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Montréal and Calgary to face off in Clarkson Cup final

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This is the third time the two teams will meet in the finals

Laine Schuck

The 2019 Clarkson Cup finals are set!

The first seed Calgary Inferno and the second seed Les Canadiennes de Montréal will face off on March 24 at the Coca-Cola Coliseum, home of the Toronto Marlies (AHL). Puck drop is at noon EST.

Both teams needed all three games of their semifinal series to advance.

Montréal’s path

Montréal played all series without their captain Marie-Philip Poulin, who was out due to an injury sustained in the last regular-season game. A few of their players also were playing on new skates after a car with equipment in it was stolen.

Montréal shut out the Markham Thunder in Game One. Mélodie Daoust, Catherine Daoust, and Hilary Knight scored, while Emerance Maschmeyer made 33 saves. Two of the three goals came on the power play as the Thunder had trouble staying out of the box. Jenna McParland was called for a 10-minute head contact misconduct in the first period.

In Game Two, McParland scored a natural hat trick before the second half of the second period, scoring two in the first and one in the second. Knight had some feelings about that — she came right back to score a goal. Ella Matteucci scored on her second of the season to extend the lead. Knight wasn’t done, though: she scored in the waning minutes of the third and also had the primary assist on Karell Emard’s late third period goal. But it wasn’t enough as Markham would hang on to win, 4-3.

In the final game, Montréal depth seemed to overwhelm Markham. Each of their five goals came from a different player, with M. Daoust, Jill Sauliner, Lauriane Rougeau, Hilary Knight, and Tracy-Ann Lavigne scoring. Maschmeyer only saw 17 shots all game.

Calgary’s path

Toronto’s Shea Tiley is the one who came out hot in game one as she made 33 saves on 34 shots. Natalie Spooner had a hand in every goal for the Furies as well, with two goals and one assist, doing what a captain should do. Inferno’s goaltender Alex Risgby only saw 18 shots, giving her a not-so-great save percentage of .833.

Calgary turned up the heat in Game Two, coming away with a 3-0 win to force Game Three. They piled on 42 shots, including 20 in the third period alone. All three goals were scored in the second period off the sticks of Rebecca Johnston, Blayre Turnbull, and Brianne Jenner.

For Game Three, the Furies went with Eleni Chuli in net, and she saw an onslaught of 35 shots from the Inferno. Brianna Decker’s late first-period goal seemed to add some fire into the game. Carolyn Prevost scored the lone goal for the Furies, and Calgary responded with two unanswered goals by Jenner and Decker before an empty net goal by Kacey Bellamy secured the win — and a trip to the finals.