Elana Lovell’s hat trick powers Calgary Inferno to 9-5 win over Toronto Furies


Do you like goals? Then boy, did the Calgary Inferno and Toronto Furies have a show for you. On Dec. 5, their penultimate home game of the 2015 calendar year, the Inferno hosted the Furies to give fans in the stands a goal-fest.

Over the course of just 60 minutes of gameplay, 14 goals were scored as the Inferno had what looked to be a rout – and still finished as one, albeit a bit closer than may have been originally thought, with a 9-5 victory.

Ten different goal scorers, 14 goals. It probably wasn’t a fun night to be a goalie.

Natalie Spooner got the party started in the dying seconds of the game’s first power play. Jill Sauliner, called for hooking in the opening minutes, could only watch from the box as the Furies forward sent the puck past a sprawled Delayne Brian to give Toronto an early 1-0 lead.

Not even a minute later, Spooner would receive a misconduct for checking from behind, and have to sit out 10 minutes while the Inferno went on a two-minute power play. While Calgary couldn’t capitalize with their first advantage, they’d eventually get going – and once they got going, nothing was stopping them.

Hayleigh Cudmore tied the game at one with her first of the night, and Elana Lovell would add on a power play marker in the final minute of the first period to give the Inferno their first lead of the game.

Then the second period happened.

espo goal

Saulnier scored just over a minute and a half in to increase the Inferno’s lead. Then Louise Warren scored. Brittany Esposito and Spooner exchanged power play goals, but by then, Toronto starter Christine Kessler’s night was over. Kessler gave up five goals on 23 shots.

However, the Inferno weren’t kind to Olivia Ross, either. Bailey Bram and Lovell scored within less than a minute, and after two, Calgary had a 7-2 lead.

But the Furies weren’t going to go down without a fight. Ashton Hogan scored early in the third, but Cudmore’s second of the game kept the five-goal lead intact. When Kori Cheverie scored her first of the game, Lovell completed her hat trick on the power play to make it a 9-4 score.

cudmore goal

Kelly Terry scored one last power play goal to make it a 9-5 game, and that’s where the score finally, perhaps mercifully, stayed. The Inferno were unable to make it a double digit game for them, but walked away with the most important thing: a win.

Brian stopped 23 of 28 shots for a .821 save percentage in her eighth win of the season. Lovell and Cudmore were the high scorers of the night with three points apiece, while Bram, Brianne Jenner, Hayley Wickenheiser, and Blayre Turnbull picked up two points each on the night. The Inferno remain atop the CWHL standings, now with 10 wins in 11 games played.

Up next

The Inferno have just three games remaining this calendar year. Today, at 12:30 p.m., they’ll play the Furies up in Olds (hence why there’s just a single-game recap this week). Next weekend, on Dec. 12 and 13, they’ll be in Boston to face the Boston Blades. Their next home games in Calgary aren’t until Jan. 16 and 17, when they will again host the Toronto Furies in games the goalies will likely wish for some better fates.

Inferno All-Stars

brianne jenner

The CWHL All-Star Game is slated for Jan. 23, 2016 in Toronto. The Inferno will be represented by eight players (all stats as of through 11 games played):

G Delayne Brian (currently 8-1 with a .914 save percentage, third out of all regular goalies)

D Jacqui Pierri (two assists over 11 games played, and a +13)

F Jessica Campbell (six goals, five assists through nine games, tied for sixth in overall CWHL scoring)

F Brittany Esposito (two goals, nine assists through 11 games, tied for eighth in overall CWHL scoring)

F Brianne Jenner (four goals, eight assists over 11 games, tied for eighth in overall CWHL scoring)

F Elana Lovell (10 goals, eight assists through 11 games, currently tied for first in overall CWHL scoring)

F Jillian Saulnier (six goals, one assist over seven games played)

F Hayley Wickenheiser (three goals, eight assists through 11 games, tied for eighth in overall CWHL scoring)

  • prendrefeu

    Is it the case that both goalies (and in past games vs. the Furies) just happen to not be so great in this matchup? Or are the Inferno in need of better goaltending?

    • Ari Yanover

      The Inferno were in Toronto a couple of weeks ago, and those two match ups between Brian and Kessler resulted in 3-0 and 3-2 games, so I think this one was more of an anomaly.

      I’ve seen the Inferno jump out to massive leads multiple times this season, only for the other team to eventually drag themselves back into the game with multiple goals later on (none more prominent than the Inferno losing two 4-0 leads to Brampton last weekend).

      That said, Brian’s ultimately been pretty good in net. She’s fourth overall in save percentage, but she’s played more than the three goalies above her (one of whom, Kathy Desjardins, is her backup and currently has a .927 SV% over two games – so maybe she could get some more starts under her if this ends up being an ongoing problem).

      The Inferno’s win over Montreal earlier was huge, though, and largely in part due to Brian holding down the fort while Les Canadiennes ran roughshod over the Inferno in the first period, and only had one goal to show for it. (It doesn’t help that they lost 5-0 next game, but hey – both teams have one loss apiece instead of Montreal being undefeated, and that’s largely in part thanks to Brian.)

      Team does need to learn how to hold down the fort once they’ve got an established lead, though.

  • supra steve

    There’s a lot of entertaining hockey in and around Calgary. I myself will attended 2 midget games this weekend, and I will watch them with more joy and interest than I watch any regular season Flames games. Now, I know that no one else on this site has any interest in my kid’s final year of minor hockey, that’s all mine, and this is FLAMESNATION.CA.

    I come to this site for discussion about the Calgary Flames and Flame related topics and players. That’s my opinion, and that’s all I’ll say about that.

    I do enjoy your articles and opinions on the Flames Ari, and am in no way looking to offend you or the Inferno.

  • cunning_linguist

    Yeah I kind of agree, I usually check this site (also M&G, Flames from 80 feet etc…) multiple times per day. Always get a little bit excited when I see new content or a new article, then I’m always disappointed when I find out it’s an Inferno article…not interested at all…That being said, it’s not a huge deal, I can just scroll past it or ignore it. It is very random though…might as well put up Hitmen, Dinos and Stamps articles then too…

  • Ari Yanover

    Okay, so basically:

    I’ve only been writing about the Inferno following home games I’ve attended, which really only makes for one post a week maximum, and they aren’t going to have any more home games for a while so there won’t be any more posts for a while in all likelihood.

    The Hitmen, Stamps, Dinos don’t need help in getting the word out about their existence. The Inferno do. I have a small voice but I do have one and a platform to go with it so I’m going to use that to the best of my abilities. The Inferno use #BestKeptSecret as a hashtag, and it really shouldn’t be that way. These women are phenomenal hockey players and deserve the audience to match.

    So they’ll get a post every now and then. Because growing the women’s game is important, and this is one way to do it.

    We’ll have more Flames stuff up tomorrow; Kent’s mailbag and Mike’s Heat reports are weekly Monday features, and we should have one or two other things ready to go, too. Three offdays in a row are brutal, though, and I simply haven’t had the time to work on additional Flames pieces.

    So right now you get the occasional Inferno post. Thanks guys.

    • OKG

      Keep at it. It’s easy to ignore a blog post about something that doesn’t interest someone. A long time ago I remember the WNBA being a brand new thing endorsed by he NBA and I’ve seen it slowly grow into a legitimate pro sport over the years.