The Calgary Inferno played at home for the first time in 2019 where they split the weekend series against the Toronto Furies. They also had their fourth annual “Start The Spark” game.
Saturday was the Inferno’s fourth annual “Start The Spark” game which is in partnership with the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre to raise money and awareness for youth mental health. They played the game in their purple jerseys which are now available for auction here with proceeds going to the SKCAC.
The Inferno were also without Brianna Decker for a second straight weekend as she was still in Japan as an assistant coach with USA’s U18 team.
The game started with an early penalty call on Katelyn Gosling so the Furies went to work on the powerplay. The Furies didn’t get a whole lot going on that PP so it went scoreless. The Inferno went to work right as their penalty expired and had some good looks from the Brianne Jenner, Kelty Apperson, and Rebecca Leslie line.
Moments later, the Inferno took another penalty. But much like the first one, the Furies didn’t get much going and they took a penalty too, so we had some 4on4 action for 13 seconds. The best attempt for the Inferno on the powerplay came from Brigette Lacquette at the point, but other than that, they couldn’t get many scoring chances.
With about six minutes left in the period, Lacquette fed the puck over to Brianne Jenner who wired one past Shea Tiley to give the Inferno the first lead of the game.
Later in the period, the Inferno took their third penalty, but the best chance came from Halli Krzyzaniak on the PK; however, this one still went scoreless. The first period finished 1-0 for the Inferno as they outshot the Furies 14-4.
The Inferno didn’t miss a beat in the second period and continued with the pressure. They were all over the Furies and weren’t giving them much leeway to get chances on net. Kelty Apperson took a penalty three minutes into the period but the Furies were again unable to capitalize.
Around the midway mark, the Inferno increased their lead to 2-0 with a nice tic-tac-toe play from Jenner to Lacquette and over to Apperson. Throughout the period, the Inferno’s third line had a couple of good chances, especially from Venla Hovi, but the game was still 2-0.
Late in the period, Sarah Nurse took a penalty so the Inferno got their second powerplay of the game. On the PP, Kacey Bellamy, with probably the hardest shot on the Inferno roster, wired one from the point to give the Inferno the 3-0 lead with just 50 seconds left in the period. The period finished 3-0 for the Inferno as they also outshot the Furies 22-6 in the frame. Poor Tiley.
In the third period, the Furies came back a little, but it wasn’t enough. At one point, it seemed like the Inferno scored, but the refs waved it off claiming it was knocked down with a high stick. It was somewhat of a back-and-forth game for most of the period, but the Inferno still had a slight edge.
With under five to go, Rebecca Johnston shot the puck and Gosling tipped it in to give the Inferno the 4-0 lead. Less than two minutes later, Renata Fast got on the board for the Furies for her first goal of the season and ruining Annie Belanger’s shutout with just 2:45 to go.
This game finished 4-1 for the Inferno as they outshot the Furies 54-20. I mean, the Furies’ flight was cancelled and they didn’t end up getting on a plane until four in the morning and arriving at noon. I don’t blame them for this lopsided game.
Lindsey Post was between the pipes for her first game of the season for the Inferno. The first period was somewhat uneventful. The Inferno had two great chances, one from Kelly Murray and one from Johnston, but one was stopped and one hit the post. Speaking of post, Post also had to come up big and make two big saves early on the period.
Around the midway mark, the Inferno went on the powerplay. They had a few good chances but were unable to capitalize. Late in the period, the Furies went on the powerplay but they couldn’t get much going. Their powerplay ended early because they took a penalty, so there was some 4on4 action for 45 seconds before the Inferno headed on their powerplay, which they ended up starting the second period with.
The first period went scoreless while the Furies outshot the Inferno 10-8. Toronto definitely woke up after Saturday’s game.
As the Furies penalty kill was coming to an end early in the second period, they had a good chance, but the game was still scoreless. The rest of the second period didn’t have any penalties. The Furies had three great chances, two of them coming from Natalie Spooner, but Post lived up to her name and stopped those shots.
Slightly past the midway mark, Fast also lived up to her name and wired a fast one past Post for the first lead of the game. Shortly after that goal, Lacquette shot an absolute rocket from the point but it was stopped. This was followed by a great chance by Zoe Hickel and a good chance for the Furies, but both were stopped.
The rest of the period went scoreless as the Furies outshot the Inferno 10-7 and led 1-0.
Right after the third period faceoff, the Furies went to work and Shannon Stewart gave the Furies the 2-0 lead just 14 seconds into the period. Following that goal, Hovi had two great chances on two separate occasions, but one was stopped and one went wide.
The Inferno then took a penalty slightly before the midway mark of the period. On that PK, they had a great shorthanded chance from Dakota Woodworth over to Eden Murray but the shot went wide. The Furies were unable to capitalize on the rest on their PP.
Shortly after, the Inferno had their chance on the PP to try and get within one. Unfortunately, Elaine Chuli was in the zone and didn’t let anything past her, including a great shot from Bellamy from the point. Right after that penalty was killed, Spooner made it 3-0 Furies.
That did it for the game as the Furies won 3-0, but the Inferno outshot them 29-26. It was just the third regulation loss for the Inferno this season, their second by the Furies. It was also the first time they’ve been shut out this season.
The Inferno played in Okotoks, a rink that is smaller than their usual at Winsport. This is the second loss the Inferno have suffered this season when playing on a smaller rink. Let’s start a petition to never have them play on smaller rinks again.
The good news is that Les Canadiennes lost in a shootout on Saturday as well, so they’re still two points back from the Inferno, but have a game on hand. The Inferno continue to lead the standings with 33 points in 20 games.
What’s coming up
The next time you’ll see the Inferno is this upcoming weekend at the CWHL All-Star Game. The Inferno have nine players represented with Lacquette being voted as a captain. The game will be held at Scotiabank Arena, hosted by the Toronto Maple Leafs. If you’ll be in Toronto, or want to make a trip down, tickets can be found here.
The next Inferno home game will be Jan. 22 against the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays. Tickets for that game can be found here.