The National Women's Hockey League continues its offseason with numerous player signings, its first international draft and several front office moves. In case you've missed anything over the last few weeks, let's take a look at what's happened in the league.
Retuning from the All-Star break, the Calgary Inferno defeated the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays, while the Markham Thunder and Les Canadiennes de Montréal split their series. The Toronto Furies also began their three-game series in Shenzhen, which will be covered in next week's recap.
Around the League
- Elaine Chuli was named Goalie of the Week for January 12-13.
- 29 CWHL players were named to the Canadian and U.S. rosters for the upcoming Rivalry Series in February, including Ann-Sophie Bettez, Brittany Howard, and Rebecca Leslie, who will make their senior debuts with Team Canada.
- Brianna Decker, Renata Fast, and Rebecca Johnston were invited to represent USA Hockey and Hockey Canada by demonstrating drills at the NHL All-Star Skills Challenge, where Decker beat every single time to unofficially win the Premier Passing competition (for which she received no formal credit, no television airtime, and no prize money from the NHL); the league later claimed to have reviewed and timed her run at about 1:12 or 1:13 but has yet to release video evidence.
- The Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays announced that head coach Bob Deraney will be replaced by assistant Mike LaZazzera; Deraney will continue in a role centred on the development of Chinese players in North America.
Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays vs. Calgary Inferno
Calgary outshot its guests 40-26 en route to a 5-2 win after a quick turn-around on Tuesday.
Stephanie Anderson opened the scoring for Shenzhen 8:34 into the contest. Brianna Decker tied it up at 13:03, but Hannah Miller responded two minutes later to put the Rays back ahead.
Zoe Hickel evened it up once again with a power-play marker 3:24 into the second, and Brianne Jenner gave the Inferno their first lead a mere 34 seconds later. Rebecca Leslie then made it 4-2 at 14:02 of the period.
Kacey Bellamy rounded out the night with an empty-netter with 2:10 left.
Calgary was 1-for-4 on the power play and killed off all six penalties.
Alex Rigsby turned away 24 of 26 shots, while Kimberly Newell stopped 35 of 39 in 58:30.
Les Canadiennes de Montréal vs. Markham Thunder
Goaltender Erica Howe made 46 saves and led Markham to a 2-1 win over Montreal on Saturday in the Thunder's annual You Can Play game.
Les Canadiennes outshot Markham 18-6 in the opening period, but it was Victoria Bach who got the only goal, burying a rebound at 8:01.
Bach added another six minutes into the second, going top shelf from the slot while on the power play. Erin Ambrose got one back for Montreal when a shot from the circle bounced off the post (and possibly some players) and into the net at 15:40.
Play barely left the Markham zone in the third as Les Canadiennes fired 17 shots, but Howe and her defense were equal to the task. By the end of the game, half the Thunder skaters were sprawled on the ice after blocking consecutive shots from Marie-Philip Poulin at close range as she made a desperate bid to force overtime in the dying seconds.
The Thunder were 1-for-4 on the power play and perfect on three penalty kills.
Emerance Maschmeyer stopped 20 of 22 shots.
Jill Saulnier scored four goals and added an assist as Montreal got its revenge with a 6-2 win in Bowmanville, Ontario on Sunday.
Karell Emard got things started just 3:38 into the game, beating Liz Knox five-hole. Not two minutes later, Saulnier netted her first of the evening.
Poulin made it 3-0 with a deflection early in the second, and Saulnier tapped in a loose puck five minutes after that, leading the Thunder to swap Knox with Howe just before the midway point.
Laura Stacey got Markham on the board at 3:29 of the third, beating goaltender Geneviève Lacasse to a loose puck in front. Saulnier earned her hat trick at 12:53, but Bach replied just 57 seconds later. Saulnier then tallied her fourth to round out the game with 30 seconds remaining.
Montreal was 0-for-1 with the extra attacker and perfect on two kills.
Lacasse made 24 saves on 26 shots. Knox stopped 13 of 17 shots through 29:03, while Howe turned away 20 of 22 in relief.
Coming Up Next
- Toronto Furies vs. Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays -- January 31 at 7:30 PM China Standard at Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center (streamed); February 2 at 2:30 PM China Standard at Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center (streamed)
- Calgary Inferno vs. Les Canadiennes de Montréal -- February 2 at 5:00 PM Eastern at Complexe sportif Bell (streamed); February 3 at 1:30 PM Eastern at Complexe sportif Bell
- Markham Thunder vs. Worcester Blades -- February 2 at 8:00 PM Eastern at Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center (streamed); February 3 at 12:30 PM Eastern at Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center (streamed)
(Photo credit: Dave Holland/CWHL)
Filed under: cwhl; shenzhen krs vanke rays; calgary inferno; les canadiennes de montreal; markham thunder
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