Although the November 17-18 weekend series vs. the Boston Blades represents the most intense rivalry in the CWHL, the series also strikes a charitable tone.
For the third consecutive season, the Stars will play the Blades during their Pink at the Rink promotion.
The November 17 contest shall see the Stars don pink jerseys, which will then be auctioned off for Breast Cancer research in Quebec. The Stars players also have custom-made pink composite sticks for the event.
In a show of solidarity, the Blades will have pink laces and pink tape on their sticks. In addition, the Blades franchise donated hockey memorabilia for a silent auction.
While the weekend series will be the Blades' last appearance in Montreal this season, it also represents a battle for first place. Currently, the Blades sit first overall in the CWHL standings.
As the Stars attempt to win their third consecutive Clarkson Cup, this series will set the tone as to whether the Stars will be able to compete with the Blades.
The Stars hosted the Blades for the opening weekend of the 2012-13 CWHL season. Montreal went 0-1-1 in an opening weekend that was a hard-fought affair.
The first match went into a shootout in which rookie goaltender Charline Labonte earned the win for Montreal. Caroline Ouellette would score the winner in the shootout, but Molly Schaus was a key factor in the game going to a shootout in the first place.
Despite being behind, Schaus fought off a 5-on-3 power-play, and that changed the tone of the game for the Blades.
Game 2 found the Stars overwhelmed by the Blades' offense. Hilary Knight, the third-overall pick in the 2012 CWHL Draft, logged two goals in the contest, while Kate Buesser had three assists in a 4-1 win.
With an offense that features Meghan Agosta, Caroline Ouellette and Julie Chu, the Stars will need to regroup and play to their potential in the upcoming series.
For the founder and team captain of the Stars, Lisa-Marie Breton, the contest carries a very emotional resonance. Her mother survived the disease and served as an inspiration for Breton.
The 2011 fundraiser served as one of the great stories of Canadian women’s hockey. A sold-out arena of 1,100 enthusiastic fans helped raise $15,000 for Breast Cancer research.
Already a staple at many NCAA schools, the Pink at the Rink initiative continues to grow as a key event for the Montreal Stars.