CALGARY, Alta – Jan. 20 – The Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) held the fourth annual All-Star weekend at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The Inferno players were on fire for Sunday’s game, scoring the first five goals of the game and contributing seven of the 12 goals scored.
Doug Gilmour participated in the ceremonial puck drop. Gilmour is widely known as one of the greatest Maple Leaf captains and played 20 seasons in the NHL. He won a Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames in 1989 and was a two-time all-Star player.
Brigette Lacquette of the Calgary Inferno and Liz Knox of the Markham Thunder were named team captains voted by fans in an online poll. Lacquette represented team purple and Knox represented team gold. On Saturday January 19, the respecting team captains picked their starting line-ups, alternating picks and the remainder of the teams were picked by stick pull (road-hockey style). Each team consisted of two goalies, nine forwards and six defencemen.
Lacquette picked first and choose Marie-Philip Poulin, her second pick was Sara Nurse, then the Inferno’s Blayre Turnbull, her fourth pick was Emerance Maschmeyer in net and Lacquette’s final pick was another Inferno player Halli Kryzaniak. Curtis Joseph was behind the bench as coach for team purple with women’s hockey great Cheryl Pounder.
Knox picked the Inferno’s Brianna Decker first, then her second pick was Ann-Sophie Bettez, then Jocelyne Larocque, her fourth pick was Natalie Spooner and her final pick for team gold’s starting line-up was Jessica Wong of the Shenzen KRS Vanke Rays. Glenn Healy was selected as coach for team gold with Charlene Labonte.
Of the 34 players selected to play in the All-Star game, the Calgary Inferno had nine players represented including Blayre Turnbull, Alex Rigsby, Halli Kryzaniak, Zoe Hickel and Brigette Lacquette on team purple. Brianne Jenner, Brianna Decker, Rebecca Johnston, and Kacey Bellamy played on team gold.
Decker scored the first and second goals of the All-Star game, which gave team gold the early lead, 2-0, at the end of the first period. Jenner scored the third and fourth goal for team gold giving them a 4-0 lead. Turnbull was first on the scoreboard for team purple and Laura Stacey scored shortly after for team gold, making the score 4-2. Team gold didn’t let team purple stay within a two-goal lead for long, Hanna Bunton found the back of the net giving team gold a 5-2 lead. Team purple wouldn’t give up though, Lauren Williams of the Worcester Blades scored her first ever CWHL goal to cut the lead to two goals. After two periods of play team gold was up 5-3.
At the start of the third period Brianne Jenner found the back of the net for a hat-trick, increasing team gold’s lead 6-3. Anne-Sophie Bettez of team gold would increase the lead six minutes later to make the score 7-3. With just under ten minutes left in the period team purple would battle back with the Inferno’s Zoe Hickel getting her first goal of the All-Star game, making it a 7-4 game. With only 2:20 left in the third period Bunton beat Rigsby for her second goal of the game giving team gold a four-goal lead. The final score was 8-4 in favour of team gold.
The Inferno are back in action at home on Tuesday against the Shenzen KRS Vanke Rays. The Shenzen KRS Vanke Rays are currently in third place in league standings with 11 wins and nine losses. Before the All-Star break the Vanke Rays had a split weekend in Montreal, winning Saturday’s game in a shoot-out and losing Sunday’s game 4-0. The Vanke Rays are hoping to move up in the standings with a win against the Inferno. Alexandra Carpenter of the Vanke Rays is in the top five for points this season with 25 points in 21 games played.
As for the Inferno, Rebecca Johnston is in third for leading points this season with 30 points in 20 games played. The team sits in top spot with 33 points from 16 wins and three losses, only two point ahead of the second please Montreal Les Canadiennes.
Puck drop is Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. at Crowchild Twin Arenas in Calgary. Tickets are available at the door or online, https://www.showpass.com/o/calgary-inferno/