Markham Thunder Fall 3-1 To Calgary Inferno In Thornhill

On Saturday night, the league-leading Calgary Inferno paid a visit to team-leading point scorer Laura Stacey and the Markham Thunder in Thornhill, Ontario ahead of the 2019 CWHL All-Star Game in Toronto.

Just six days prior on the morning of Monday December 3rd, the league announced their first round of all star selections which includes Laura Stacey alongside star defensemen Jocelyne Larocque.

Tonight, they had a tough task ahead of them while facing all-star selectee and forward Rebecca Johnston who sits third in the league in points with a total of 17 in four games played. Johnston is also tied for the league lead in goals with 8 alongside Markham forward Victoria Bach and Canadiennes forward Ann-Sophie Bettez.

Looking onwards to the start of the first period of play, Markham started strong offensively with a goal scored by Jess Jones, netted just three minutes and nineteen-seconds into the first period of the game.

The lead would hold for another five minutes until the Calgary Inferno picked up the pace with a goal scored by Brianne Jenner at the 13:41 mark of the first period. This would tie the game up at 1 against Markham until the final three minutes of the period where he scored her second goal. This would give Calgary a 2-1 lead the close the period with an assist on the play off the stick of Rebecca Leslie.

After the first twenty minutes of play, it became obvious that Markham’s chemistry was there, playing a great defensive game and helped reduce the number of scoring chances that the Inferno had. Calgary spent lots of time in the offensive zone and it certainly showed on the shot clock, however, Calgary would walk away with 14 shots on goal while Markham on the other hand were reduced to just five shots and a single goal.

Moving onwards to the second period, just minutes before the mid-way point, Markham was given a chance to tie game up at 2 and that would result in a power-play in which nothing would come out of.

Goaltender Erica Howe was forced to make a few solid saves as Calgary continued strong on the offensive side of things while the Thunder were hard at work to keep the puck cleared out of the zone.

After the strong penalty kill, the Thunder started to really turn up the heat with more shots on goal being recorded and a higher level of intensity being had as well. This would result in high quality shots on net and therefore played a more physical game all around.

As the period continued on, the Thunder were put on a penalty, sending Laura Fortino to the box, however, the Thunder were quickly able to kill it off and keep the scoring down to a one goal game.

The Thunder created multiple strong scoring chances which kept the crowd at the edge of their seats. This in mind, if a winner were to be awarded at the end of each period, It would be Markham in the light of their impressive second period play.

In the dying minutes of the second period of play, the Markham Thunder were put on yet another penalty and would go on to finish it off with 1:06 left to play when the third and final frame officially commenced a short time later.

Erica Howe was stellar through the duration of the second period and can be largely accredited with keeping the game within one-goal through forty minutes.

The third period was bound to be a big one as the Calgary Inferno still had a minute and six seconds on the power-play while remaining up on Markham 2-1.

Now looking onto the start of the third period, the Markham Thunder opened up, creating several high danger scoring chances to tie the game, however, at the same time would continue to battle Calgary in their own zone.

Calgary would continue to create plenty of high scoring chances, however, Erica Howe and the team defence would combine to keep them holding steady with the 2-1 lead.

With six minutes remaining in the dying minutes of the third period, Markham found themselves put on the infamous five on three situation, a crucial time late in the game for the Thunder who were looking to tie the game. Meanwhile, it would also remove a pair from the ice on Calgary’s end.

The Thunder would not be able to convert on the five-on-three and shortly after, the Inferno would take the lead with less than five minutes left to play. Zoe Hickel Would be accredited with the goal while Rebecca Johnston was given the assist. This would give Calgary a 3-1 lead over the Markham Thunder with four minutes left to play in the game.

Markham would clear the net with two minutes left to play and when all said and done, Inferno goaltender Alex Rigsby would be largely accredited for keeping her team in the game all 60 minutes.

She let in just one goal despite facing multiple penalties including a five on three with advantage to Markham on that respective play but all in all, the Inferno would finish the game with a 3-1 win over the Markham Thunder on Saturday night.

The Thunder are back at it on Sunday afternoon against against the Inferno where goaltender Liz Knox is expected to make the start for Markham. Puck drop is scheduled for 12:30pmET and the game can be viewed via stream on Youtube.com.

Photo Credit: Teri DiLauro – CWHL

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