1er jeu à la maison de l'équipe de hockey féminin PWHL Montréal à Verdun
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Professional Women’s Hockey at Verdun’s Auditorium : Heart-breaking loss for Montreal in its first home game

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The Professional Women’s Hockey League Montreal Team (PWHL Montreal) played their home opener on Saturday January 13th against Boston at the Verdun Auditorium. The PWHL was launched in August 2023 and held its first game on January 1st 2024. Soaring to a two goal Montreal lead in the second period, the Boston team fought back to tie the game forcing a 3×3 overtime. There were opportunities on both sides, but the game went to Boston scoring 2min17sec into overtime resulting in a 3-2 loss. Montreal claims a point bringing them to 4 points overall and they become 2-1-1-0.

3 245 fans navigated the forecasted winter slurry to Verdun Auditorium to watch this inaugural moment for Women’s Hockey. An arena easily accessible by metro (Green Line – station De l’Église) and by car with its parking lot, the recently renovated structure has a fun blend of traditional cement and modern glass elements.

Drapeau du 1er jeu à la maison de l'équipe de hockey féminin PWHL Montréal à Verdun
Drapeau du 1er jeu à la maison de l’équipe de hockey féminin PWHL Montréal à Verdun – crédit photo : Carlo Primerano

Inaugural game towels and synchronized light wristbands (recycled after the game) provided an amplified ambiance in the stadium. Almost immediately the twirling of towels (italian wedding style) and the flashing of the wristband lights were seen all around. Cheers welcomed the Montreal players onto the ice! Female hockey icons were introduced, hats were taken off for national anthems and in no time the puck was dropped.

Goalies on both teams were tested with challenging shots, with pucks ricocheting off blockers and sliding puck blocks from defensewomen. The game carried its own intensity with battles along the boards and corners especially with the PWHL’s new rule allowing players to body check. Clean, solid hits rattled boards followed by “OUU’s” from enthralled viewers.

An energized start of the second period saw Montreal scoring the first goal (Erin Ambrose – 0:33) of the game. Using the momentum and before the announcement could be completed over the stadium speakers, Montreal’s second goal of the game was scored (Laura Stacey – 1:02). Establishing a 2-goal lead, the second period soon saw Boston comeback to tie the game 2-2.

In the third period, Montreal just couldn’t find the back of the net with 11 shots on net versus the 3 shots received. The home opener went in overtime as the arena collectively participated in a wave making three turns around the arena. In OT, a rebounded shot by Marie-Philip Poulin found the back of the net but replay review would call it a “no-goal” because of goaltender interference. The electric crowd had some fun by chanting and arm gesturing “Goal!…Goal!…Goal!” and then the classic “OLE! OLE! OleOleOle” song.

Regardless of the 3-2 overtime loss Montreal played an excellent game in front of a home crowd.

Next game is Tuesday January 16th 2024 at Place Bell in Laval 
Next Verdun Game : Saturday, January 20th 2024

Carlo Primerano

Carlo Primerano
Special collaboration
A resident of Ville-Émard, Carlo has always been interested in arts and media. As a hybrid hobbyist/professional he has worked with a variety of media formats, collaborating with both creatives and institutions. Academically, he has a bachelors from Concordia University in Urban Planning and a Minor in Film Animation. 

The picture at the top of this article was taken by Carlo Primerano at the game on January 13th, 2024.