If any team proved their depth this past weekend, it was the Calgary Inferno. With Four Nations requiring some players to compete in Finland, the Inferno were facing the Boston Blades for two games on Halloween weekend down a substantial number of key players. But it was like their teammates’ absences didn’t even phase the Inferno.
The defending Clarkson Cup champions faced off in two dominant games against the Boston Blades. Last weekend’s blockbuster games showcased the depth the Inferno have that could very well carry them to the another Clarkson Cup win.
- Eight players were missing from the Inferno, which was the most players missing by any team in the CWHL. The eight players at Four Nations were: Geneviéve Lacasse, Emerance Maschmeyer, Bailey Bram, Jessica Campbell, Sarah Davis, Haley Irwin, Brianne Jenner, and Rebecca Johnston. That’s two goalies and six forwards, including their captain.
- Just on paper, the Calgary Inferno arguably have the best goalie depth in the entire league, but that’s just on paper. This past weekend it was proven. With two goaltenders, Lacasse and Maschmeyer, at Four Nations, a lot of pressure was put onto the shoulders of Delayne Briane. But she withstood the pressure beautifully, having a 21 save shutout against Boston in the first game and only allowed two even-strength goals in the second game.
- The Inferno’s first game against the Boston Blades on Oct. 29 marked the highest scoring game, not just for the Inferno, but for the league. Calgary’s eight goals came from six different players.
- One of those players was Iya Gavrilova, who made her season debut against the Blades. In her debut she stepped up her game and scored a goal and notched an assist for a total of three points over the weekend.
- Another player who stepped up and showed depth when Calgary needed it the most was Brittany Esposito. In Calgary’s two games against the Blades, Esposito posted three goals and one assist for a total of four points in the two games. Her three goals also put her tied for third place in the league for most goals so far.
- Perhaps the most stand-out player on Calgary, not only in the absence of the Four Nations players, but this season as a whole, is Jillian Saulnier. In the Inferno’s two games last weekend, Saulnier registered two goals in each game and had a total of five points.
- With her performance last weekend, Saulnier is now in a three-way tie with Toronto’s Natalie Spooner and Montreal’s Marie-Philip Poulin for first place in the league in points with seven, and is the league’s leading goal scorer with six goals. /