After suffering just their second loss this season at the hands of the Toronto Furies, the Calgary Inferno are looking to get back in the win column with a weekend in Boston against the Blades. The Inferno remain on top of the league standings with a 10-2-0 record and 18 points, while the Blades have just a 1-11-0 record and two points, good for fifth of five teams.
Last Week: The Inferno split the weekend series Dec. 5-6 against Toronto at home. Calgary's offense exploded for nine goals, including an Elana Lovell hat trick, on Saturday, winning 9-5. On Sunday, Natalie Spooner went on a five-goal tear, leading the Furies to an eventual 6-5 win. The Inferno trailed 6-2 before mounting a comeback attempt that fell just a goal short. Meanwhile, the Blades are still looking for a regulation win after a pair of losses against Brampton at home last weekend, 5-2 and 4-2.
Last Meeting: Boston got the luck of drawing two weeks in a row against Calgary, and were smacked both weeks. Opening weekend for the Inferno saw 7-1 and 4-1 wins, while Halloween weekend they earned a 7-0 shutout and a 4-2 win against the Blades. Lovell in particular has seen great success against Boston, earning nine of her 19 points in four games played against them.
About the Opponents: Offense has been very hard to come by for the Blades lately (1.1 goals forced per game, compared to Calgary's 4.6). Boston has not come out of a game with more than two goals forced this season, and top scorer Tara Watchorn has just two goals in 12 games played. On the opposite end of the ice, Genevieve Lacasse has certainly earned her bid to the CWHL All-Star Game, facing an average of about 48 shots per game and still posting a .910 save percentage. Aside from Lacasse, Boston is sending Watchorn, Kristina Brown, and Dru Burns to Toronto on Jan. 23.
Inferno to All-Star Game: An incredible eight members of the Inferno will also be in Toronto. Delayne Brian, Jessica Campbell, Brittany Esposito, Brianne Jenner, Elana Lovell, Jacquie Pierri, Jillian Saulnier and Hayley Wickenheiser were named to the All-Star Roster. I'll have more on this in a post breaking down the roster later on this weekend into next week, but basically, this isn't very surprising considering the Inferno are first in the league.
Second Day Woes?: Might be silly to talk about in terms of a winning team, but the Inferno are slightly less dominant on the second day of their weekends than the first. Their three blowout wins this year thus far have all been on Saturday night games, and they've outscored opponents 35-13 on the first night; meanwhile, they've outscored opponents 22-7 on wins on Sunday mornings, and both of their losses this season have come on Sundays. It's probably a result of opposing teams tweaking their lineups and systems to fix mistakes from the night before, but still, it's interesting to note.
Puck drop is at 6:10 p.m. MST (8:10 p.m. EST) Saturday at New England Sports Complex and 8:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m.) Sunday at Tsongas Arena at UMass-Lowell.