal shots, ending the evening with 27 total saves.
Following a body checking penalty to Les Canadiennes veteran forward Kim Deschenes at the 6:41 mark of the third period, McParland notched her second and the eventual game-winner on the powerplay. Teammate Nicole Kosta picked up the assist.
McParland rounded out her night with a beautiful wrist shot from the slot, beating Montreal goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer glove side with nine minutes remaining.
Markham insured their place in the Clarkson Cup with an empty-net goal from CWHL MVP nominee Jamie Lee Rattray.
The Thunder will now challenge the winner of the other semifinal, either the Kunlun Red Star or Calgary Inferno, in the Clarkson Cup Final scheduled for next Sunday, March 25 at Ricoh Coliseum. Puck drop for the Clarkson Cup Final is set for 12 p.m. with the game also being broadcast on Sportsnet.
Purchase tickets for the 2018 Clarkson Cup Weekend including the 2018 CWHL Awards Show and the Clarkson Cup Final by visiting thecwhl.com/clarksoncup.