Calgary Inferno Closely Matched with Les Canadiennes Heading Into Clarkson Cup Final

Inferno boasts six nominees for the CWHL Awards
CALGARY, Alta. (March 19, 2019) – The Calgary Inferno have earned a trip to the biggest game of the season, the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) Clarkson Cup Final against Les Canadiennes de Montreal.

The two teams finished one and two in the regular season. Calgary was four points ahead and won four out of the six games against rival Montreal. They will faceoff once more in Toronto on Sunday March 24 at 10 am MT for the championship title.

The teams are closely matched on all fronts. In net for Montreal, former Inferno Emerance Maschmeyer led the league with a 1.45 goals against average. Calgary’s Alex Rigsby was close behind with a 2.04 GAA.

On offense, Montreal’s Marie-Philip Poulin won the Angela James Bowl for top points in the league with 50 points and 23 goals. Ann-Sophie Bettez finished the regular season 48 points and 18 goals Calgary’s Rebecca Johnston scored 15 goals and had 39 points for third place in league points. Brianne Jenner had a record season with 19 goals and 32 points, finishing in fifth place in league scoring.

On the blue line, Montreal’s Erin Ambrose finished with six goals and 24 points on the season while Inferno’s Kacey Bellamy also had six goals and ended with 21 points. Brigette Lacquette had 18 points and Katelyn Gosling 16. Calgary had the most players in the top 10 in defensive points. Halli Kryzaniak finished ninth in her rookie season.

“We’re definitely feeling ready for this weekend,” Halli commented. “We haven’t changed a lot in our preparation, just focusing on what’s been working for us all season long and fine tuning some things heading into Sunday.”

The two teams will face off in the Clarkson Cup final against eachother for the third time in four seasons. The game will be broadcast on Sportsnet. Calgary’s last Cup win came in 2016.

Head Coach Ryan Hilderman commented on the team’s game plan and the difference maker:

“When you get to this point in the season and it comes down to one game, everything is an absolute battle. So just being committed to winning the individual battles, sticking together as a team, supporting each other through the ups and downs within the game and playing the brand of hockey that got us here, I believe will be the difference.”

Recent Clarkson Cup Champions:

2018- Markham Thunder (2) vs. Kunlun Red Star (1) (OT)
2017- Les Canadiennes de Montréal (3) vs. Calgary Inferno (1)
2016- Calgary Inferno (8) vs. Les Canadiennes de Montréal (3)
2015- Boston Blades (3) vs. Montreal Stars (2) (OT)
2014- Toronto Furies (1) vs. Boston Blades (0) (OT)

Fans in Toronto can purchase tickets to the game at www.thecwhl.com. Fans in Calgary can attend the viewing party at Schanks North. Tickets are $10, youth get in free. https://www.showpass.com/clarkson-cup-viewing-party/

CWHL Awards

On Friday evening the players will gather at Ryerson University`s Mattamy Athletic Centre to celebrate accomplishments from the season. Calgary has a nominee in every category.

Rookie of the Year (nominees)

Rebecca Leslie – Calgary Inferno #16
Rebecca Leslie was drafted in the second round by the Calgary Inferno.  playing in 27 games and earning 26 points.  She finished 4th in the team’s standings and 11th overall with 11 goals and 15 assists.

Victoria Bach– Markham Thunder #12
Victoria Bach was the first-round draft pick by the Markham Thunder. Bach is fourth overall in points and finished the season with 32 points from 19 goals and 13 assists.

Sarah Nurse – Toronto Furies #16
Nurse was drafted in the first round by the Toronto Furies. She led the way for the Furies with 14 goals and 12 assists, finishing 9th overall in the CWHL with 26 points.

Defenceman of the Year (nominees)

Kacey Bellamy – Calgary Inferno #22
Bellamy notched 21 points this season in 26 games played, making her the highest-scoring defender on the Inferno. She also had the lowest number of even-strength goals-against with 10 total.

Erin Ambrose – Les Canadiennes de Montréal #14
Having her best season in the CWHL, Ambrose played in 26 games recording 24 points with 6 goals and 18 assists proving she is just as capable offensively.

Laura Fortino – Markham Thunder #8
This season, Fortino has been strong for the Thunder with 18 points in 26 games played.  She ended the 2018/2019 regular season with 5 goals and 13 assists.

Goaltender of the Year (nominees)

Alex Rigsby – Calgary Inferno # 1
CWHL Rookie Alex Rigsby joined the Inferno this season playing in 17 games earning 14 wins, 2 losses and 1 overtime loss. Rigsby finished the season with a 2.04 goals against average and a 0.916 save percentage.

Emerance Maschmeyer – Les Canadiennes de Montréal #38
Maschmeyer finished off the regular season as the top goalie in the CWHL with 15 wins and ended the 2018-19 regular season first in goals against average (1.45%) and highest save percentage (0.935).

Noora Räty – Kunlun Red Star  #41
Räty played 20 games for the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays collecting 8 wins and 12 losses. She finished the 2018/2019 season third in the standings with a 2.46% goals against average and a 0.921 save percentage. Noora won this award last year.

Jayna Hefford Trophy (players-voted MVP)

Brianne Jenner– Calgary Inferno #19
Jenner is having her best season yet, earning 32 points to help lead the way for the Inferno and the league finishing 5th overall.

Emerance Maschmeyer– Les Canadiennes de Montreal #38
Maschmeyer led the standings this season with 15-4-1 in 20 games played. With 4 shutouts this season and 2 in the playoffs, she has become one of the hardest goalies to score against.

 Marie-Philip Poulin– Les Canadiennes de Montreal #29
Montreal Captain Marie-Philip Poulin has led Les Canadiennes to a Clarkson Cup final in every one of the 4 seasons she has played in the league. This season she became the 4th Canadiennes to reach 50 points in a season and is the league’s points leader. Marie won this award in 2016.

Coach of the Year (nominees)

Ryan Hilderman – Calgary Inferno
Jim Jackson – Markham Thunder
Courtney Kessel – Toronto Furies

CWHL MVP

Rebecca Johnston – Calgary Inferno #6
As Captain of the Inferno, Johnston has led a hungry Inferno squad to a first place finished and to another Clarkson Cup final. She is third in the league with 39 points from 15 goals and 24 assists. Johnston previously won this award in 2015.
Marie-Philip Poulin – Les Canadiennes de Montreal #29
Montreal Captain Marie-Philip Poulin has led Les Canadiennes to a Clarkson Cup final in every one of the 4 seasons she has played in the league. This season she became the 4th Canadiennes to reach 50 points in a season and is the league’s points leader. Marie won this award in 2017 and 2016.
Natalie Spooner – Toronto Furies #24
Natalie Spooner paved the way for the Furies this season leading the team with 26 points finishing 8th overall. Spooner captained her team through a tough end of the regular season and was was a motivating force in the Furies race for the playoffs.