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.
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.
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.
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.
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)