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Inferno almost get shocked, hang on for win vs. Thunder

Elana Lovell (center in red) celebrates her first goal of the night, which put the Inferno up 2-0 on Brampton. Lovell scored twice Saturday night, putting her further ahead in the CWHL's scoring race.
Elana Lovell (center in red) celebrates her first goal of the night, which put the Inferno up 2-0 on Brampton. Lovell scored twice Saturday night, putting her further ahead in the CWHL's scoring race.
Ari Yanover

A late rally by Brampton kept things precarious for the Inferno, but ultimately time ran out for the Thunder, allowing Calgary to come away with an eighth win on their season, 4-3, at Winsport A.

Elana Lovell scored twice and Jill Saulnier had a goal and an assist, as the Inferno's young players and newcomers continued to carry their offense. Kristen Hagg also scored, and Delayne Brian made 24 saves on the night.

Saulnier opened the scoring just 15 seconds into the game on the rush, and for a moment it seemed as though this was going to go entirely Calgary's way. Jill Saulnier doubled the goal total for the Inferno at the 8:55 mark, and the team had plenty of momentum heading into the second.

Hagg made it 3-0 just over four minutes into the second period, and Lovell's second of the night put this game firmly in the Inferno's hands. But the Thunder held firm, coming on stronger in the final two periods and trading shots with Calgary (not to mention excelling on the penalty kill, which they employed quite a bit in this game).

Jamie Lee Rattray spoiled Brian's shutout bid late in the period, and the Thunder scored two more unanswered -- one by Jenna McParland, the other a redirected shot off of Jess Jones -- to make it 4-3 late in regulation. The Inferno shut the door in the final five minutes, with Brian making a series of saves and her defense stepping up when necessary; at one point, Erica Kromm sprawled to cover a loose puck in her goalie's crease after Brian made the initial save, somehow keeping it from crossing the line.

Brampton pulled goalie Erica Howe late to try and even things up, but the Inferno were able to run down the clock and keep the game in their favor. Lovell and Rattray were the first and second stars of the game, respectively -- a fitting honor considering they're now tied for second in league scoring (some Montreal forward named Marie-Philip Poulin is just one point ahead of them, at 14 after scoring a goal and two assists against Toronto).

Howe finished the night with 32 saves.

The Thunder and Inferno get to do it all over again Sunday morning, as their weekend resumes in Winsport A. Puck drop is at 10:30 a.m. MST (12:30 p.m. EST), and the game will be streamed via CWHL Live (paid subscription, $19.95 CAD/~$15-16 USD).

Montreal 3, Toronto 1: Marie-Philip Poulin led the way with three points (as mentioned above) as Les Canadiennes dominated the Furies at Arena Etienne-Desmarteau. Caroline Ouellette and Ann-Sophie Bettez also scored, and Bettez added an assist on Ouellette's goal. A late tally by Carolyne Prevost saved the game from being a shutout loss for Toronto. Charline Labonte was on point with 18 saves in a relatively light workload for her, while Christina Kessler got the loss but made 29 stops. They're back at it tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m. EST (11:30 MST).