The Calgary Inferno returned to action this weekend after getting two weeks off for the Four Nations Cup. Let’s check out how their weekend panned out.
The Calgary Inferno improved to a 7-1-0-0 record this weekend against the Toronto Furies and made it seven straight victories, with their lone loss coming in their season-opener against Les Canadiennes. The Furies, on the other hand, continue to struggle, losing four in a row and being 3-6-0-0 on the year.
In Saturday’s game, the Inferno were quite dominant throughout the entire game and only got stronger as they went on. While Natalie Spooner opened up the scoring for the Furies in the first period, the Inferno answered right back less than two minutes later with a goal by Venla Hovi.
A few minutes later, some nice tic-tac-toe movement from Rebecca Leslie to Kacey Bellamy and over to Rebecca Johnston gave the Inferno the 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Early in the second period, Shiann Darkangelo tied the game up right off the faceoff. Shortly after taking a penalty, Blayre Turnbull gave the Inferno the lead again with some nice plays from Brianne Jenner and Brigette Lacquette. Later in the period, Brianna Decker made it 4-2 on the powerplay which ended the scoring for that frame.
The third period was wild from start to finish. Turnbull made it 5-2 on the PP less than three minutes in. And with an assist from Johnston, her third point of the night, put her up to 100 CWHL points in just 79 games! The real Johnny Hockey.
Less than three minutes later, Katelyn Gosling scored her first goal of the season to give the Inferno the 6-2 lead. A couple minutes after that, Halli Krzyzaniak took a penalty for bodychecking and the Furies were quick to convert on the PP with Brittany Howard recording her first CWHL goal. But not even a minute later, Rebecca Leslie restored the four-goal lead with yet another assist coming from Johnston, putting her up to four points on the night.
With less than 30 seconds remaining, Sarah Nurse gave the Furies one final goal for this game to finish 7-4 for the Inferno as they outshot the Furies 30-22.
Sunday’s game wasn’t as dominating for the Inferno, especially in the third period where they came back a little and let the Furies get quite a few good chances, but it was still victorious.
The Inferno started the game off strong with Turnbull shooting on Elaine Chuli and Jenner getting the rebound less than two minutes in. Less than three minutes later, Jenner scored her second of the game in the dying seconds of a powerplay which gave the Inferno an early two-goal lead. There was some 4-on-4 action in this period and a late powerplay for the Inferno, but nobody was able to capitalize and the first frame finished 2-0.
The Inferno took a penalty just 20 seconds into the second period. While the Furies had some great chances, Annie Belanger was sharp and didn’t let them capitalize. However, minutes later, Emily Fulton put Toronto on the board right before the five-minute mark to cut the lead to one.
Johnston wasn’t happy about that and restored the Inferno’s two-goal lead about a minute later from a nice pass from Leslie. Later in the period, Nurse cut the lead to one again and this period finished 3-2 for the Inferno.
In the third period, as I mentioned, the Inferno weren’t as dominant as you’d expect them to be. They had a few turnovers and weren’t playing as well as they can in the neutral zone. But Belanger was playing her typical game and helped the Inferno keep the lead.
Later in the period, the Inferno went on the powerplay and the Furies got a shorthanded breakaway attempt which was stopped by Belanger. With less than two minutes to go, Lacquette took a penalty so the Furies attempted to have a 6-on-4 powerplay by taking out the goalie for the extra attacker, but they couldn’t get solid possession and Chuli was forced to stay in her net the remainder of the game.
This game finished 3-2 for the Inferno while they outshot the Furies 32-27. Annie Belanger improved to 4-0-0 on the season with two shutouts and an SV% of 0.944. Pretty decent for a rookie, hey?
The third period of this game was a little worrisome for the Inferno. The Furies haven’t been as good as they should be on paper this season and it seemed like the Inferno didn’t quite take advantage of that and weren’t as dominant as everyone knows they could be.
The Inferno are tied for second place in the league with 14 points in eight games. With Johnston’s five-point weekend, she’s now tied for second in the league in points with 12 with Alex Carpenter as the only skater with more points at 13, but has five games on hand.
What’s coming up
The Inferno finally return home to play Les Canadiennes, arguably the two best and fastest teams in the league. Both teams’ lone losses came against each other as they split their season-opening series. Tickets can be found here.