(March 17, 2018)
In a showcase of outstanding goaltending from both teams, the Calgary Inferno captured Game 1 of their CWHL Clarkson Cup playoff series versus the Kunlun Red Star on Friday night (Mar. 16) in Markham, Ont., at the Angus Glen Community Centre.
Both Inferno goaltender Delayne Brian and Red Star netminder Noora Raty were put to the test with a selection of outstanding chances on one end and a consistent amount of pressure on the other. Brian delivered an unblemished 20-save shutout, highlighted by an incredible glove save on Kunlun forward Alex Carpenter in the middle of the second period. Meanwhile, Raty turned aside 35 Calgary shots, including a 17-save second period.
In a penalty-filled first, Inferno forward Dakota Woodworth opened the scoring for Calgary midway through the period. With a crowd in front of the Red Star net following a save from Raty, Woodworth was able to find the loose puck and lift it over the outstretched pad of the Kunlun netminder for a powerplay marker. Louise Warren was awarded the assist on the eventual game-winner.
Momentum remained with the Inferno into the second period as they looked to capitalize on the shorthanded Red Star attack following a checking from behind misconduct against CWHL scoring champion Kelli Stack. Finding themselves consistently on the defensive without their breakout offensive star, the Red Star was able to outlast the Inferno onslaught, taking advantage of several counter-attack opportunities. However, the score remained 0-0 thanks to the stellar play of both goalies.
In a high-paced third period, Calgary found an insurance marker at the 11:35 mark as they once again placed bodies in front of the Kunlun net. This time Warren was the one to find the back of the net with Woodworth and Elana Lovell earning assists.
Inferno forward Brittney Fouracres sealed the deal with under two minutes remaining. Intercepting a Kunlun pass, Fouracres was off to the races challenging Raty on the breakaway. The McGill University alumna made no mistake, sending a precise wrist shot over the glove of the Red Star goalie to secure the Game 1 victory.
Action will resume tomorrow (Mar. 17) afternoon with the Calgary Inferno looking to book their ticket to the Clarkson Cup Final, while the Kunlun Red Star will need to find a way to send the series to a third game. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at the Angus Glen Community Centre in Markham, Ont. All the action will be streamed live on CWHL Live.
Game 2: Saturday, March 17 – 4:30 PM – Angus Glen Community Centre (Markham, ON) – CWHL Live
Game 3 (if necessary): Sunday, March 18 – 5:30 PM – Angus Glen Community Centre (Markham, ON) – CWHL Live