It took the second game of the weekend for it to happen, but the Calgary Inferno pulled it off, hanging on to beat the Brampton Thunder 5-4 and clinch second place in the Clarkson Cup playoffs. The clinching secures them home ice advantage in the first season of the CWHL holding playoffs with this format.
Rebecca Johnston scored three points (including two goals) and Brianne Jenner added three assists, but it was Meaghan Mikkelson-Reid who scored the game-winner at 8:03 of the third period, helping Calgary redeem itself after falling behind 3-0 early. After relieving Delayne Brian (who allowed three goals on 12 shots), Kathy Desjardins only allowed one goal, making 25 saves. The power play was also extremely successful, scoring on both of its attempts on Sunday.
Brampton had taken the first game of the weekend Saturday evening, scoring early and relying on a red-hot Erica Howe (33 saves) to hang on for a 3-2 victory. Laura Fortino and Jamie Lee Rattray were all over the scoresheet, Fortino with two points and Rattray with three, to help their team secure the win. Meanwhile, Blayre Turnbull had an excellent outing with both of the Calgary goals.
From here on out, it's gearing up for the Clarkson Cup playoffs, the first round of which has Calgary facing -- you guessed it -- the Brampton Thunder, on their ice. The other matchup involves the first seed, Les Canadiennes, against the fourth-place Toronto Furies in Montreal.
Stay tuned for more information and insight regarding the matchup and what to expect throughout the week leading up to this weekend, when the playoffs begin.