The race atop the CWHL standings heated up with the Calgary Inferno visiting the Kunlun Red Star this past week in China. Following two tightly contested wins for the Inferno, the pair of high-calibre offences now sit just one point apart with Kunlun holding onto second place, while Calgary has a game-in-hand in third.
In their Wednesday night affair, a two-goal second period from standout forward Brittany Esposito appeared to have the Inferno in good shape to escape with a first game victory. However, the steadying presence of veteran Jessica Wong proved worthwhile once again for the Red Star as the Baddeck, N.S., native scored a critical third period goal to send the game to overtime, and secure a very important single point for Kunlun in the two-game series. Going to the shootout, the Inferno won the opener with a goal from Esposito followed by a beautiful effort from Laura Dostaler. Starting goaltender Delayne Brian stopped two Kunlun shooters.
On Friday, the two evenly matched teams were right back at it battling for playoff positioning. Red Star scoring sensation Kelli Stack continued here rampant run towards the CWHL scoring title, assisting on the first goal of the game to extend her current points streak to 12 straight games dating back to December 8. Meanwhile, a three-point afternoon from Inferno defence Katelyn Gosling would prove the difference on the scoresheet. The second-year pro from London, Ont., scored the opening goal for Calgary and assisted on the eventual game-winner from forward Dakota Woodworth. Both starting goaltenders impressed in a scoreless final frame.
Boston Blades (1-18-3, 5 points) vs. Calgary Inferno (15-3-4, 34 points)
Saturday, Feb. 24 5:00 PM MST – WinSport Arena A
Sunday, Feb. 25 12:30 PM MST – WinSport Arena A – CWHL Live
Toronto Furies (7-16-2, 16 points) vs. Markham Thunder (9-7-7, 25 points)
Saturday, Feb. 24 7:30 PM EST – Thornhill Community Centre – CWHL Live
Les Canadiennes (19-3-0, 38 points) vs. Vanke Rays (12-10-1, 25 points)