Calgary, AB (July 16) – The Calgary Inferno will turn the page on what marks the end of a chapter with loyal veteran leaders in goaltender Delayne Brian, defense Jacquie Pierri and forward Brittany Esposito.
All three players officially announced their retirement this spring as they move on with their off-ice careers and new opportunities.
Brian has been with the team for five years and will stay in the Calgary community as she trains for a new position.
“As far as my career goes, I have a six-month training program that starts in a couple weeks. It’s a shift-work type job, which would make it nearly impossible to try to play and work at the same time, but I’m moving from my amazing Inferno team, to my new work team,” remarked Brian. “I know it’s going to be tough for me to let go, but I always knew this day would come. I’m just glad to see the progression of the team and the league.”
Pierri played with the Inferno for five seasons and this past season was her best showing on the scoreboard with four goals and eleven assists. She is moving on to a new opportunity to study overseas in Barcelona to complete her Masters in Sustainable Energy and Entrepreneurship. For Jacquie, her time in the league meant a lot.
“It meant the opportunity to play with and against the best in the world and it has been an amazing experience,” she adds. “It’s been great to see the progress and I’m excited to the progress the next five years will bring.”
As for Esposito, she will find herself geographically somewhere in between Calgary and Barcelona, as the assistant coach for the University of New Brunswick women’s hockey team. She’s going out on a high note as well with her best season so far, with 16 goals and 9 assists. In her fourth season in the CWHL she led her team in points.
“I had a feeling going into the offseason last spring that the 2017-2018 season would be my last season with the Inferno,” says Esposito. “I still loved playing the game but I just felt the game was starting to pass me by and I was offered an amazing opportunity to stay connected to the game after I finished playing.”
For all three players, hockey will still remain part of their lives in one way or another as they resisted using the description of ‘hanging up their skates’. Certainly, the Inferno will miss their skill and leadership on and off the ice, though with the work they and the rest of the team have been doing in the community, a new generation of players is getting ready to take over the reigns.
“The Jr Inferno partnership with Girls Hockey Calgary was probably the most exciting change for me personally,” reflected Brian. “Seeing little girls all over the city with their Jr Inferno logo on their hoodies was amazing. When we would go out to their games and practices, they were always so excited.”
“It was amazing to play in such a competitive league and know that I was helping to grow the game for the next generation,” added Esposito.