Toronto Furies, Brampton Thunder split series; Calgary Inferno burn Boston Blades in weekend action

Nicco Cardarelli (left) and Sasky Stewart rocking their Halloween costumes while announcing Saturday night's game between the Toronto Furies and the Brampton Thunder. (CWHL/YouTube)

Nicco Cardarelli (left) and Sasky Stewart rocking their Halloween costumes while announcing Saturday night’s game between the Toronto Furies and the Brampton Thunder. (CWHL/YouTube)

By Hunter Crowther (@HunterCrowther

The two GTA-based Canadian Women’s Hockey League teams split their home-and-home series, while the reigning Clarkson Cup champions took two games in Boston during the Oct. 29-30 weekend.

Furies, Thunder beat each other in road shutouts

LIVE: #BRAvsTOR on #CWHLLive. 📺: link in bio

A photo posted by Canadian Women’s Hockey League (@thecwhl) on

The Brampton Thunder and Toronto Furies faced off for the first time in the 2016-17 season this weekend. The first of their two games was Saturday night at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, Ont.

Toronto skated with Brampton for much of the first frame, but the Thunder outshot the Furies 15-4 in the 2nd, opening the scoring with a Sarah Edney goal from the point at 3:01 into the period.

Then after Toronto defender Shannon Moulson’s double-minor carried into the 3rd period, Thunder forward Rebecca Vint grabs a loose puck and squeaks it past Furies goaltender Sonja van der Bliek to make it 2-0 Brampton.

The Furies created scoring chances towards the end of the 3rd period, but Brampton dominated possession, outshooting Toronto 38-18. The Saturday night thriller ended with Brampton’s first win of the regular season.

Thunder goalie Liz Knox made 18 saves for the shutout.

The standout performer from Saturday night’s game was van der Bliek, who played with Brampton for several years before joining Toronto last season. She made 36 saves and kept an overmatched Furies lineup competitive.

Sunday was a much different story. Both teams went back to Brampton for an early afternoon matchup at the Memorial arena.

Toronto took full advantage of Brampton’s tired legs on the blue line and starting goalie’s Erica Howe absence (4 Nations).

An undisciplined 1st period, which saw 26 penalty minutes handed out, benefited the Furies with power play goals from Julie Allen and Michela Cava.

Carolyne Prevost scored her third goal of the season just under four minutes into the second frame. Then Toronto halted any hope of a comeback with 3rd period goals from Carlee Campbell and Emily Fulton, giving the Furies a 5-0 win.

Campbell’s goal was the first of her CWHL career.

Both Cava and Campbell finished with a goal and two assists, while goaltender Christina Kessler had 20 saves for the shutout.

West joins 100 games club

Furies head coach Sommer West coached her 100th game Saturday night, joining an elite list of bench bosses who have reached the centennial mark (Pat Cocklin – 139, Patrick Rankine – 100).

Calgary travels to Boston, break Blades

High five ✋ it’s almost the weekend!

A photo posted by Canadian Women’s Hockey League (@thecwhl) on

The Inferno travelled to Boston to face the Blades in a two-game series. Despite missing two lines worth of forwards, both goaltenders and a defender, Calgary dominated every facet of the two games, outscoring Boston 14-3 in the two games.

On Saturday, dressing only 15 skaters, the Inferno outshot the Blades 62-21, beating Boston 8-0. After a scoreless 1st period, Calgary put four on the board in the 2nd and 3rd, including a three-point performance from Brittany Esposito (2G, 1A) and two goals from Jill Saulnier.

After the Saturday night slugfest, the two teams wasted no time in meeting again, this time at 9:30 a.m. EST Sunday morning. But whatever time the puck was to be dropped didn’t change what the result would be.

Forward Jenna Cunningham opened the scoring with her second goal of the year at the 16:00 mark of the 1st period. Defenders Hayleigh Cudmore and Kaitlyn Gosling both scored power play goals in the 2nd to make it 3-0.

Boston made it interesting in the final frame. 2016 1st overall pick Kayla Tutino scored 40 seconds in, then forward Dakota Woodworth potted her first of the year only a few minutes later to make it 3-2.

Saulnier scored 50 seconds later to increase the lead to two, then forward Casey Pickett’s first of the year cut that deficit to 4-3. Again, Saulnier snuffed any hope of a comeback with an unassisted snipe, her sixth of the year. Esposito added one just over a minute later, helping Calgary to a 6-3 win.

League will take week off, returns Nov. 12-13 weekend

The CWHL will have its own bye-week for the Nov. 5-6 weekend, and will return to action the following Saturday.

Montreal is coming off a bye-week and will host Boston for a two-game set, while Toronto flies out to Calgary to take on the Inferno.

Brampton gets the bye next week.

League stars absent for 4 Nations Cup

With the 2016 4 Nations Cup taking place in Vierumaki, Finland, 21 of the CWHL’s best players were missing from this weekend’s action.

Three goaltenders, seven defenders and 14 forwards from all five CWHL teams will represent all but three of the 24 players dressing for Team Canada.

They include:

  • Boston Blades
    • D Tara Watchorn
  • Brampton Thunder
    • G Erica Howe
    • D Jocelyne Larocque
    • D Laura Fortino
    • D Courtney Birchard
    • F Jamie Lee Rattray
    • F Laura Stacey
  • Calgary Inferno
    • G Emerance Maschmeyer
    • G Genevieve Lacasse
    • D Brigette Lacquette
    • F Rebecca Johnston
    • F Bailey Bram
    • F Brianne Jenner
    • F Haley Irwin
    • F Jessica Campbell
    • F Sarah Davis
  • Les Canadiennes de Montreal 
    • F Marie-Philip Poulin
  • Toronto Furies 
    • D Erin Ambrose
    • D Renata Fast
    • F Jenelle Kohanchuk
    • F Natalie Spooner

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