Calgary, Alta (Jan.20, 2018) – The Inferno beat the Vanke Rays 10-3 in the first game in the weekend series. The team won in front of Calgary’s goaltender Delayne Brian, back for her first game in 11 weeks after recovering from an injury.
This game also marked the third annual ‘Start the Spark’ game, in conjunction with the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre (SKCAC), to help bring awareness to youth mental health.
“The stats of how many people are affected by mental illness – the purple jerseys and the ‘Do it for Daron (DIFD)’ and all of that is so we can get rid of the stigma behind mental health, so that people can talk about it and get help when they need to,” said Brian.
The Inferno came on the ice wearing their limited edition purple jerseys at the game, which will be auctioned off in support of the SKCAC, (the link will be available on the Inferno website starting on Sunday, January 21). The puck drop consisted of several special guests including Sheldon Kennedy; Sean Jeffers and Jessica Kozak from HMC Lawyers; seven of the nine Inferno players heading to the Olympics next month; and the Rocky Mountain Raiders, Kennedy Brown’s former team and two-time Macs Midget Tournament Winners.
“I knew that if I came out confident the team would feel confident playing in front of me,” said Brian regarding her return after 11 weeks.
At 11:47 into the game, Brittany Esposito scored the first goal for the Inferno, assisted by Kelly Murray and Louise Warren. Two minutes later, Iya Gavrilova scored for the Inferno, with an assist from Sophie Shirley. At 4:06, Brooke Webster scored the first goal for the Vanke Rays on a breakaway, with an assist from Emily Janiga. The shots at the end of the first period were nine all and the period ended with a score of 2-1 for the Inferno.
The second period was action packed. The Inferno scored six goals and Vanke scored one. After the Inferno scored their sixth goal, the Vanke Rays switched their goaltender from Elaine Chuli to Tianyi Zhang. Highlights of the period included Esposito’s hat trick goal and an assist.
The Vanke Rays began picking up speed with Lauren Kelly scoring their third goal, assisted by Rose Alleva and Xin Fang. Brittany Fouracres answered back scoring her first ever CWHL goal and ninth for the Inferno, assisted by Laura Dostaler and Murray. Esposito scored her fourth goal of the game and the 10th goal for the Inferno, assisted by Warren and Woodworth. The Inferno won this game 10-3 and outshot the Vanke Rays 31-20.
“It’s amazing – obviously the goal is to win the game and to be able to contribute like that feels great,” said Esposito about the four goals she was able to score during today’s game.
This win brings the Inferno ahead of the Vanke in the third place in the CWHL standings. Join us for the final game in the series, which will be held in the Joan Snyder arena Sunday, January 21, at 12:30 p.m.
Three stars of the game:
1 – Brittany Esposito, Calgary Inferno
2 – Louise Warren, Calgary Inferno
3 – Brooke Webster, Vanke Rays