Inferno Spoil Les Canadiennes’ Party

Calgary Score Three Unanswered Goals to Defeat Montreal 5-4 in Overtime

The Calgary Inferno ruined Les Canadiennes’ party with a 5-4 comeback win. Courtesy Celine Gelinas - CWHL

It was billed as a battle between the top two teams in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, featuring 15 league all-stars and multiple Olympians. The spectacle on the ice did not disappoint.

Calgary’s Brianne Jenner scored both the game-tying goal and the game-winning marker at the 2:41 mark of overtime to give the Inferno a 5-4 come-from-behind win over Les Canadiennes Saturday night at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.

“There was a lot of traffic in front of the net,” said Inferno captain Brianne Jenner. “I saw a hole and was able to pick it.”

Montreal led 3-1 after one frame and 4-3 through two periods, but ultimately could not withstand the fire imposed by the Inferno.

“We were behind and it took a lot for our team to make sure that we focus on the little things and get pucks to the net,” said Inferno forward Rebecca Johnston.

The game-tying goal came just over 12 minutes into the final period. Jenner found a loose puck in the crease that she was able to bury from in tight.

Jill Saulnier and Russian Iya Gavrilova picked up helpers on the fourth tally scored on Canadiennes goaltender Catherine Herron, replacing injured starter Charline Labonte.

Les Canadiennes, however, got off to a strong start. After defenceman Katelyn Gosling opened the scoring for the Inferno at the midway point of the first, Montreal responded in style, scoring three goals in a span of four-and-a-half minutes before the first period was up.

Noemie Marin scored her sixth of the season on the power play, accepting a nice cross pass from Caroline Ouellette on the doorstep to knot the game up at one. Ann-Sophie Bettez caught a lucky break while her team was shorthanded.

Confusion between Inferno netminder Genevieve Lacasse and an Inferno defender led Lacasse to mishandle the puck. Bettez took advantage and raced in alone to score into an abandoned cage.

Ouellette would score her 14th of the season on the power play, recovering a loose puck in the slot to beat Lacasse at 18:29 of the first.

Les Canadiennes’ momentum seemed to dissipate in the second period as Calgary spent long stretches in the offensive zone. The sustained pressure ultimately led to a goal by Jessica Campbell, who made no mistake on a clean shot past Herron.

Although Lauriane Rougeau did give Montreal another two-goal cushion shortly thereafter on the power-play, it would only last 1:27. Johnston managed to get her shot through traffic and in to bring the game within one after two periods.

“In the first period, we were a little flat,” said Johnston. “We did the right things starting in the second period and it kind of turned around for us.”

“Any time you have the lead, you want to preserve it,” said Canadiennes captain Marie-Philip Poulin. “We knew they were going to come back hard. Twenty minutes is a really long time. They played very well.”

With the win, the Inferno increased their lead to four points over Montreal atop the CWHL standings. Both teams will meet up three more times before season’s end, including a Sunday matinee at the Civic Centre in Dollard des Ormeaux.

“These games are great,” said Johnston. “It’s a great rivalry. It’s always really close and it can go either way.”

“We are the two top teams and the games against each other are the most important ones,” said Bettez. “We got to be able to get the two points tomorrow.”