Les Canadiennes de Montreal announced Wednesday the team would play two regular-season CWHL games against the Boston Blades in Saint-Georges, Quebec, marking the first time Montreal has played a home game outside the immediate Montreal market. Saint-Georges was chosen for the opportunity to grow the team’s fanbase and showcase the players who will represent Team Canada in Pyeongchang’s Olympic Games in 2018.
The games will be held in collaboration with the THF Saint-Georges (Tournoi de hockey féminin de Saint-Georges). Two key members of Les Canadiennes hail from the area: reigning CWHL MVP Marie-Philip Poulin, hailing from Beauceville and assistant coach – and CWHL co-founder – Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux, of Saint-Zacharie.
The THF Saint-Georges has been an annual occurrance since 2012, but according to the tournament’s website, took shape in 2010 during the Comrie Tournament. This year, the festival’s goal is to include more than 30 teams, more than 360 players and attract more than 500 people, many of whom may also turn out to see Les Canadiennes play.
“It’s an honour to have the opportunity to play at home and have fans in the Beauce area cheering on Les Canadiennes,” Poulin said. “We’re looking forward to a great turnout for what will be another memorable moment in my career.”
“I can’t wait for my family and all those in the Beauce region to see the calibre of play in the league and on Les Canadiennes’s roster,” Breton-Lebreux said.
Poulin will be joined on the ice by Olympians from Les Canadiennes and the Blades alike. Among those scheduled to participate in the festivities are: four-time gold medalist Caroline Ouellette; four-time gold medalist Charline Labonté; 2014 gold medal-winning defender Lauriane Rougeau; and four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Julie Chu.