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Inferno: Weekend Wrap

CGY Splits Season Opening Series 1-1 At Rival Montreal

The 2018-2019 Calgary Inferno season has officially begun, as our Ladies In Red were off to La Belle Province to meet their biggest rivals in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, Les Canadiennes de Montreal!

Game 1 - MTL 2, CGY 1

The opening series of the campaign took place at the new home of Les Canadiennes, Place Bell in Laval, Quebec. The contest saw 1567 excited hockey fans in the building for a tightly knit contest.

New Inferno addition and PyeongChang Olympics gold medalist from Team USA Brianna Decker was first on the scoresheet with her first goal with her new team. Zoe Hickel notched the assist on the goal at 7:43, which was also her first point with her new team. Montreal responded at 15:07 of the first frame on a tally from Maude Gelinas to tie things at one. The second period saw no scoring as the goaltenders settled in, with Inferno goalie Alex Rigsby making 10 saves in the second and longtime Inferno nemesis netminder Emerance Maschmeyer answering with 7 stops in the second. Montreal was able to take the lead at 14:01 of the 3rd, and despite new Calgary head coach Shannon Miller opting to pull the goalie with 1:12 remaining, Les Canadiennes held on to take the victory.

Game 2- CGY 3, MTL 1

Calgary got another opportunity on Sunday to solve Maschmeyer and Montreal, heading into the game having lost seven straight decisions against Les Canadiennes. It was MTL who would strike first, however, as Melodie Daoust beat Rigsby at 11:56 on the first frame. Although the home side carried that 1-0 lead into the second, it wouldn’t stand for long. The Inferno managed two goals in just over a minute, 26 seconds into the frame and again at 1:06. Brianne Jenner, another Team USA Olympic Gold Medalist, scored the first marker unassisted. Offseason NCAA pre-draft signee Rebecca Leslie notched the second goal, which was her first as a member of the Inferno. Forward Rebecca Johnston collected the assist on Leslie’s score, and added and empty netter in the third to seal the victory and end the Montreal curse for Calgary!

Other firsts in the game included goaltender Alex Rigsby’s first CWHL win, as she also collected First Star honours posting 22 saves on 23 shots against. New Head Coach Shannon Miller collected her first CWHL victory and she received the game puck after sixty minutes were in the books.

Final Thoughts:

The Inferno’s offseason aggressiveness (more on their influx of new talent can be found at Matchsticks & Gasoline’s Inferno Season Preview here ) has seemed to pay off in one respect, as Les Canadiennes regular season dominance against them has finally come to an end. Emerance Maschmeyer allowed two goals on 16 shots in Game 2, in perhaps a sign that Calgary has found the ability to get pucks past their longtime rival. It’s also a good sign that some of the team’s new faces are getting into the action early and onto the scoresheet this early in the campaign.

Up Next:

The Inferno will be back in Alberta this weekend for the home opener series. They host the China based Shenzen Kunlun Red Star who are making the cross-Pacific trip. Both games will be held at Canada Olympic Park in Winsport Arena A, with Saturday night puckdrop 8:00 PM MDT and Sunday at 10:30AM MDT. Saturday’s game will be streamed on www.thecwhl.com/watch and Sunday’s play-by-play audio will be carried on Sportsnet 960 on your AM radio dial and online at Sportsnet.ca (More info on the Inferno’s new radio broadcasts program here )

Check back next week to M&G to see how our Ladies In Red fared in their next series!