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CWHL Recap: Thunder roll over Furies 5-2

Toronto officially eliminated from the playoffs with the loss.

Sydney Kidd (8) of the Toronto Furies faces off against Taylor Woods (25) of the Markham Thunder
Sydney Kidd (8) of the Toronto Furies faces off against Taylor Woods (25) of the Markham Thunder
Jess Bazal / CWHL

With an early morning win by the Vanke Rays over the Calgary Inferno, the Thunder needed to win this one to stay tied for fourth place going into the Olympic break. Fortunately for them, the Furies obliged.

Liz Knox was in goal for today’s game, while the rest of the Thunder starting lineup remained the same as yesterday. Amanda Makela started for the Furies, who rolled out a line of Brittany Zuback, Emily Fulton and Carolyne Prévost, with Michelle Saunders and Carlee Campbell on the back end.

Megan Delay and Nicole Kosta, who both played in yesterday’s game, were scratches for Markham. Renata Fast was listed in the lineup for the Furies but since she’s in South Korea, I’m gonna assume that’s not correct. (EDIT: I’ve been told that Kosta’s listing in yesterday’s lineup was an error and she hasn’t been back since the Marchin hit on January 20th)

Special teams were an issue in the first period. The Furies took four penalties (including one by Hayley Williams for “ineligible player”, which apparently boiled down to “attempting to play with two sticks” nice try, Williams) and the Thunder scored two power play goals.

The first goal was Kristen Richards from Megan Bozek and Laura McIntosh. With the second goal, Nicole Brown racked up her first CWHL goal, on assists from Kristen Barbara and Alexis Woloschuk (first CWHL assist, which surprised me).

The period ended with the Thunder dominating the shot clock as well as the score sheet, up 20 shots to the Furies eight.

A tale of two teams

The second period was devoid of scoring, but not of penalties. Jenna McParland, Carlee Campbell and Karolina Urban all headed to the box, before Jenna Dingeldein took out Jessica Hartwick with less than two minutes left in the period and was given 10 and 2 for contact to the head. Women’s hockey is so boring, you guys.

There were more goals than penalties in the third. McParland put one in early, with help from Brown and Taylor Woods. Hayley Williams countered for the Furies with her fourth of the season, unassisted (nice going!). Richards extended the Thunder lead again by scoring her second of the game, and the assist from Jamie Lee Rattray was her only point in the game.

Late hope for Toronto came with just under three minutes to go in the game. Michelle Saunders scored her first goal of the season, with assists from Jess Vella and Jenna Dingeldein, making it 4-2. At some point, the Furies pulled Makela for the extra attacker, allowing Dania Simmonds to score a literally last-second empty goal at 19:59 of the third period.

Not the best game for the Furies, not least because they are now mathematically out of playoff contention (which may also mean we don’t get Spooner and Fast back this season, which would suck). However, the Thunder are back to scoring by committee which can only help them as they battle with the Rays for that final playoff spot.

Three Stars

3. Amanda Makela, Toronto Furies (36 saves)

2. Lindsay Grigg, Markham Thunder

1. Kristen Richards, Markham Thunder (2G)

The CWHL will take the next two weekends off for the Olympics. The Furies and Thunder will face off one last time in Markham on Saturday February 24 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available here, or you can watch live via the CWHL website.

s/t to @FotoSharkz for corrections on the lineup and the Williams penalty