Pierrefonds-Dollard escaped a third preseason loss in a row with a gutsy finish against Notre-Dame-de-Grâce that saw them tally minutes before the final whistle last Friday evening.
The junior ‘B’ season is right around the corner, and both teams are starting to build chemistry on the ice. After a slow start to the preseason, Pierrefonds finally notched their first point in a 3-3 tie against NDG.
“We think our girls have great potential, they just need to come together as a team and we should be in great shape,” said Pierrefonds assistant coach Daniel Maloney.
It was a back and forth effort all game long. NDG and Pierrefonds exchanged several lead changes throughout the evening. The girls from NDG opened strong with a 1-0 lead, but that was quickly overtaken with two goals from Pierrefonds.
However, that didn’t last long either as NDG retook the lead thanks to a two-man advantage. Pierrefonds-Dollard fell into some penalty trouble midway through the game, which eventually led to NDG’s third goal of the game.
“We had quite a few penalties; it got a little bit rough,” said Maloney. “We fell behind when it was five girls on the ice against three.”
The league is taking exception to penalties this season, according to Pierrefonds assistant coach Michael Lambidonis. Everything from stick penalties to boarding will be strictly enforced.
“They’re actually cracking down more on penalties, some of the rough stuff,” said Lambidonis. “They changed the rules this year so that’s going to get picked on a bit more.”
And while some referees have yet to implement the changes, the referee for this game decided to apply the new rules. It’s a good way to acclimatize the teams to the new and improved league.
Facing down a 3-2 deficit, Pierrefonds didn’t shy away from the action. In fact, the girls ramped up the pressure. They were rewarded with a late goal to even out the score at 3-3.
It might just be a preseason game, but the girls are showing more commitment to each other on the ice, says Lambidonis. They’ve grown since the first time they stepped on the ice, despite not knowing each other well.
“The girls are coming from different teams,” said Lambidonis. “They haven’t really played together before, so the whole process is to get them to gel a bit more on the ice.”