Calgary, Alta (Mar.1)– The Calgary Inferno are excited to announce the return of Brianne Jenner and Blayre Turnbull to the roster after their Olympic silver medal appearance. The two will join the Inferno forwards in the midst of a tight five-team battle for four playoff spots. Calgary currently sits in second place in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, three points behind Les Canadiennes de Montreal.
“I’m really excited to rejoin the Inferno. The club has been my home for the past two years and I’m excited to finish out the season with them,” remarked Jenner. “I know the team has had a great season so far and I hope I can help contribute to continued success as we head into the final regular season weekends and playoffs.”
With just four games remaining in the regular season for the Calgary Inferno, the team will find themselves out east for the remainder of their contests. They first pay a visit to Markham to battle the Thunder this coming weekend and then their final two games will take place in Montreal against the top-seeded Les Canadiennes.
Only five points separate the top three teams in the league with Montreal leading the pack with 20 wins, good enough for 41 points. Calgary is one point ahead of the Kunlun Red Star with 38 points. Markham currently holds the fourth and final playoff spot, despite being tied with the Vanke Rays with 27 points, as they have one game in hand.
“The best thing for an athlete is to surround themselves with excellence, greatness and character. We believe, we are just doing that by welcoming our two Olympians back to their home team,” remarked head coach Tomas Pacina. “For them to be back playing one week after they lost a heartbreaking Olympic final speaks volumes of who they are as people. It fits perfectly with the Inferno philosophy, which is, it is not what happens to us but how we respond that determines the course of our lives.”
The Inferno are on a four-game winning streak and this weekend’s matchup against the Thunder and their minus six goal differential bodes well for Calgary, who has scored the second most goals in the league (92).
With their loaded offense, the Inferno will look to veteran forward Brittany Esposito and super sophomore Iya Gavrilova, who lead the team in goals (16) and assists (17), respectively. Esposito averages over one point per game, while Gavrilova has registered 11 points in her last seven games. Defenseman Katelyn Gosling has been red-hot in her last six games, scoring three goals and pouring in 10 points. Between the pipes, the Inferno could go with either Delayne Brian or rookie Lindsey Post. Both netminders have recorded seven wins and a goals-against average of just over 2.00.
The Markham Thunder will look to Jamie Lee Rattray and Kristen Richards as they try to keep pace with the league’s second highest scoring team. Rattray leads the Thunder in nearly every offensive category including goals (18), assists (12), points (30) and powerplay points (5). Meanwhile, Richards has been instrumental on special teams, notching three goals and four points with the man advantage. In goal, the Thunder could potentially rotate between Erica Howe and Liz Knox. Howe has started three more games and boasts more wins (6) and shutouts (2).
“I want to thank the Inferno management, coaches and players for being so welcoming and for giving me this opportunity. I’m really looking forward to getting to know those I haven’t played with before and hopefully making a run for the cup,” added Jenner.
Saturday March 3 @ 7:30pm EST
Sunday March 4 @ 12:30pm EST
Both games will take place at the Thornhill Community Centre in Markham.