Welcome to Inferno Alphabet Soup, an acronym analysis for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League’s Calgary Inferno!
This week we take a combined look at Weeks 8 and 9, Calgary’s victorious 2-0 homestand against China’s visiting Vanke Rays, and their 0-2 reversal on the road against the Toronto Furies.
I- Interesting Spread! : A whopping ten different Inferno players registered a point in the Toronto series, with Sophie Shirley being Calgary’s only multi-point contributor (2A in the Sunday contest). Contrast this to the offensive explosion of the Vanke series, where the Louise Warren-Dakota Woodworth-Brittany Esposito line alone notched up 14 points between themselves. A combined 9 points came in that series between the line of Apperson-Kromm-Kurio line, too.
N- Neck-And-Neck Finish?: At press time, the Inferno sit in third place: 7 points back of both the Kunlun Red Star and Les Canadiennes de Montreal, as Calgary has 27 points to Kunlun/MTL’s 34 each. On the upside, the CGY have 3 games in hand on Kunlun, and 2 in hand on MTL. While 7 points seems like a big deficit in a small league, with games in hand on both teams we could be in for a few changes atop the CWHL standings in the home stretch.
F -Flip and Flop: It was a tale of two weekends. After being swept by Les Canadiennes the prior weekend, the Inferno were clearly motivated when Vanke came to town. Outscoring the Rays 14 – 3 in the series, it seemed like it was everything the locker room needed to get re-energized. However, rolling into Toronto the following weekend CGY found themselves outscored 4-8 in the series against the Furies. The unfortunate bit about these recent series is the inability to generate splits, either sweeping or being swept and causing some pretty big mental ups and downs for the fanbase.
E- Espo!: Calgary’s scoring leader knocked home a monster 6-point series (4G 2A) against VAN, and although the offense cooled the following series, Esposito registered 1 assist in the TOR series. There’s a closer look at Espo’s contributions here at Inferno Spotlight and here’s hoping she gets her high-scoring rhythm back on the trip overseas!
R- Round And Round: The return from injury of Inferno starting goalie Delayne Brian (more on her recovery and return here at Inferno Spotlight )
means the return of Calgary’s platoon-goaltending system. While Lindsey Post got her second straight start of the year to kick things off against Toronto, Delayne Brian started Sunday’s contest and ended up being pulled, giving way to Toni Ross to close things out. Since 2016-17 introduced Calgary’s three-goalie system (then Brian, Maschmeyer, LaCasse) it seems the Inferno have been content to utilize their goaltending depth three-ways. We’ll have keep an eye on how the situation in the crease develops as the year marches on.
N- Netminding Consistency?: On that note, it might turn into a bit of a dogfight for netminder starts. Lindsey Post, coming off her 24 save shutout to close the series against the Rays, made 16/19 saves to open the Furies series in Game 1 vs TOR. However, Toni Ross’ numbers really don’t lag that much further behind, and the return of former Clarkson Cup MVP Delayne Brian will only muddle things further. The ladies’ numbers sit as follows so far this season:
Lindsey Post 6-3-0-2 1.99 GAA .917SV%.
Toni Ross 3-0-0-0 1.91 GAA 0.898 SV%
Delayne Brian 3-1-0-0 2.33 GAA 0.882 SV%
O- On To The Next!: The Inferno start their 10 day trip to China, as the Vanke Rays and Kunlun Red Star return home from their North American swings to host. Matchsticks & Gasoline wishes all kinds of good fortune and fun to our ladies in red on their extended roadie!