RETURN OF BETTEZ AND LABELLE FOR THE MONTREAL FORCE AND THE ARRIVAL OF TWO NEW PLAYERS
MONTREAL FORCE ANNOUNCE THE SIGNING OF QUEBEC NATIVE ÉLIZABETH GIGUÈRE, GOALIE OF THE YEAR CORINNE SCHROEDER AND THE RETURN OF ANN-SOPHIE BETTEZ AND ALEXANDRA LABELLE
MONTREAL, QC – (May 10, 2023) – The Montreal Force are proud to announce four significant signings ahead of the 2023-24 Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) season. Captain Ann-Sophie Bettez returns on a one-year contract, forward Alexandra Labelle has re-signed as part of a two-year agreement, and free agent forward Élizabeth Giguère and goaltender Corinne Schroeder both join the Force on one-year contracts after standout rookie seasons with the Boston Pride.
“Personally, I would never hide our friendship which has lasted for nearly 10 years now and this bond has allowed us to be truthful which helps to grow the Montreal Force program. Ann-Sophie is the heart of the Montreal Force. She's an elite sniper, our captain, and somebody that all young players can look up to. I'm proud to see her wearing black and maroon for the next season.
“You will never find a more generous, caring and passionate person than Alex Labelle. In addition to being a must in the locker room, on the ice she is merciless. It is a pleasure for us to be able to count on her for the next two years as we expect her to take a bigger role in the leadership group and as a solid core piece of La Force top six.
“Élizabeth is a spark plug on the ice and can become the motor of our offense. I believe our team structure and system of play will allow her to do more this season. We are very happy to have her with us for the next year. As for Corinne, she is an outstanding young goalie. It’s not every day that we can attract athletes who have broken records like she has. She has all of the intangibles to perform and integrate well into the city of Montreal.”
Team President, Kevin Raphael.
Ann-Sophie Bettez led the Force with 11 goals and finished second in points with 22 in 23 games. The first captain in franchise history also scored the team’s first ever goal in their PHF debut Nov. 5 in Buffalo. Her most impressive performance included four points with a hat-trick during the league’s neutral site game in Pittsburgh. The 35-year-old from Sept-Îles is undeniably the team’s leader on and off the ice and is widely admired for her passion, dedication, perseverance, and resilience throughout her professional career that included 10 seasons between the CWHL and PWHPA before joining the expansion PHF team. Bettez attended McGill University where she was a three-time U SPORTS champion and 2012 Player of the Year, and also has experience with Team Canada winning bronze at the 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
“Very excited to be back with the team. Looking forward to what this year will have in store for us.” Ann-Sophie Bettez
Élizabeth Giguère returns to her home province after making her professional debut in Boston during the 2022-23 PHF season. The 26-year-old Quebec native tied Bettez with 22 points and finished second in rookie scoring behind Jade Downie-Landry, however her 1.2 points-per-game average was tied for fourth best overall. This season she made her debut with Canada’s National Women’s Team competing in all seven games of the Rivalry Series against the United States including matchups in Trois-Rivières and Laval. Giguère has always been a highly talented offensive player, dominating at the NCAA level as a 2018 national champion and 2020 Patty Kazmaier Award winner with Clarkson University. She spent her graduate season with the University of Minnesota-Duluth and finished her collegiate career with 295 points in 177 games.
“To say I’m excited to be back playing in Canada is an understatement. La Force is such a great organization and I have no doubt we will make an impact in the league this year. I am looking forward to starting this season while playing close to home in front of all my friends and family again.” Élizabeth Giguère
Alexandra Labelle finished third on the team in scoring behind Downie-Landry and Bettez with 13 points including six goals in 24 games and was the best on faceoffs with a .548 winning percentage. The 27-year-old from Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague is a graduate of the University of Montreal and won a U SPORTS championship in 2016 with the Carabins.
“Very excited to have the opportunity to return with the Force for the next two years with the goal of winning the championship with this team!” Alexandra Labelle.
Corinne Schroeder was named 2022-23 PHF Rookie of the Year and Goaltender of the Year after setting single season records with 19 wins, seven shutouts, and 761 total saves. She led all goalies with a goals-against-average of 1.67 and a save percentage of .955 while starting a franchise record 22 games between-the-pipes. Her record breaking season also included being named Most Outstanding Goaltender at the 2023 PHF All-Star Showcase. The 23-year-old from Elm Creek, Manitoba played four NCAA seasons at Boston University before spending her graduate season at Quinnipiac University where she was Bobcats MVP and a candidate for the 2021-22 NCAA Women’s Goalie of the Year award.
“Thrilled to be joining La Force de Montreal next season and taking the next step in my professional career! Montreal is such an amazing city and I am grateful to play in front of such passionate fans. The team and staff have been super welcoming already and I look forward to building upon the Force’s impressive inaugural season.” Corinne Schroeder
The Force now have nine players under contract for the 2023-24 season with Schroeder in goal, forwards Bettez, Giguère, and Labelle joining Downie-Landry and rookies Audrey-Anne Veillette and Rosalie Bégin-Cyr, returning defender Brigitte Laganière.
About La Force
The Montreal Force are a professional women’s ice hockey team competing in the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF). The Force became the PHF’s seventh team and second in Canada when they joined the league ahead of the 2022-23 season. On November 26, 2022 the Force made history by playing the first PHF game in the province of Quebec and set a league regular season attendance record at Centre 21.02. The team is owned and operated by BTM Partners. TVA Sport partnership for the team lets fans watch the game throughout the season.
About the Premier Hockey Federation
The PHF is the home of professional women’s hockey in North America. Established in 2015 as the National Women’s Hockey League, the NWHL rebranded to become the PHF in 2021 and provide opportunities for elite athletes to earn a living playing the game they love while fueling the continued growth of the sport. The league is made up of the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, Montreal Force, and the Toronto Six who all compete annually for the Isobel Cup. As part of a two-year agreement with ESPN, live coverage of the 2022-23 and 2023-24 PHF seasons is available exclusively on ESPN+ in the United States, and provides international rights for games which includes TSN in Canada. For more information visit premierhockeyfederation.com.