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CWHL Recap: Furies shut out Boston 4-0, Thunder douse the Inferno 4-1

Sami Jo Small shuts out Boston to finish the season for the Furies. Liz Knox takes the mantle of winningest goalie in Thunder history.

Sami Jo Small guards her net in the Toronto Furies final game of the season.
Sami Jo Small guards her net in the Toronto Furies final game of the season.
Chris Tanouye / CWHL

Toronto Furies vs Boston Blades 4-0

The Toronto Furies started their final game of the 2017-18 season with veteran goaltender and CWHL co-founder Sami Jo Small in net. The starting lineup remained the same as yesterday — Brooke Beazer and Ella Stewart on the blueline and Sydney Kidd, Alexa Aramburu and Shannon Stewart at forward. Carlee Campbell, Sonja van der Bliek and Jessica O’Grady stayed out of the lineup. Despite her injury in yesterday’s game, Alessandra Bianchi remained in the lineup.

Lauren Dahm took the net again for Boston, with Courtney Turner, Megan Myers and Kate Leary at forward and Kristina Brown and Kelly Kittredge on defence.

First period

It was actually the Blades who seemed to have the advantage in the early going of the first — a few more chances, a more structure offense. Still, the Furies got some chances.

Jenna Dingeldein collected an errant puck in the Boston zone and went one on one with Dahm. Hayley Williams set up Carolyne Prévost with a chance. Dingeldein and Williams combined for an opportunity. Slowly Toronto began to gain the edge. By the halfway point in the period the Furies had fully set themselves up in the Blades zone a few times.

With just over nine minutes to go, Meaghan Grieves was called for hooking and the Furies went on the power play. It took Emily Fulton just 16 seconds to score with a wicked little shot. 1-0 Furies, assists to Shannon Moulson and Carolyne Prévost.

Dingeldein had another chance late, Prévost and Brittany Zuback combined for another, and Katie Gaskin sent a hard shot in at the last minute that nearly did some damage, but the period ended without any further scoring, and shots tied at nine apiece.

Second period

An exchange of chances at both ends, with some nice glove work by Dahm especially. Small was the recipient of an early whistle after a succession of Blades shots in close.

Meaghan Grieves went one on one with Small and was denied.

A minute later, what looked like a second Furies goal was called off.

Erin Kickham went to the box after a tripping call drawn by Zuback. The Furies spent a lot of time in the Boston zone but couldn’t score. The penalty had barely expired when Toronto were also called for tripping, this time by Shannon Stewart. The penalty killers also spent a lot of time in the Blades zone, but the next goal came at even strength.

Sydney Kidd picked up a rebound off of Dahm’s pads and sent it in to make it 2-0 Furies. Shannon Stewart, not long out of the box got the assist. (Shannon Moulson was credited with a secondary assist in the arena, but it’s not on the score sheet.)

Boston pressed late, keeping Small active. They drew a penalty with 11 seconds left in the period as Michelle Saunders was called for roughing on a play that sent Nicole Giannino to the ice.

The Blades gained the edge in shots this period, outshooting the Furies 15-12.

Third period

I got a little distracted very early in the third. I was sitting close to the Blades bench and saw Kristina Brown come off the ice and double over. I have no idea what happened to her on the ice but she stayed with her hands on her knees, occasionally gesturing to her throat, for what seemed like a worryingly long time. Then again, she made it onto the ice in time for her next shift, so maybe I’m just more used to life behind the penalty boxes.

Regardless, the Blades didn’t manage to score on their power play.

Meaghan Spurling was sent to the box for hooking at 6:07 and the Furies power play went to work. With some fancy stickwork and a little luck they managed to keep the puck in the Boston zone for a solid minute and change. Emily Fulton got a number of looks in but Dahm kept the door shut. Finally, with less than ten seconds left in the advantage, Jenna Dingeldein sent a blast from the top of the circle that went right on through Dahm and into the net. 3-0 Furies, with assists to Brooke Beazer and Katie Gaskin.

The Blades kept pushing for a goal. Sami Jo Small had a close call with about eight minutes left, but kept her shutout intact.

Jenna Dingeldein went off for roughing a minute later. Boston then allowed Prévost to get the puck and some steam going shorthanded. Things looked bad for them, but Lauren Dahm is badass and straight up stoned Prévost at close range.

As the Blades power play wound down, there was a... minor disagreement, after a save by Small. A Blades player hit the ice, and then Emily Fulton went off for roughing, and Kate Leary was given a coincidental minor for slashing.

Still no love for Boston, so with 2:28 left, they called a timeout and pulled Dahm.

There was a bit of a scramble at the Furies net at 1:54 that left the Furies net off its pegs (the net came off more than a few times this weekend, in a variety of ways).

At 1:39 Brittany Zuback managed to get the puck past an outstretched Blades defender — for a moment it looked like even Zuback thought the puck was under the body of the defender, but it squeaked through, making the final score 4-0 Furies.

Three stars

3. Lauren Dahm, Boston Blades (32 saves)

2. Jenna Dingeldein, Toronto Furies (1 goal, 2 penalty minutes)

1. Sami Jo Small, Toronto Furies (32 save shutout)

With this being the final game of the season there’s a few milestones and such that should be addressed, but I’m planning to do a season wrapup nearer to the Clarkson Cup final, so I’ll leave it for that. Suffice to say that Toronto ends their season on a winning note!

Markham Thunder vs Calgary Inferno, 4-1

Over in Markham, the Thunder were in a must-win game against the Calgary Inferno, as they continue to fight the Vanke Rays for the final CWHL playoff spot. Liz Knox started in net for the Thunder, and the Inferno went with Delayne Brian.

It’s Hometown Hockey weekend, so Ron MacLean and Tara Slone were on hand to drop the puck in Markham.

The first period, while scoreless, contained several penalties—Kristen Richards went off for slashing about halfway through, and then Devon Skeats took a hooking penalty at the end of the period. It was only about thirty seconds after the Skeats penalty that Blayre Turnbull went off for interference, and that meant that the Thunder started off the second period with over a minute of power play time.

They did not need a full minute. Megan Bozek opened the scoring with a power-play goal at the start of the second. It was Bozek’s third goal since joining the Thunder in mid-January. Despite giving Calgary two power-play opportunities of their own during the second period, Markham escaped unscathed, and Laura McIntosh tacked on another goal in the ending minutes of the period to send them into second intermission up by two.

Markham continued the offensive dominance into the third period. Nicole Brown made it 3-0 three minutes in. Then, after Taryn Baumgardt went off for hooking, Brianne Jenner took a delay of game penalty and gave Markham a 5 on 3 opportunity. Bozek, again, took advantage and scored her second of the afternoon to give Markham a convincing 4-0 lead. Sophie Shirley was able to get a goal for the Inferno with under two minutes left in the game, but the Thunder took this game 4-1, sweeping the Inferno in their final home series of the year.

Three Stars

3. Laura McIntosh, Markham Thunder (1 goal, 2 assists)

2. Megan Bozek, Markham Thunder (2 goals)

1. Liz Knox, Markham Thunder (23 saves on 24 shots)

The Markham Thunder have one last series — they’re heading to Boston next weekend to finish the season against the Blades and they’ve got to keep winning if they want that last playoff spot. Also, a reminder that the Calgary Inferno will take on the Canadiennes de Montréal next Sunday live on Sportsnet at 3:30pm from Montréal.