clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Top talent on display as Les Canadiennes and Inferno battle for first place

From Marie-Philip Poulin and Hilary Knight to Brianna Decker and Rebecca Johnston, there’s no shortage of storylines.

Shanna Martin / CWHL

By the end of this weekend, we may very well find out who’s in the driver’s seat for the Chairman’s Trophy - given to the top CWHL team in the regular season.

This weekend’s series between Les Canadiennes and the Calgary Inferno is the latest in a multitude of important games between the CWHL’s two most successful franchises. They are the two best teams in the league, this game features the three top scorers in the league, and it may very well be a preview of the Clarkson Cup. The last two non-Olympic seasons ended with this same matchup.

And if you don’t want to take my word for it, listen to Hilary Knight.

Weekend schedule

Saturday February 2, 5:00 pm - Complexe Sportif Bell (Brossard) [Live Stream | Tickets]
Sunday February 3, 1:30 pm - Complexe Sportif Bell (Brossard) [Tickets]

Tickets are 15$ and are general admission. The CWHL’s live stream is free.

World Class Talent

You may have heard about #PayDecker, the movement to pay Brianna Decker for her performance at the NHL Skills Competition. Decker plays for the Calgary Inferno and will be in town as will Rebecca Johnston, who also took part in the weekend. In all, there will be 18 players who were named to either Team USA or Team Canada for the upcoming Rivalry Series including Hilary Knight, Ann-Sophie Bettez, and Marie-Philip Poulin on Les Canadiennes.

Battle for first

The two teams are separated by only two points in the standings, and a Montreal sweep will likely be needed for Montreal to end up in first place. The two teams opened the season by splitting the first two games in Montreal, but Calgary swept the two games when Montreal went to Alberta in November. That last series was the same weekend that Canadiennes head coach Dany Brunet stepped down.

Since those games, Calgary head coach Shannon Miller also stepped down, and this will be the first meeting between the two teams since that happened. Ironically, Danièle Sauvageau who is an associate coach with Montreal, coached with Miller at the 1998 Olympics and Ouellette played under Miller at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Even a split will make it very hard for Montreal to pass Calgary. Calgary would remain two points up, but will hold the tie-breaker.

CWHL Standings

TEAM GP W L OTL PTS GF GA
TEAM GP W L OTL PTS GF GA
CALGARY 21 17 3 1 35 85 40
MONTREAL 21 16 4 1 33 92 31
SHENZHEN 25 13 11 1 27 72 58
MARKHAM 21 10 8 3 23 61 63
TORONTO 22 9 13 0 18 45 67
WORCESTER 20 0 20 0 0 12 108

Goaltending intrigue

Every game so far in this series has been Emerance Maschmeyer vs. Alex Rigsby, but Geneviève Lacasse will be healthy for the first time when these teams play each other. Lacasse and Maschmeyer were both acquired in trades from Calgary over the last two summers. Lacasse is 2-0 this season in her two starts with a 1.00 GAA and .955 save percentage.

By the Numbers

Les Canadiennes player stats

# Name Pos GP G A P
# Name Pos GP G A P
29 Marie-Philip Poulin F 21 18 22 40
24 Ann-Sophie Bettez F 21 15 23 38
14 Erin Ambrose D 21 6 17 23
11 Jill Saulnier F 15 9 12 21
21 Hilary Knight F 18 7 8 15
19 Katia Clement-Heydra F 19 4 10 14
15 Mélodie Daoust F 10 7 6 13
16 Sarah Lefort F 19 6 7 13
5 Lauriane Rougeau D 21 1 8 9
76 Karell Emard F 21 4 4 8
9 Kim Deschênes F 21 3 5 8
18 Genevieve Bannon F 19 2 5 7
27 Taylor Willard D 19 2 5 7
17 Melanie Desrochers D 21 0 5 5
22 Maude Gelinas F 18 3 1 4
12 Catherine Daoust D 21 1 3 4
2 Olivia Atkinson F 15 2 1 3
72 Emma Martin D 7 1 2 3
78 Tracy-Ann Lavigne F 21 1 1 2
23 Sophie Brault D 13 0 1 1
20 Marie-Joelle Allard D 18 0 1 1
35 Marie-Soleil Deschenes G 2 0 0 0
60 Genevieve Lacasse G 2 0 0 0
88 Kayla Tutino F 3 0 0 0
38 Emerance Maschmeyer G 17 0 0 0

Calgary Inferno player stats

# NAME POS GP G A P
# NAME POS GP G A P
6 Rebecca Johnston F 21 12 20 32
19 Brianne Jenner F 21 14 10 24
16 Rebecca Leslie F 21 8 13 21
14 Brianna Decker F 17 9 9 18
22 Kacey Bellamy D 21 6 12 18
44 Zoe Hickel F 18 5 13 18
4 Brigette Lacquette D 21 2 16 18
40 Blayre Turnbull F 19 8 7 15
51 Katelyn Gosling D 19 6 6 12
7 Venla Hovi {I} F 19 4 6 10
21 Halli Krzyzaniak D 21 3 4 7
13 Kelty Apperson F 19 3 2 5
11 Eden Murray F 17 1 3 4
3 Tori Hickel D 21 1 3 4
28 Louise Warren F 17 0 4 4
17 Kaitlin Willoughby F 21 1 2 3
9 Dakota Woodworth F 21 1 2 3
18 Aina Mizukami {I} D 15 1 1 2
8 Erica Kromm F 18 0 1 1
5 Kelly Murray D 21 0 1 1
NA Nicole Paniccia G 0 0 0 0
33 Lindsey Post G 1 0 0 0
41 Annie Belanger G 7 0 0 0
10 Rhianna Kurio F 8 0 0 0
2 Laura Dostaler F 12 0 0 0
1 Alex Rigsby G 13 0 0 0

Goaltender stats

# Name Team GP W L OT SA GA GAA SV % SO MIN
# Name Team GP W L OT SA GA GAA SV % SO MIN
35 Marie-Soleil Deschenes MTL 2 2 0 0 36 0 0.00 1.000 2 120
60 Genevieve Lacasse MTL 2 2 0 0 44 2 1.00 0.955 1 120
38 Emerance Maschmeyer MTL 17 12 4 1 378 27 1.59 0.929 3 1020
41 Annie Belanger CGY 7 6 1 0 151 9 1.36 0.940 3 398
1 Alex Rigsby CGY 13 11 1 1 345 25 1.90 0.928 1 789
33 Lindsey Post CGY 1 0 1 0 26 3 3.14 0.885 0 57