Cougars relentless effort and pride not enough to secure championship title

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative
Cougars relentless effort and pride not enough to secure championship title

A thrilling championship battle in the Ligue de hockey collégial féminin Division 1 du Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) came to a close on Sunday, as the John Abbott Islanders downed the Champlain Cougars 3-2 in the final game of the best-of-three playoff series.

The Islanders took the championship crown, but the Cougars fought to the bitter end, according to head coach David Evangelho. It boiled down to missed opportunities for Champlain, he explained, and John Abbott’s ability to capitalize on the smallest errors.
“Well, listen, we worked really hard. I think we deserved a better result, but the team we faced were opportunistic and we didn’t take advantage of our scoring chances. I think we doubled their shots in the final game, but unfortunately we weren’t able to score,” said Evangelho.

After losing 3-1 on home ice Friday evening, the Cougars were back in Montreal to face their season rivals at Collège MacDonald Arena for the decisive contest. The first period ended in a 1-1 stalemate thanks to a last minute power play goal from Champlain’s Jade Picard.

But John Abbott was too much to handle in the second period. Islanders’ star forward Emilie Lussier netted her eighth goal of the playoffs four minutes into the middle frame to give her team the lead. And Abbott’s Sena Catterall added another in the final minute to go up 3-1.
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