Brianne Jenner scored the tying goal in the third period, and the winning goal in overtime as the Calgary Inferno beat Les Canadiennes 5-4 on Saturday night at the Complexe Bell in Brossard.
Jenner beat Montreal goaltender Catherine Herron with a slap shot from the left circle that went just past the blocker in a game Calgary led 1-0, but didn’t lead again until overtime.
“It was a good boost of confidence for us,” said Jenner who is also Calgary’s captain. “To come back like that, it’s a good character win and we had a tough travel day so we’re happy with that.”
“We were behind, so it took a lot for our team to make sure we focused on the little things and getting pucks to the net. This game was huge for us,” said Calgary forward Rebecca Johnston.
Herron was starting for Montreal because Charline Labonté was out with a short-term upper body injury, according to the team.
Calgary opened the scoring 10:35 into the game when defender Katelyn Gosling picked up the puck in the slot and fired the puck by Herron.
The lead would be short lived, however. Just over three minutes later with Jill Saulnier in the penalty box for cross checking, Caroline Ouellette made a spinning backhand pass at the side of the net right on the stick of Noémie Marin who made no mistake past Calgary goaltender Geneviève Lacasse.
Montreal would continue to put pressure on Calgary. While shorthanded, the puck would slowly make its way to the Calgary zone. Ann-Sophie Bettez would race for it alongside Brigette Lacquette.
Lacasse would also come out to get the puck but there would be some miscommunication and Lacasse would try and clear it but couldn’t get it up the ice. Instead the puck would end up behind her and Bettez would have a wide open net to put Les Canadiennes up 2-1 shorthanded.
“I put pressure on them and it created confusion between the defender and the goalie and when you put pressure on them they can fumble the puck and that’s exactly what happened,” said Bettez.
They weren’t done yet. Again on the power play, Ouellette would take the puck at the left circle and fire a wrist shot by Lacasse to open up a 3-1 lead. The goal was Ouellette’s 129th of her career, putting her one behind Jayna Hefford for first all-time.
Early in the second period, Calgary would look to cut the gap. Brigette Lacquette would see her point shot rattle the post on the power play and Bailey Bram and Iya Gavrilova would have chances stopped by Herron.
Just over midway into the second, right after Lacasse made some big saves, Jessica Campbell would break in on the rush and fire a perfect shot off the post and in to cut Montreal’s lead to one.
Lauriane Rougeau would restore Montreal’s two-goal lead when her point shot hit off of an Inferno defender and beat Lacasse again on the power play. It would be Montreal’s third power play goal of the game.
Just 1:27 later, on a power play on their own, Rebecca Johnston would once again cut the lead to one when she fired a snap shot from the right circle.
To open the third period, on the power play, Marie-Philip Poulin would take the puck in the offensive zone and dance around three Calgary players and then a wrist shot would beat Lacasse but go straight off of the cross bar.
Midway through the period, Montreal would appear to go up 5-3 with another power play goal. Poulin’s shot would deflect in the net, but the goal was waved off by the referee who said that the puck went in after the whistle was blown even though it wasn’t touched between the time the puck was saved and the time it went in the net.
Under two minutes later, with eight minutes remaining in the period, a beautiful passing play between Gavrilova and Jenner put Jenner in front with a wide open net as Herron was drawn out of position to tie the game.
Both teams would have great chances to tie the game in the final few minutes of the third period. Saulnier had a breakaway saved by Herron, and Herron would also make another big save on Jenner two minutes later on a 2-on-1 with Louise Warren.
Then, in the final minute, a scramble in front would result in Rougeau taking a shot from the slot that was blocked by a diving Gavrilova.
In overtime, before Jenner’s winner, Bettez and Katia Clement-Heydra would go on a two on one. Clement-Heydra would pass it to Bettez, who passed it back to Clement-Heydra but she couldn’t handle the pass with an out of position Lacasse.
Herron would make 23/28 saves while Lacasse made 26/30 for Calgary.
Calgary now opened up a four point lead for top spot over Les Canadiennes in the standings. The two teams have three games left between each other starting Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at the Dollard-des-Ormeaux Civic Centre. The other two games are in Calgary in the season’s last weekend.
- Along with Labonté, the team was without Kim Deschênes, Alyssa Sherrard, Melanie Desrochers, and Sophie Brault.
- With Labonté out, Amanda Makela dressed as the backup goaltender.
- Not playing for Calgary were Laura Dostaler, Brittany Esposito, Elana Lovell, Akane Hosomayada, and Aina Takeuchi. Calgary played with 16 skaters (6 D, 10 F).
- Rebecca Johnston’s team won 5-4 across the city where her brother Ryan and the Canadiens also won 5-4 against the New York Rangers.
“It is [special],” Johnston said. “I wish he could have come watch or I could have watched him but the games ended up at the same time. Hopefully I can see him tomorrow morning before they take off but it’s really exciting. I’ve been watching him play here, it’s really exciting for him and I’m really happy for him.”
- This was Calgary’s first game since Hayley Wickenheiser announced her retirement. She had been on Calgary’s roster all season but hadn’t played in a game. She won the Clarkson Cup with the Inferno in her only CWHL season last year.