Inferno edge Furies with OT win

 Calgary, AB (Dec. 16) – Iya Gavrilova was the game’s hero as the Inferno downed the Furies 4-3 in overtime. Kayla Gardner scored twice for the Inferno, her first multi-goal game in the CWHL, while Dakota Woodworth rounded out the Inferno’s scoring, in addition to Gavrilova’s game winner. Toni Ross stopped 30 of 33 shots for the win.

Carolyn Prevost scored twice for the Furies, and Danielle Gagne also netted one for Toronto. Sonja van der Bliek stopped 30 of 34 pucks that came her way.

Toni Ross stopped 30 of 33 shots in the win, while Sonja van der Bliek stopped 30 of 34.

It was a special game, as not only was it played in the Stampede Corral, but fans raised over $400 for the Calgary Food Bank with the Alberta Turkey’s Turkey Toss at second intermission.

The Inferno jumped out to an early lead, getting on the board just 1:34 into the game courtesy of Gardner’s second goal of the season. With Jessica Platt off for tripping, Woodworth added to the Inferno’s lead, shovelling the puck into the net via Jacquie Pierri’s blast from the point. Pierri credited Ross with starting the play that led to the goal.

“Our goalie made an unreal breakout pass,” Pierri said. “She beat a girl on the PK forecheck, passed it up to me kind of dangerously in front of the net, but she was super confident with the puck. It was awesome.”

Gardner increased the Inferno’s lead early in the second period with her second of the night, a two-on-one with Jenna Dingeldin.

“I was keeping my feet moving,” Gardner said after the game. “My second goal, my linemate really helped on that one.”

However, Prevost responded just under two minutes later to get Toronto on the board. The Furies cut the Inferno’s lead to one with just 0.7 seconds left in the second frame thanks to Gagne’s late-period effort.

Toronto completed the comeback just 6:53 into the third period. With Gagne sitting in the box for tripping, Brooke Beazer sprung Prevost, and she beat Ross five-hole to tie the game at three.

Both teams racked up plenty of scoring chances as the game went on, but Ross and van der Bliek stopped every puck that came their way, forcing overtime.

With just 38.6 seconds to go in overtime, Brittany Esposito fed Gavrilova, who blasted the puck in past van der Bliek to net the Inferno’s ninth win of the season.

“I like how we played in the third period. I think we really picked it up,” Gavrilova said. “Eventually, it just paid off.

“[Esposito] fore checked the heck out of the defence. She did a nice move like she always does, and then she just passed it to me. All I had to do was tap it in; al the credit is to Espo.”

Gavrilova captured first star honours with her tally, while Prevost was the second star, and Gardner third.

The Inferno and Furies will meet again Sunday, December 17, at Carstairs Memorial Area in Carstairs, AB at 11:45 am.