Calgary, Alta (July 24)– The Calgary Inferno made waves in free agency today by signing a pair of American Olympians, forward Brianna Decker and defenseman Kacey Bellamy.
“We are very pleased to have two exceptional USA Olympic players joining the Calgary Inferno,” stated head coach Shannon Miller. “Both of these athletes will bring a high end drive and a wealth of experience to our program.”
On the heels of losing two key members from the roster in forward Jillian Saulnier and goaltender Geneviève Lacasse earlier this month to the Montreal Les Canadiennes, the Inferno responded by landing the dynamic USWNT duo.
Fresh off a 2018 Olympic Gold Medal victory against Team Canada in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Decker and Bellamy are thrilled to have the opportunity to add to their already impressive resumes by suiting up for the Inferno this upcoming season.
“I am beyond excited to have the chance to play for the Calgary Inferno this coming season. The organization is one of the top in the CWHL with state-of-the-art facilities and an incredible GM [Kristen Hagg],” stated Bellamy. “To have the opportunity to play for Shannon Miller is a complete honour, seeing what she has done and continues to do for our sport. But I think I am most excited about meeting the team! It will be special to share this year beside players I have competed against for so many years and to try to win the Clarkson Cup”.
The Providence, Rhode Island native Bellamy brings a tremendous offensive element to the Inferno from the blueline. The 31 year-old ranks third all-time in career points by a defenseman for the University of New Hampshire Wildcats hockey program (107). She was named to the RBK All-America First Team in her senior year, amassing six goals and 28 points in her final season with the Wildcats. Bellamy is no stranger on the international level as well, collecting seven World Championships, two Olympic silver medals (2010, 2014) and finally securing her first Olympic gold medal this year. Bellamy last played for the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL), logging two assists in the inaugural game.
As for Brianna Decker, the former Wisconsin Badger is one of the most exciting players to watch in the women’s game. The All-World forward has found success every step of the way including winning a NCAA National Championship with the Badgers, holding the school’s longest scoring streak at 32 games (77 points in that span), raking in five World Championships and an Olympic gold medal. Decker has also suited up for the NWHL’s Boston Pride for a couple of seasons where she picked up the league’s MVP award and the playoff MVP award in 2016 and won the Clarkson Cup in 2015.
Both players are no strangers to the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL), having played for the Boston Blades. Bellamy has won two Clarkson Cups (2013, 2015) and represented the Blades in the 2014 CWHL All-Star Game. In Decker’s lone season with the Blades, she scored 16 goals (32 points) in 12 games to go along with a league-leading +25 rating and pick up the 2015 CWHL Rookie of the Year Award.
“I’m excited to be back in the CWHL and to join the Calgary Inferno. I’ve always admired the league and what it stands for. Calgary was an easy choice as it offers so much – great group of players, world-class facilities, competitive coach and a beautiful city. I’m extremely excited to get going and continue to grow the game,” expressed the 27 year-old Decker.