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Canadiennes vs. Inferno: Game thread, lineups, and how to watch Hilary Knight’s debut

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Les Canadiennes get a major reinforcement as they attempt to clinch first place on national TV.

Shanna Martin

The final day of the CWHL season has plenty of intrigue as Les Canadiennes face off against the Calgary Inferno. Hilary Knight will make her Montreal debut, and with a point Les Canadiennes will clinch first place in the CWHL.

They could still clinch with a loss in regulation as they are two points up on the Kunlun Red Star, who will face off against the Vanke Rays later today.

How to watch

Puck drop: 3:30 PM EDT / 12:30 PM PDT
In Canada: Sportsnet, SN Now

Besides Knight's debut, there is plenty of firepower in the Montreal lineup. Ann-Sophie Bettez is one of the best CWHL players in league history. She is leading the team in scoring this season and is fourth all-time in the CWHL in goals, adding 19 more to go along with 17 assists this season.

She scored her 100th CWHL goal yesterday, and it was typical of what Bettez can bring. She isn't the biggest, but she has deceptive speed. She is fourth in league scoring this season and will likely continue her streak of finishing among the top five point-producers in the CWHL every year she has been in the league.

Montreal has a history of great goaltending, both in men's and women's hockey, and this year is no exception. Emerance Maschmeyer has taken the reins from Charline Labonté and followed in her footsteps. Maschmeyer is coming off of her sixth shutout on Saturday and has allowed just one goal in three starts against her former team.

She has a 17-4-1 record this year with a 1.77 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. Both marks are good for second in the league behind only Kunlun’s Noora Räty.

For Calgary, they have yet to win a game since Blayre Turnbull and Brianne Jenner, both members of Canada's silver medal-winning team at the PyeongChang Olympics, returned to the lineup. They have also only scored two goals in the three games they have played.

Jenner has one assist while Turnbull has yet to get a point, but both were creating scoring chances yesterday, and surely would have scored if not for the great play of Maschmeyer.

The Inferno have split the goaltending between Delayne Brian (7-3-0, 2.55, .879) and Lindsey Post (7-4-1, 2.21, .913) this season. Post got more action early on because of an injury suffered by Brian, who was the Clarkson Cup MVP in 2016 when she defeated Montreal. Brian started yesterday, so it is entirely possible that Post gets the call today.

Offensively, besides their returning Olympians, they are led by Brittany Esposito (24 GP, 16G-8A—24P) and Iya Gavrilova (27 GP, 6G-18A—24P). Eighteen-year-old rookie Sophie Shirley has also been good for Calgary with eight goals and 11 assists in 25 games.

Les Canadiennes projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
16- Sarah Lefort 10- Noémie Marin 24- Ann-Sophie Bettez
88- Kayla Tutino 19- Katia Clement-Heydra 76- Karell Emard
13- Caroline Ouellette 21- Hilary Knight 9- Kim Deschênes
47- Emmanuelle Blais 39- Marion Allemoz 78- Tracy-Ann Lavigne

Defence

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
5- Lauriane Rougeau 14- Erin Ambrose
17- Melanie Desrochers 8- Cathy Chartrand
23- Sophie Brault 91- Laurence Beaulieu

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
38- Emerance Maschmeyer
35- Marie-Soleil Deschênes

Calgary Inferno projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
16- Sophie Shirley 19- Brianne Jenner 26- Blayre Turnbull
9- Dakota Woodworth 27- Louise Warren 7- Brittany Esposito
13- Kelly Apperson 8- Erica Kromm 10- Rhianna Kurio
25- Iya Gavrilova

Defence

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
51- Katelyn Gosling 24- Hayleigh Cudmore
11- Jacquie Pierri 6- Megan Grenon
15- Elana Lovell 12- Taryn Baumgardt

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
30- Delayne Brian
33- Lindsey Post