CALGARY, Alta – Jan. 22 – With the full squad back after the CWHL All-Star break, the Inferno faced off against the Shenzen KRS Vanke Rays in Calgary on Tuesday night. The Chinese team was on their way home to China after a month-long road trip.
“It was great to play with some new players from across the league and we had a great crowd and the coaches were a lot of fun,” remarked Blayre Turnbull on the weekend’s All-Star Game. “We had a quick turnaround, but had a nice pre-game skate this morning and the legs don’t feel as bad as I thought.”
In the starting period Stephanie Anderson scored first for the Rays, assisted by Michelle Ng. The Inferno then killed one penalty with Katelyn Gosling in the box for hooking. Calgary’s Brianna Decker answered five minutes later on a two on one shot top corner past Kimberly Newell in net from Halli Kryzaniak and Brigette Lacquette. KRS scored with five minutes left in the period past Inferno’s netminder Alex Rigsby just back from the All-Star Game in Toronto on Sunday. Calgary would kill off one more penalty by Blayre Turnbull for body checking before the end of the period. Shots at the end of the first were 13-6 for Calgary.
“We need to play physical against them, they’re really good on the transition,” remarked Blayre Turnbull on Vanke’s play.
The second period was full of penalties. The Rays took four penalties and killed off three successfully. The Inferno scored four minutes into the second on a powerplay goal. Zoey Hickel buried one with assists from Rebecca Johnston and Kacey Bellamy. Less than thirty seconds later Brianne Jenner scored on a pass from Rebecca Leslie. The Inferno then killed off Bellamy’s hooking penalty. With six minutes left in the period Leslie scored, assisted by Louise Warren and Kelly Murray. The period ended with a score of 4-2 for the Inferno and shots at 27-13.
Calgary took three penalties in the third and killed them all off. Despite the Ray’s ongoing attempts to get more goals past Alex Rigsby, she stood strong in net and kept her team in the game. With two minutes left in the game Bellamy scored an empty net goal assisted by Hickel and Johnston. Calgary finished the game with five points to Shenzen’s two and shots on net were 40-20 for the home team.
Three stars of the game:
- Rebecca Leslie, Calgary Inferno
- Zoe Hickel, Calgary Inferno
- Hannah Miller, Shenzen KRS Vanke Rays
The first place Inferno have the weekend off before heading to Montreal on February 2 and 3 to play against Montreal Les Canadiennes, currently sitting second in the standings.