Behind the Glass: Casorso goes out swinging

Casorso finishes her pro career with a scrap and Bettez’s point streak comes to an end

It’s time for another installment of Behind the Glass — the Ice Garden’s weekly column collecting stories, stats, trends, and observations from the world of professional women’s hockey.

  • Kelly Babstock has four points — including her first two goals of the season — in her last two games. Babstock had only three points in her first nine games with the Buffalo Beauts this season. It’s still early, but it looks like she has finally snapped out of her funk.
  • There were seven goals scored in the first period of Jan. 12’s game between the Boston Pride and the Minnesota Whitecaps. The Pride scored five of those seven goals. That is as many first period goals as the Connecticut Whale have scored in 10 games this year.
  • Sarah Casorso played one last game on Saturday before retirement. She ended her three-year NWHL career with a fight against Madison Packer that resulted in her receiving a game misconduct. “Packer and I, we have a bit of history,” Casorso told Melissa Burgess of the Victory Press after the game. “There had been some friendly exchanges already in the game and I think that was just a bit of a boiling point.”
  • Before her retirement, Casorso was the last active player in the NWHL who played U Sports hockey. With her and Sarah Edney calling it a career, there are now nine active Canadian players in the NWHL. It’s also worth mentioning that the Beauts have just six players with experience playing defense on their 20-woman roster.
  • Thanks to her scrap with Casorso, Packer now leads the NWHL with 29 PIM and is third all-time with 85 PIM in 57 GP. The 29 PIM she has this season is a new single-season high for the four-year veteran./
  • The Whale’s 4-1 loss against the Whitecaps was the fifth time this season they’ve scored one or zero goals in a game. Michelle Löwenhielm was Connecticut’s lone goal scorer on Sunday. She’s now one of five players on the Whale with two or more goals this season. The Riveters only have four players with two or more goals this year.
  • Over the last week, the signings of Laura Brennan and Colleen Murphy by the Connecticut Whale have been confirmed. Also confirmed are the releases of Randi Griffin, Sam Donovan,  and Sam Walther. The Whale now have 22/25 roster spots open and have just two goaltenders signed.
  • Brennan, 34, will keep her role as goaltending coach of the Whale. Connecticut now has two player-coaches in Brennan and Cydney Roesler. /
  • It finally happened. Ann-Sophie Bettez’s 12-game point streak came to an end on Jan. 13 against the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays. She amassed 13 goals and 15 assists during that amazing scoring streak. Those 28 points would have been good enough for Bettez to finish eighth in scoring last season.
  • Hailey Salvian of The Athletic gave us a closer look at what a road trip is like for a CWHL team. As it turns out, the Toronto Furies have a policy that only coaches and veterans get to enjoy the luxury of having an empty seat next to them on the team bus. It also looks like rookies have the unenviable task of cleaning the team bus after a road trip.
  • On Sunday, the Furies became the first team to defeat the Calgary Inferno twice in regulation this season. Their 3-0 victory also marked the first time the Inferno have been shutout in 2018-19. Elaine Chuli stopped all 29 shots she faced to earn her first shutout as a member of the Furies. She had four shutouts last year with the Vanke Rays.
  • Jordan Hampton returned to the Furies’ lineup last weekend for the first time since Oct. 20, 2018. She was out of Toronto’s lineup due to a nasty wrist injury which required surgery and physical rehabilitation. Prior to her injury, Hampton had already matched her point total from her rookie season in the first four games of 2018-19./
  • After playing 19 consecutive CWHL regular season games without scoring a goal, Renata Fast potted two goals in two games against the Calgary Inferno last weekend. The 2018 Olympic silver medalist now has six goals and nine assists in her CWHL career with the Furies.
  • Geneviève Lacasse earned an 18-save shutout on Sunday against the KRS Vanke Rays. It was her first start with Les Canadiennes de Montréal and the sixth shutout of her career. Les Canadiennes are now the only team in the league that has three goalies who have earned a shutout this year.
  • As it turns out, it’s been just shy of one year since a goaltender other than Emerance Maschmeyer has allowed a goal for Montréal. That goaltender was Catherine Herron, who allowed two goals on four shots in her start against the Furies on Jan. 21, 2018 (stick taps to Jared Book).
  • Xin Fang, who scored five goals last season for the Vanke Rays, is still searching for her first goal of the 2018-19 season with the KRS Vanke Rays. Minghui Kong, who leads all active native-Chinese players in scoring at the Division 1-B World Championships, has one goal and one assist in 21 games this season for Shenzhen.
  • Luleå HF/MSSK have won five-consecutive games to climb up to first place in the SDHL standings. Luleå has lost just twice in regulation since Oct. 7. /
  • Alba Gonzalo of HV71 has the third-most amount of losses in the SDHL, but her .925 Sv% is among the best in the league. The best saving percentage for a goalie with a losing record last year in the SDHL was Sarah Grahn’s .919 for Brynäs.
  • North Americans Tatiana Rafter and Hayley Williams both scored goals for Team West at the 2019 ZhHL All-Star Game on Jan. 13. But the star of the game was their SK Gorny teammate Fanuza Kadirova. Kadirova, 20, had a goal and a primary assist on Sunday to lead all All-Stars in scoring. Team West defeated Team East by a score of 4-2.
  • Caitlin Reilly, who graduated from the University of Minnesota last season with 26 points in 37 games, is the highest-scoring American in the EWHL. Reilly has 18 goals and 11 assists in 10 games this season for EHV Sabres Wien. She’s currently third in the EWHL and second on the Sabres in scoring./

Behind the Glass: No one can stop Poulin and Bettez