Welcome to the final Alphabet Soup of the 2017-2018 campaign, let’s take an anagram analytical look at the season’s end for the Calgary I-N-F-E-R-N-O!
I- In It To Win It! (Game 1)
As we had mentioned prior to the start of the series in our INFERNO PLAYOFFS PREVIEW, we’d expected both squads to be evenly matched in their best-of-three round. There was a very high likelihood it would take all three games to decide a victor, and that each game would be closely contested. Three of their four regular season games were one-goal decisions, with one requiring a shootout. So it was with great happiness and surprise we saw the Inferno take game one over Kunlun quite handily! Calgary outshot the Red Star 38-20 overall, including a 17 SOG second period. A pair of third period goals added to their single tally in the first period (scoring markers from Dakota Woodworth, Brittany Fouracres, and Louise Warren), and former Clarkson Cup MVP DELAYNE BRIAN pitched a shutout on all 20 Kunlun shots. 3-0 CALGARY Final Score
N- Not So Fast (Game 2)
The second bout was much more closely contested, as the teams traded both goals and chances through three periods. The final shot clock was 36-30 for the Inferno, as the teams traded first (Marchin for KUN) and second period (Olympian Connection: Turnbull from Jenner for CGY) goals, and each notched another one in the third period (Darkangelo for KUN, Gavrilova for CGY). The Inferno’s heart wrenching third period tally came with only 1:03 left on the clock, and on the PP, to send things to sudden death overtime!
However, it wouldn’t last. Red Star’s Stephanie Anderson broke the deadlock just two minutes and 32 seconds in the first overtime frame, and took home First Star of the Game. More importantly, she knotted the series at 1-1 and forced a final and decisive Game Three. 3-2 KUNLUN Final Score (1OT)
F- Fight Forever?
Game 3 saw the third straight straight in three days for both Kunlun starting goalie Noora Raty, and Inferno starter Delayne Brian. With a spot in the winner-take-all single game Clarkson Cup Final on the line, both ladies brought their absolute best to the ice. The Red Star put up a 17 shot first period, and the Inferno put up at 17 shot third period, and both teams were frustrated to find the twine as shots were 35-28 CGY after 60 minutes of play. In the face of stellar displays by both netminders without an ounce of give, things moved on to the longest game ever played into Clarkson Cup Playoffs history. The Inferno were relentless in extra time, putting everything they could at Raty’s net. They outshot Kunlun 11-5 in the first overtime period, and 13-6 in the second OT period. In what had turned into an emotional rollercoaster and physical marathon, a third OT was required. It quite possibly might have required a 4OT at that pace, but it was not to be. With the shots 66-43 CGY, at 14:01 of the 3rd and final frame, the Red Star’s Alexandra Carpenter finally solved Delayne Brian, breaking her shuout bid and ultimately Calgary’s dream of a return to their third Clarkson Cup Final in three years. It was a heartbreaking end to a mesmerizing contest that will forever go down in Canadian Women’s Hockey League history. 1-0 KUNLUN Final Score
E- Ending It On a High Note
It can certainly be said that the Inferno didn’t go down without a fight, as they battled throughout the entire series. We should also tip our caps to starting goalie Delayne Brian, who after missing much of the year due to injury, started three straight games to end the regular season, and all three in the Clarkson Cup Playoffs. Delayne ends her regular season with a 7-4 win/loss record, and ends her playoff run with a 1.01 GAA and 957 SV%, having made 94 saves as well as posting a SO in Game One.
R- Racking Up The Final Numbers
The team leader scoring race between BRITTANY ESPOSITO and Iva Gavrilova for the regular season finally came to an end with Espo on top by a single point. If we want to get caught up in semantics, however, Gavrilova DID have a goal in the playoffs. Regardless it was a stellar campaign for both ladies, as well as outstanding rookie Sophie Shirley, who shit up the ranks to finish for a tie for 3rd in Inferno scoring.
N- Nominees And Winners
To close out the season at the CWHL Awards, the Inferno were honoured to have three nominees. Although Katelyn Gosling did not win herDefenseman Of The Year nomination, rookie Head Coach Tomas Pacina took the Coach of the Year nod, and 18-year old Sophie Shirley nabbed Rookie Of The Year Honours! Congrats to all three on being recognized for their outstanding seasons!
(All photos courtesy @infernocwhl on Instagram)
O- On To The Next (Season, That Is!)
That’s a wrap for an exciting and fun 2017-2018 season for Calgary inferno hockey! Heartbreaking finishes aren’t always the end, sometimes they are the beginning! We wish all the best to our Ladies In Red in their offseason time, and we here at M&G will catch you dear Alphabet Soup readers next season.