Calgary Inferno look for a strong start to 2018

Calgary, Alta – The Calgary Inferno enter the new year on a five-game winning streak as they prepare to host Les Canadiennes de Montreal for a pivotal two-game series this weekend. The Inferno currently sit atop the Canadian Women’s Hockey League standings with 22 points, but have plenty of company as Montreal and the Kunlun Red Star have 22 points each as well. Two victories this weekend would give the Inferno a four-point lead in the standings, with one game in hand over Les Canadiennes.

Saturday, the Inferno will host the Fourth Annual Keep the Beat fundraiser in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. With support of the fans and the community, the team looks to build on the $13,000 raised over the past three seasons to support awareness and funding for the Foundation.

“Saturday will feature events and fun for everyone including researchers from the Foothills Medical Centre with info on heart health and a puck toss at intermission,” remarked Inferno defender Jacquie Pierri, who leads the event. “We’re also holding a silent auction with Olympic Memorabilia and a chance to win Calgary Flames tickets. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in the past few seasons and look forward to another great event.”

On the ice, Calgary continues their strong play with a league-best +25 goal differential, while conceding just 24 goals against. However, they will face a difficult task this weekend as Les Canadiennes roll into Calgary with their high-powered offense as they lead the league with 55 goals.

Offensively, the Inferno will turn to veteran forwards Rhianna Kurio and Brittany Esposito who share the team lead in goals with six apiece. Iya Gavrilova is enjoying a superb second season with the team, pouring in 10 points as well. The Inferno will miss their breakout rookie, Sophie Shirley, who leads the team with 11 points and averages just about one point per game, as she is away with the Canadian Development Team in Germany. Steady blueliners Jacquie Pierri and Hayleigh Cudmore, who have a +16 and +8 rating respectively, will have their hands full with the league’s top offense. Between the pipes, standout rookies Toni Ross and Lindsey Post have been extremely reliable in the first half of the season.

Meanwhile, Les Canadiennes will turn loose forwards Ann-Sophie Bettez and Noémie Marin offensively, with Bettez leading the way with 10 goals (17 points) and Marin finding the back of the net nine times this season. Defensively, Cathy Chartrand has been contributing in all areas, leading the team with a +13 rating and is second with 14 points. Former Inferno draft pick Emerance Maschmeyer will be the last line of defense for Les Canadiennes. Maschmeyer has looked comfortable so far in her first season with Montreal, posting 8 wins in 9 starts to go along with a 1.94 Goals Against Average and a 0.919 Save Percentage.

Both games will take place at WinSport this weekend with Saturday’s Keep the Beat game going at 4pm MST, while Sunday’s contest will see an early 10:30am MST puck drop.

Donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation can be made at:  http://support.heartandstroke.ca/goto/InfernoKTB

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Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance https://store.thecwhl.com/collections/calgary-inferno-tickets or at the door.