The CWHL season is fully underway, and it features a much different makeup than in years past. Some noteable players have retired, others are with the Canadian national team in this Olympic year and, of course, the league now has two additional teams.
The newly relocated Markham Thunder lead the league with six points, while last year's Clarkson Cup Final teams, Calgary and Les Canadiennes, are tied for second. Markham's Jamie Lee Rattray leads the league with four points.
Boston vs. Calgary
The Inferno swept the Blades, winning 3-1 and then 5-2. The opening contest featured two goals from Calgary in the second period, but Boston's Kate Leary split the deficit in half. Calgary tacked on the insurance goal with 38 seconds left in the game. Delayne Brian made 10 saves in the win, while Lauren Dahm kept out 42 shots.
On Sunday, Boston struck first. Iya Gavrilova tied it in the second, but Meghan Grieves gave Boston the lead in the third period. It was all Calgary from there, as the Inferno rattled off four goals to claim the win. Toni Ross made eight saves for the win. Dahm made nine saves on 13 shots and Jetta Rackleff stopped 31 of 32 pucks for the Blades.
Markham vs. Kunlun
Kunlun scored first, with Kelly Stack potting a goal in the opening frame. Jamie Lee Rattray tied the game in the second and added an insurance goal in the third. Noora Raty made 33 saves and Liz Knox made 37.
The next day Markham scored twice in the first thanks to Taylor Woods and Jamie Lee Rattray. Rattray, for the second day in a row, added the insurance goal. Raty made 37 saves while Erica Howe made 41 for the shutout.
Three Up, Three Down
↑ Olympic season: The historic USA-Canada rivalry picked right back up with a friendly in Boston this week. There were some familiar faces and a familiar result, as Canada won. The Olympics are fast approaching...
↑ Jamie Lee Rattray: The league's leading scorer netted two goals in each game this weekend.
↑ Markham's goaltending: Markham almost shut out Kunlin on the weekend, allowing just one goal total. Erica Howe stopped 41 pucks in a shutout while Liz Knox made 37 saves on 38 shots.
↓ Boston's defense: The Blades aren't letting in any more goals than normal, but they're still giving up a lot of shots on net.
↓ Kunlun's finishing touch: It's not that Kunlun doesn't have offense, as the team did send 79 shots on net over the weekend, but the team just failed to put the puck in the back of the net.
↓ Familiar faces: Because it's an Olympic year, the CWHL is missing some of its marquee faces. They're also missing several stalwart players like Tara Watchorn and Chrarline Labonte, who announced their retirements this offseason.
Coming up Next
Calgary Inferno vs. Kunlun Red Star: October 28 at 4:15 PM (Mountain Time); October 29 at 12:30 PM (Mountain Time) at Max Bell 2 and WinSport Arena A
Toronto Furies vs. Vanke Rays: October 28 at 7 PM (Eastern Time); October 29 at 1 PM (Eastern Time) at MasterCard Center - Rink 1
Markham vs. Les Canadiennes: October 28 at 7:30 PM (Eastern Time); October 29 at 12:30 PM (Eastern Time) at Thornhill Community Center
(Photo credit: Kunlun Red Star/Twitter)