Markham rolled into Calgary looking to start a new winning streak after losing in overtime to Toronto the week before. The Inferno were on a nine game streak of their own, looking to make it ten.
The starting lineup for the Inferno included Zoe Hickel, Brianna Decker and Rebecca Johnston at forward with Kacey Bellamy and Katelyn Gosling on defence and Alex Rigsby in net.
The Thunder countered with Laura Stacey, Kristen Richards and Jenna McParland starting up front, Jocelyne Larocque and Laura Fortino on the blueline and Erica Howe in goal. Nicole Kosta remains out.
The first period involved a lot of chances for Calgary but it was Markham who got on the board. Jenna McParland was the goal scorer, with an assist from Alexis Woloschuk.
It was a beautiful play for @JennaMcParland - she entered the zone and danced around multiple Inferno players— Markham Thunder (@ThunderCWHL) December 2, 2018
Halfway through the period, Ailish Forfar sat for a delay of game penalty, the only penalty in an otherwise clean period.
Calgary continued to threaten, with multiple chances for Rebecca Leslie and Blayre Turnbull. They outshot the Thunder 17-12, but Markham ended the period up 1-0.
The second period was both faster and chippier. Kristen Barbara went off for a cross-check just 90 seconds in.
Turnbull was called for interference on Stacey at 8:15. Victoria Bach scored her team-leading eighth goal on the ensuing power play with assists from Jamie Lee Rattray and Laura Fortino.
Five minutes later one of Calgary’s many shots finally beat Howe. Brianne Jenner passed in front of the goal to Rebecca Leslie, who went top shelf to score. The secondary assist went to Blayre Turnbull.
The game got more physical after Calgary broke through and the eventual call went against the Thunder as Fortino went to the box for holding. There was no scoring on the Inferno power play although Markham would have liked a power play of their own after Decker knocked Howe over.
Between Calgary’s speed and their two power plays, they outshot Markham 16-6 on the period although they were still behind on the scoresheet to end the second.
Markham started off the third with a few chances from Bach and Rattray, but also this:
McParland dances again and tries to get it to Stacey, but it’s Stacey that ends up in the back of the net - not the puck— Markham Thunder (@ThunderCWHL) December 2, 2018
Unfortunately, that still doesn’t count as a goal. Meanwhile Zoe Hickel managed to score for the Inferno four and a half minutes in, with an assist from Johnston, making it two-all.
Calgary pressed on for the tiebreaker, including some notable chances for Gosling, but Howe kept the door shut. Shots were more even, this time 10-9 in favour of the Inferno, as the third ended and the game went to overtime.
Both Jenna McParland and Laura Stacey had shots stopped by Rigsby, while Howe stopped three more chances at the other end, and things moved to the shootout.
Markham: Jess Jones no goal
Calgary: Rebecca Johnston no goal
Markham: Victoria Bach no goal
Calgary: Brianne Jenner no goal
Kristen Barbara GOAL
Brianna Decker no goal
Markham becomes the first team to beat Calgary since their opening day loss to Montréal.
Barbara and Howe win it for the Thunder in the shootout! pic.twitter.com/oKJTmfzUSb— Markham Thunder (@ThunderCWHL) December 2, 2018
3. Jenna McParland, Markham Thunder (1 goal)
2. Zoe Hickel, Calgary Inferno (1 goal)
1. Erica Howe, Markham Thunder (44 saves)
Markham and Calgary go for the rematch tomorrow afternoon.