Red Deer, Alta – Dec. 14, 2018 – The Inferno participated in the inaugural Female Hockey Day hosted by Hockey Alberta and 600 fans came out to watch the game against Toronto. Unfortunately, the Inferno couldn’t get more than one goal past Toronto’s goalie Shea Tiley and lost to the visitors 4-1.
160 players from novice to midget participated and the Inferno mentored players at skill sessions on and off the ice throughout the day. Fundraisers at the game included a chuck-a-puck and silent auction and proceeds went toward the Hockey Alberta Foundation – Every Kid, Every Community to support youth to play hockey.
Nora and Val, a player and coach from the Red Deer Golden Knights Hockey Team were present to drop the puck.
“It was great to give the girls that interaction to have some positive role models in sport,” commented Kendall Newell, Hockey Alberta’s Manager, Female Hockey on the minor hockey players’ day. “It’s been our strategic plan for the past couple years to really focus on the growth and development of female hockey so events like this just give us the opportunity to showcase the caliber of women’s hockey, whether it’s the CWHL or USport or the other opportunities available for the girls.”
To start the game, Toronto took the first penalty 28 seconds in, on a tripping call on Emma Greco. Calgary got off to a slow start with a penalty one minute later when Rebecca Leslie took a boarding penalty. Three minutes later Rebecca Johnston was in the box for body contact. Toronto’s Shannon Darkangelo scored on a pass from Mackenzie Macneil and Brittany Howard. Six minutes into the period Halli Krzyzaniak took a hooking penalty and Toronto went on the powerplay again. Sarah Nurse took advantage and scored for Toronto, assisted by Renata Fast and Natalie Spooner. Calgary got one goal back before the end of the period when Kacey Bellamy scored from Johnston and Katelyn Gosling. The period ended 2-1 for Toronto and shots were 12-7 for Calgary.
The second period, by contrast to the first, was uneventful. No goals and no penalties for either team. The Inferno sent a few more shots toward the net and Toronto’s Shea Tiley saved 11 more shots from the Inferno and Toronto shot six on Belanger.
The majority of the third period was uneventful and despite Calgary’s two powerplays on a too many men call and delay of game call against Toronto, they couldn’t even the score. With four minutes left Natalie Spooner scored on a two on one break assisted by Renata Fast. Jessie Velia scored an empty net goal to end the game 4-1 for her team. Shots on goal were 36 to 22 for Calgary.
“It was cool to be a part of this because the girls were so grateful that we could be here. We can feel the energy and vibe from the crowd at a smaller rink like this,” commented forward Kelty Apperson on the day. “It’s tough when you have a bad start in the first seven minutes and then spend the rest of the game trying to get back into it. We need a stronger start tomorrow and the first five minutes are crucial in every game and you want to be the team on top.”
Three stars of the game:
- Natalie Spooner, Toronto Furies
- Renata Fast, Toronto Furies
- Kacey Bellamy, Calgary Inferno
In less than 12 hours the teams will be back for Sunday’s contest in Calgary at WinSport’s Joan Snyder Arena at 10:30 a.m.