The National Women's Hockey League is currently in its offseason following its sixth year of play, but things have been anything but normal over the past few weeks. A lot has transpired recently, and it appears as though this could be the tip of the iceberg.
Only two games were played this past weekend, with Les Canadiennes de Montréal defeating the Toronto Furies and the Calgary Inferno shutting out the Worcester Blades.
Around the League
- Elijah Milne-Price was named Goalie of the Week for February 2-3.
- The Markham Thunder will host their annual Do It For Daron game on February 17; they are auctioning off game-worn purple jerseys (as well as other items) with proceeds going to DIFD at the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health and those who cannot be in attendance on Sunday can pre-submit bids via Facebook.
Toronto Furies vs. Les Canadiennes de Montréal
Kim Deschênes had a goal and an assist on Saturday as Montreal defeated Toronto 4-1.
Les Canadiennes were missing defenders Catherine Daoust and Marie-Joëlle Allard, who were out with minor injuries as a preventative measure but are expected to be back next week. The Furies, meanwhile, saw 2018 draft pick Emma Pearson make her debut on the blue line after undergoing ACL surgery during the summer.
Montreal's pairings were rotated throughout the game as a result of the absences, and although many players stepped up into bigger roles, all three of the team's penalties were to defenders. Associate head coach Danièle Sauvageau emphasized defensive discipline as an area that still needs work.
"We were in PK often -- not necessarily often, but because of our D," she noted. "So that's another thing that we need to juggle with."
Ann-Sophie Bettez opened the scoring at 3:27, tapping in a pass from Jill Saulnier.
Poulin scored from the circle with 29 seconds left in the middle period, and although the net appeared to be off its moorings, the goal stood.
Just past the midway point of the third, Deschênes flipped a half-hearted shot on net while buying time on the penalty kill, and the puck bounced off Elaine Chuli's glove and in. Natalie Spooner got the Furies back in it with a shorthanded effort of her own at 16:40, but Karell Emard replied with a power play goal just 25 seconds later to secure Montreal's win.
"Today was a really important game for us, coming off of last weekend against Calgary -- a really fast-paced weekend," said Emerance Maschmeyer. "We had to continue that going into this weekend, especially because we had one game, and sometimes our first game tends to start a little slow. The important thing for us today was to make sure that we got a good 60 minutes in. I think there were times where we still could've done a little bit better with energy and that, but getting this win this weekend and having that going forward is super important because there's only a few games left."
Les Canadiennes were 1-for-3 on the power play and killed off all three penalties.
Maschmeyer saved 25 of 26 shots, while Chuli blocked 28 of 32.
With seven players, including both Maschmeyer and Geneviève Lacasse, joining their national teams for the Canada-USA Rivalry Series, Montreal will be recalling forward Kayla Tutino as well as fourth goaltender Maude Nicol to face Worcester next weekend.
Worcester Blades vs. Calgary Inferno
Saturday's game between the Inferno and Blades was suspended due to a flight cancellation in Boston, and the league opted to make Sunday's contest a four-point affair.
Seven Calgary players recorded multi-point games and 17 made it onto the scoresheet as the Inferno blanked Worcester 10-0 on Sunday.
Dakota Woodworth knocked in a rebound 2:41 in, and Brianna Decker scored on a tic-tac-toe passing play with the skater advantage as the period wound down.
Starting netminder Jetta Rackleff, who seemed to have some equipment issues in the first, was replaced by Mariah Fujimagari to begin the second. Brianne Jenner flipped the puck backhand over Fujimagari's pad just 1:06 into the frame, then added another four minutes later. Blayre Turnbull made it 5-0 at 5:52, and Rebecca Leslie beat the goalie 1-on-1, backhand, on a shorthanded breakaway at 7:44. Zoe Hickel then rounded out the period at 16:40.
Calgary tallied three power-play goals in the third period to reach double-digits in scoring. Leslie netted her second marker at 3:17, Turnbull capitalized four seconds into a 5-on-3 at 16:39, and Decker took advantage of the remainder of the second penalty to make it 10-0 a minute later.
The Inferno were 4-for-7 on the power play and killed off eight infractions.
Annie Bélanger turned away 13 shots to earn the shut-out. Rackleff made 14 saves on 16 chances through 20 minutes, while Fujimagari stopped 26 of 24.
Coming Up Next
- Markham Thunder vs. Toronto Furies -- February 16 at 3:45 PM Eastern at MasterCard Center - Rink 1 (streamed)
- Les Canadiennes de Montréal vs. Worcester Blades -- February 16 at 8:40 PM Eastern at Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center (streamed); February 17 at 12:30 PM Eastern at Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center (streamed)
- Toronto Furies vs. Markham Thunder -- February 17 at 12:30 PM Eastern at Thornhill Community Centre (streamed)
(Photo credit: Anne-Marie Pellerin/CWHL)
Filed under: cwhl; Toronto Furies; les canadiennes de montreal; danièle sauvageau; emerance maschmeyer; worcester blades; calgary inferno; ice hockey
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