Monday, May 31, 2021 – Center 21.02 players, coaches and staff who make up the Montreal Bauer team defeated Toronto Sonnet last Sunday in Calgary by a 4-2 score, winning the first-ever PWHPA Secret Dream Gap Tour Championship Cup.
The group from Montreal stood out throughout the week with a very high level of intensity and their dominant special teams. Having completed the round-robin with a record of three wins and one loss, Montreal topped the standings and earned a place in the final.
Marie-Philip Poulin scored the winning goal in the third period in the final, in addition to collecting two assists. The Canadian national team captain was also named MVP of the final. Jessie Eldridge, also a Center 21.02 athlete, ended the night with a goal and an assist. Quebecers Catherine Dubois and Sarah Lefort both found the back of the net, Dubois scoring her first PWHPA goal and Lefort sealing the game in an empty net. Finally, goalie Ann-René Desbiens made 28 saves for Montreal.
For Toronto, Sarah Nurse stood out with a goal and an assist, which earned her the second star of the game. Brianne Jenner has also hit the target for Toronto. Goalkeeper Shea Tiley turned back 20 pucks in the loss.
The Montreal group was able to skate throughout the pandemic at Center 21.02, benefiting from daily training sessions and highly qualified coaches such as Danièle Sauvageau. In addition, the players were able to play in a safe environment thanks to the strict health protocols and “bubble” environment implemented at the Verdun Auditorium.
As a high-performance hockey center recognized by Hockey Quebec, Center 21.02 was able to obtain a public health exemption so that carded athletes, as well as their training partners, could continue to access group sessions. Thanks to the application of strict sanitary measures and rigorous procedures approved by the National Institute of Sport of Quebec (INS Quebec), the athletes at Centre 21.02 were able to continue practicing even during lockdowns.
This preparation proved to be a difference-maker at the PWHPA Secret Cup tournament. Over 17 athletes from the national women’s hockey program trained at Centre 21.02 in the 2020-21 season, including Marie-Philip Poulin, Mélodie Daoust, Ann-Sophie Bettez, Lauriane Rougeau, Ann-Renée Desbiens and Jill Saulnier. Non-national teams (Elite Athletes / PWHPA) members also trained at Center 21.02.
The enthusiasm of the players to get back on the ice and compete at a high level was electric during the event: Poulin was the tournament’s top scorer with five goals and six assists in five games.
“Center 21.02 is a recognized hockey center, at the same level as short track speed skating or other training groups in Quebec. We received an exemption because we train identified athletes,” said Danièle Sauvageau, President, CEO and Coach at Center 21.02.
Sauvageau is particularly proud of her team: “I am happy for this group of players, and to see their collective effort after a year filled with challenges, I am delighted. “
The Secret Cup was the first opportunity for Canadian players to compete in 445 days, after the World Women’s Hockey Championship was postponed for a second time last May.
The Championship will now take place on August 20-31 and will feature 10 Center 21.02 players named to the Canadian team, including three from Quebec: Marie-Philip Poulin, Ann-Renée Desbiens and Mélodie Daoust.
About the Centre 21.02
Based at the Verdun Auditorium in Montreal, Centre 21.02 offers a daily training venue and opportunities to more than 40 athletes, including twenty players from the national program. Centre 21.02 is the ONLY high-performance Hockey Centre RECOGNIZED by the competent authorities, namely Hockey Quebec, a member of Hockey Canada. Centre 21.02 is a key partner in the long-term athlete development path for elite players who aspire to play for their Provincial, National and eventually, professional ranks.
In addition to the founding partners BFL Canada and Sun Life, the Centre 21.02 and its players can count on the support of Geoff Molson of the Montreal Canadiens as well as several strategic partners including Hockey Quebec, Hockey Canada, INS Quebec, Ville de Verdun (Auditorium ) and the City of Montreal.
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