Carstairs, AB – The Calgary Inferno came out on top Sunday afternoon in the game three final against the Toronto Furies. It was yet another record for the league, where for the first time in the Clarkson Cup playoffs, a game three tie-breaker was required.
Calgary now advances to play Les Canadiennes de Montreal next weekend in Ottawa in a rematch of the 2016 final.
“We’ll take a few days to rest and then buckle down to get focused for the game next weekend,” commented Calgary’s captain Brianne Jenner who scored the winning goal in Sunday’s victory.
Calgary and Toronto played three physical games this weekend. After a loss in Carstairs on Friday night, the Inferno won at WinSport on Saturday afternoon to force game three back in Carstairs on Sunday. The game featured a special presentation to Calgary forward Bailey Bram, the 2017 recipient of the Joan Snyder Award for community involvement, presented by Joan in front of a sold-out crowd at her namesake arena at WinSport. Bailey has been making a tremendous difference, giving back to the community and supporting youth. She was dedicated to the success of this year’s Start the Spark Mentorship program and is a Classroom Champions athlete mentor to 26 students attending Condor Elementary School, Rocky Mountain House, AB and the 20 students attending Dr. Gordon Higgins School.
Toronto’s Christina Kessler continued to stonewall the Inferno in net. She faced 51 shots in Sunday’s game for a total of over 140 on the weekend, only allowing eight goals.
On Sunday, the list of penalties was evidence of the physicality of the game. Calgary served six in the game and Toronto five. After a scoreless first period, Calgary’s Haley Irwin opened the scoring in the second on a powerplay goal after Toronto’s Jess Vella was in the box for holding. Toronto answered back with 3:34 left in the period. Jenelle Kohanchuk scored with assists from Michelle Saunders and Erin Ambrose.
The third period continued to be a battle for the puck. Calgary’s Genevieve Lacasse remained strong in net as did Kessler. With 9:29 left in the game, Calgary’s captain Jenner stepped up to the plate with a wrist shot over Kessler’s shoulder. Assists went to Katelyn Gosling and Jillian Saulnier. That was all the Inferno needed to get the engine started and less than 20 seconds later then scored again; this time rookie Iya Gavrilova from Saulnier and Jenner. In the dying minutes of the game Toronto pulled their goalie and charged the Calgary net, though were unsuccessful in getting past Calgary’s tight defensive wall.
Shots on goal were 51-29 for Calgary.
The three stars of the game:
- Brianne Jenner, Calgary Inferno
- Jillian Saulnier, Calgary Inferno
- Erin Ambrose, Toronto Furies
Calgary now has a week to prepare for next weekend’s game against Montreal. Each of the two teams’ series this season have been split, three wins for Montreal, and three for Calgary so Sunday’s championship match in Ottawa will be the ultimate tie breaker.
The game is at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa at 4pm ET on Sunday, March 5. Clarkson Cup Final tickets are $20 and can be purchased at https://www.ticketmaster.ca/2017-cwhl-clarkson-cup-kanata-ontario-03-05-2017/event/1000518DE60EC9F1. The game will also be broadcast on Sportsnet.