The Inferno hit the road for their second series of the season as visitors, as they headed to Massachusetts to tackle to Worcester Blades. The franchise has relocated from their former home in Boston, but the move hasn’t brought them any luck. They are the only winless squad in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League so far, and found themselves in big trouble against an Inferno squad that has now extended their winning streak to five straight games.
Game 1- CGY 5, WOS 0
The series kicked off from Fidelity Bank Ice Center in Worcester, and things didn’t seem quite as bleak for the home squad out of the gate. Despite being outshot 10-4 in the first period, the Blades made it out alive with a 0-0 score. But midway through the second period the flodgates opened for the Calgarian visitors. Kelty Apperson, Kacey Bellamy and Blayre Turnbull all registered goals in the second frame, and moving into the third Venla Hovi and Brigette Lacquette added markers for the Inferno. In addition to her goal, Lacquette notched a pair of assists and earned First Star honours for her three point performance. The squad registered a whopping 47 shots on Boston in the game, while the Blades only mustered 17 total shots on goal on Calgary netminder Annie Belanger. The first round pick goaltender from the University of Connecticut picked up her first CWHL win and first CWHL shutout in her league debut.
Game 2 - CGY 9, WOS 0
The Sunday afternoon tilt was more of the same from both teams. Annie Belanger saw her second start, second victory, and second shutout on her young CWHL career as she turned aside 23 SOG. On the offensive end, the Inferno rifled 57 shots at the Blades goaltending tandem, as their starter Mariah Fijimagara split ice time with backup Lauren Dahm to no avail. Nine different Inferno skaters scored over the course of the contest while 15 total players found their way onto the statsheet on the road to victory, with Olympian Brianna Decker leading the way adding two assists to her total on the day:
Dominating as it was, this weekend’s performance was to be expected. The more attention grabbing headline would have been if basement-dwelling Worcester had somehow pulled off an upset or two. The major takeaway might be in the blue paint, as the Inferno’s other netminder Alex Rigsby had previously started every game for Calgary this season, picking up wins in three of four starts and putting up some serious numbers of her own including a shutout streak of 145 minutes and 51 seconds. While rookie Belanger’s level of competition wasn’t exactly anything to write home about, there’s no denying that it’s one heck of a debut weekend and it’ll be interesting to see how Head Coach Shannon Miller doles out the goaltending minutes moving forward.
back-to-back shutouts for that girl back there pic.twitter.com/3FG1xGGpkZ— Calgary Inferno (@InfernoCWHL) October 28, 2018
The balanced scoring attack for the Inferno has been another major storyline this season, as their depth and contributions are much deeper than previous campaigns when players like the recently retired Brittany Esposito would run away with the team lead in scoring.
PS the Inferno have three different players in the top 5 scoring race and five players in the top 10 #IgnitedUnited— Calgary Inferno (@InfernoCWHL) October 28, 2018
The Inferno are certainly getting well-divided scoring, with rival players from Les Canadiennes de Montreal and the Markham Thunder’s Laura Stacey rounding out the top ten in the early CWHL scoring race.
The Inferno will be on a break for the Four Nations Cup tournament, as some team members will be heading to Saskatchewan to participate. The team will be back in action the weekend of November 17th-18th, heading back out to Eastern Time to face the Toronto Furies. Keep it locked to Matchsticks & Gasoline when our Ladies In Red return to CWHL ice action in November!