The Inferno aren't burning quite so brightly as of late.
Losers of two of three last weekend in Montreal (though they did get their first win there last Saturday), Calgary's offense sputtered against Charline Labonte and the Stars, and they managed only three goals in their two losses after posting four in the first game. In fact, the only team worse off than them last weekend was the Furies, the team they face this weekend at the MasterCard Center in Toronto.
What You Should Know:
- Puck drop is at 5:30 p.m. CST (7:30 p.m. EST).
- The Saturday game will not be streamed, but Sunday's game (at 10:45 a.m. CST/12:45 p.m. EST) will be. Get your streaming package here. In the meantime, check out the live updates via the CWHL's website and @InfernoCWHL on Twitter.
- Calgary and Toronto have met four times already this season, and the Furies have won just once (5-4 in a shootout Oct. 18). However, they steadily gained ground on the Inferno in their last three meetings, losing 6-3, then 4-2, then 4-3 in their three games Jan.16-18. If the Inferno want to win here, they'll have to strike early and often and not let their foot off the gas.
- The Inferno will also look to be the first CWHL team to clinch a Clarkson Cup berth, provided they get a win this weekend.
- Toronto, far from the confident upstart who won a Clarkson Cup last year, is reeling. Having lost their last six games, they've also been shut out in their last three -- and Boston spanked them, 7-0 and 4-0 last weekend (more impressive when you find out they did so with just 13 skaters). The Blades used their speed to hem the Furies in their own zone, so the Inferno should look to be fast and aggressive and overwhelm the Toronto defense, without resorting to the same undisciplined play that burned them in their last two games against the Stars.
- Jenelle Kohanchuk, Natalie Spooner and Carolyne Prevost are the Furies' top three scorers, but haven't put up a ton of points overall this season. Prevost has the most goals at six.
- Goaltending-wise, Christina Kessler has been burned by bad luck and a porous defense. She has a 3.83 GAA and .896 save percentage in 13 starts, good for last in the league. As good as she can be, bailing her team out most of the time when necessary, she can also tend to put herself in a bad spot. The Inferno offense should exploit that as much as possible this weekend.
- Rebecca Johnston scored twice in the opening game in Montreal, but was fairly quiet in the last two, posting a -2 over Sunday and Monday. As she goes, the Inferno tend to go, so they'll want her to be firing on all cylinders this weekend.
- They may be rivals on the ice today and tomorrow, but off the ice, the Inferno and Furies have teamed up for a great cause. They're "Going Red" in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta and encouraging fans to do the same. More info in the link.
- Gongshow Gear, a sponsor of the CWHL, put together a great video giving fans a look inside the backyard rivalry between the Furies and Brampton Thunder.
- Check out this weekend's CWHL Viewing Parties for each game! The viewing parties have their own chat space where fans can gather and chat about the game as they watch via live stream. To take part, make sure you have bought the streaming package! Tonight's will feature the game between Montreal and Brampton at 4:50 CST (6:50 EST), as that's the game the league will stream tonight.
- Boston is off from league action tonight, and it's probably for the better -- we've finally got an explanation for why Hilary Knight didn't play last weekend:
Best wishes for a full recovery for her.
For more CWHL news and discussion, follow @cwhl_insider on Twitter. For Inferno-centric tweets, follow @InfernoCWHL.