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Recap: Furies top the Inferno 5-2

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Jenelle Kohanchuk’s hat trick leads the Furies to a 1-0 lead in the playoff series.

Jenelle Kohanchuk (91) takes on the Calgary Inferno
Jenelle Kohanchuk (91) takes on the Calgary Inferno
Chris Tanouye / CWHL

Coming into tonight's game expectations were pretty low for the Furies. The first-place Calgary Inferno were not only the reigning Clarkson Cup champions and favourites to repeat, they'd also swept the season series against the Furies. The last time Toronto beat Calgary was December 6, 2015 - Natalie Spooner's five goal game.

Rookie of the Year nominee Iya Gavrilova drew first blood for Calgary, scoring less than halfway through the first period. The Furies had three power plays in the period, and scored in the dying seconds of their final power play to tie the game. Jenelle Kohanchuk, who was absent from the team last year due to injury, got the goal with assists from another Rookie of the Year nominee, Renata Fast, and her frequent defence partner, rookie Erin Ambrose.

Toronto had no power plays in the second period, but they didn't need any. First, Ambrose scored her first CWHL goal at 8:33 in the second period to put the Furies ahead and then Kelly Terry followed it up about six and a half minutes later. Both goals were scored at even strength, and the Furies ended the period up 3-1.

The Inferno took a too many men penalty just five and half minutes into the third period and the Furies' power play struck again. Kohanchuk potted her second goal on the night, giving Natalie Spooner and Erin Ambrose each their second assists of the game. The dreaded 4-1 score with almost three quarters of the period left... would it hold up?

With 4:04 remaining in the period, Calgary pulled goalie Emerance Maschmeyer.

3:11 left, Jessica Campbell sent the puck past Christina Kessler to make it 4-2.

2:53 Kohanchuk scored a playoff hat trick to seal the deal!

The Furies' first win against Calgary in over a year came at exactly the right time. Now they have two more chances to do it again. One more win means a trip to Ottawa next weekend and their first Clarkson Cup final since they won in 2014.

Other notes

Jenelle Kohanchuk currently leads the playoff scoring race. Erin Ambrose (1G, 2A) and Natalie Spooner (2A) were the other multi-point scorers in the game. Nice to see that the Furies don’t need Spooner to carry the scoring if they want to win.

The Inferno outshot the Furies in every period, a total of 49 shots to the Furies’ 26. Kessler’s good (and used to that volume) but hopefully the defence can step it up a bit in the next game. With two other great goalies to choose from, the Inferno will probably not call on Maschmeyer again tomorrow.

The Inferno will want to stay out of the penalty box as much as possible - the Furies’ first power play unit remains pretty lethal.

Three stars

  1. Jenelle Kohanchuk (3G)
  2. Iya Gavrilova (1G)
  3. Christina Kessler (47 SV)

Game two goes tomorrow at 5:30 EST/3:30 MST. Game three (if necessary) will be 2:45 EST/12:45 MST on Sunday. Both games will be streamed live on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/thecwhleague