Milestone game for CWHL co-founder Liz Breton as she earns 100th point of her storied Stars career

Having logged career point 99 before the holiday break, Montreal Stars fans eagerly awaited with anticipation as to when Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux would hit the magical century mark. The historic moment would come on January 11 at Arena St. Louis as the Stars continued to extend their stranglehold on first place in the CWHL standings.

With the remarkable rookie crop this season, the opportunities for history during this season seem limitless. For one magical moment in time, a remarkable veteran left her mark on January 11. Fans at Arena St. Louis were treated to a historic game as Breton-Lebreux contributed a goal in a 4-1 victory.

In action against the Brampton Thunder (Photo credit: Marc St. Pierre)

In action against the Brampton Thunder (Photo credit: Marc St. Pierre)

Emmanuelle Blais would open the scoring in the first period as she slipped the puck past Brampton backstop Sonja van der Bliek. Although it would be the only goal of the period, van der Bliek was tested often as she faced 14 shots and four Montreal power plays.

Simply 56 seconds into the second stanza, Ann-Sophie Bettez would add to the Stars lead. Of note, she has scored in every Stars contest since the season began. Blais and Vanessa (Vinny Davidson) would earn the helpers. Although Brampton would be on the penalty kill three times in the stanza, the red and black had managed to keep Breton-Lebreux off the scoreboard.

As the third period opened with Lindsay Vine serving a holding penalty, the Stars would capitalize through one of the most exciting goals of the season. Scoring at the 39 second mark, Breton-Lebreux logged the goal that would see her reach the magical century mark in her storied career. Earning the assists on the historic marker were Sara Dagenais and Carly Hill. To a roar of approval from the fans in attendance, it was a moment of validation, proving that Breton’s efforts in helping to launch the franchise and the league had yielded ground breaking results.

Despite the fact that Brampton would spoil the moment ten seconds later as Sarah Moe snapped Catherine Herron’s bid for a shutout, Montreal was not going to relinquish their lead. Before the period would expire, Blais would contribute her second goal and third point of the game.

With one of the assists credited to Cathy Chartrand, it symbolized a true passing of the torch. As Breton-Lebreux was the first captain in Stars history, and the longest serving in CWHL history, she had selected Chartrand to succeed her as captain prior to the beginning of this season.

For fans of the Montreal Stars, making history has been a predominant theme in Breton-Lebreux’s Hall of Fame worthy career. As the CWHL co-founder and first captain to claim the Clarkson Cup, she has proven to be a remarkable modern day builder for the sport in Montreal.

Along with the remarkable contributions of former coach Patrick Rankine, Breton-Lebreux has transformed the Montreal Stars into the world’s greatest women’s hockey team. With a renaissance of women’s hockey at the university level in Montreal, it has marked a golden era in the game for the hockey mad city and a legacy complemented by Breton’s tireless efforts.

Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux shows tremendous act of leadership by passing on her captaincy

Although Montreal Stars living legend Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux is far from being long in the tooth, she has made a bold move by relinquishing her captaincy. Such an act is symbolic of the unselfish and team-first approach that Breton-Lebreux has employed throughout her storied career.

Image by Pasquale Stalteri

Image by Pasquale Stalteri

Whether it was leading the Concordia Stingers to CIS national titles as an All-Canadian or helping establish the Montreal Stars as one of the most prominent women’s teams in the world, she approached every victory as a team effort. In looking towards establishing a strong future for the Stars, Breton has appointed Cathy Chartrand to be her successor.

Like Breton, Chartrand also knows what it means to don the captaincy at the CIS level. Having served as team captain for the McGill Martlets program, she has also had the distinction of earning All-Canadian nods while claiming a CIS national crown. As the scoring champion among defenders during the 2012-13 CWHL season, Chartrand also holds the distinction of having manned the blueline for the Canadian national team.

Heading into the 2013-14 season, Breton-Lebreux had the opportunity to carve a unique mark for herself. Had she chosen to retain the captaincy, she would have been the longest serving captain in all of pro hockey this year. Ottawa Senators (NHL) captain Daniel Alfredsson held that honor last season yet he signed with the Detroit Red Wings during the off-season.

Considering the level of prestige that would have surrounded Breton-Lebreux had she remained captain, her focus has always remained on the team first. It is that quality which makes her a true leader. As the first captain in CWHL history to win three Clarkson Cups, she would be the first to attest that those victories came as a team effort.

For the new faces that comprise the Stars roster this season, hardcore fans can only hope that the rookies understand what Breton-Lebreux has meant towards building their game. To play with her would be the equivalent of playing baseball alongside Lou Gehrig or football with Jim Thorpe. She is one of those players that have proven that it is not about how many points you score. It is about being fundamentally sound and doing the little things right (which will take care of the bigger things).

As a side note, Breton-Lebreux is one of only two co-founders of the CWHL still competing. The other founder still remaining is Sami Jo Small, who stands between the pipes for the Toronto Furies. Of note, the other founders included Jennifer Botterill, Mandy Cronin, Allyson Fox, Kathleen Kauth and Kim McCullough.

Although her tenure as captaincy signified a remarkable chapter in Montreal hockey history, the most positive aspect is that Breton-Lebreux relinquished the captaincy on her own terms with grace and dignity. The opportunity to name her own successor is a gesture of respect bestowed upon her by the organization.

There are many players who state that they do not need a letter on their jersey to signify their leadership. Breton-Lebreux truly fits that description. Renowned throughout the league as a class individual who genuinely cares for her teammates, she quietly goes along with an ethereal serenity which is complemented by a remarkable wisdom for the game. For her contributions as Montreal’s captain during the nascent years of CWHL hockey, fans and players alike owe her a debt of gratitude.