Welcome to Inferno Alphabet Soup, a acronym analysis for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League’s Calgary I-N-F-E-R-N-O!
This week we have a look back at Week 13, as the Inferno headed out on the road for two games against the Markham Thunder!
I- Into The Final Stretch
It was a tough weekend for the Inferno out in Ontario, as Calgary dropped both games to Markham. The Thunder currently sit in the final CWHL playoff spot, and with the Vanke Rays only four points behind them, they were desperate to hang onto 4th place. Even though Calgary has already clinched it’s playoff spot, the pair of setbacks knocked the Inferno to 3rd place overall as they’ve been passed by the Kunlun Red Star who are heating up on this playoff drive. With Les Canadiennes de Montreal and Kunlun deadlocked for the top seed, there could still be some big changes for home ice advantage as the Inferno are only three points back.
N- Number Crunching
The high-powered Inferno offense (second in league scoring by teams, with 92 goals) fell completely off the map, largely thanks to some rock solid netminding from Markham. Erica Howe stopped 29 0f 30 Inferno shots in Saturday’s 5-1 win, including an 18 shot second period. Liz Knox backstopped to a 4-1 result the next day, fight off 23 of 24 attempts. Inferno scoring star Iva Gavrilova managed to scoop up an assist on Sunday, and she is now tied for the team scoring lead with veteran Brittany Esposito at 24 points on the campaign. Gavrilova has been on a run lately, collecting 12 points in her last 9 outings. Defenseman Katelyn Gosling scored the lone goal on Saturday, and she has now racked up 11 points and 4 goals in her last nine games, including the thrilling last second GWG in Week 12.
F- For The Ladies
It was International Women’s Day on March 9th, and the Inferno took to social media to participate in the celebration!
E- Enter The Olympians!
Calgary welcomed back some Olympic heroes to their lineup! Silver Medalists at Pyeongchang with the Canadian Women’s squad, forwards Brianne Jenner and Blayre Turnbull are back to help the Inferno for the playoff push. Both Jenner and Turnbull managed to notch up a penalty in each of the weekend’s two games, but were unable to find the scoreboard. Here’s hoping for better luck for the Olympians the rest of the way!
R- Rivalry Renewed
In the storied hockey history between Calgary and Montreal that includes three Stanley Cup Finals matchups (1924, 1986, 1989) and a Heritage Classic showdown (2011), it’s the recency bias that has the rivalry as heated as ever. The Inferno and Les Canadiennes de Montreal have met in back to back Clarkson Cup finals and split the decisions, and a 2-0 sweep for MTL earlier this year in Calgary left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth on the Western side. The final series of the regular season for the Inferno is against their archrivals, and it has monster implications for home ice advantage in the playoffs.
After a controversial decision to be given the hook after allowing one goal on two shots last weekend against Boston, Lindsey Post was back in net to start game one versus the Thunder. You can read more on Lindsey in the INFERNO SPOTLIGHT. Post stopped 24 of 28 in the 5-1 loss. Clarkson Cup MVP Delayne Brian saw the start in game two, but her results were much the same, holding off 21 of 25 shots in a 4-1 loss. Calgary’s third goalie, Toni Ross, has now gone six games without a start, as it looks like the three-goalie platoon system is being worked down to two as the Clarkson Cup playoffs draw closer. Here’s a look at how the system has stacked up so far this year:
O- On To The Next!
It’s off to La Belle Province to finish out the 2017-2018 regular season. The Inferno will meet Les Canadiennes on March 10th and 11th at Complexe Sportif Bell! Keep it locked to M&G to see where our Ladies In Red finish in the standings for the Clarkson Cup Playoffs!