The Boston Blades notched a win, a loss and an overtime win this weekend in a series against the Calgary Inferno, which proved to be their toughest test of the season so far in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.
Blades captain Hilary Knight, who scored the overtime winner Sunday, finished the weekend with three goals and three assists. ESPNw was filming at the game on Saturday night for a feature on Knight and Blades Coach Digit Murphy, which will air at a later date.
On Friday, it was an 8-3 route by the Inferno filled with intensity that the Blades could not match. The two teams skated to a one-all tie after the first with goals from Bray Ketchum for Boston (her first of the season) and Sarah Davis for Calgary. In the second, the Inferno exploded for three goals, only one of which the Blades could answer. Rebecca Johnston put a puck behind Blades goaltender Brittany Ott. Jessica Campbell would capitalize on the power play for Calgary to make the score 3-1. Boston answered when Rachel Llanes found the back of the net. However, with Calgary on the power play again, Campbell would score to put her team ahead 4-2.
In the third, a strong Calgary team did not let up and extended their lead to 6-2. Corrine Buie would answer for the Blades, her first of the season, to make the score 6-3 but the Blades could not score again. The Inferno beat Ott twice for the 8-3 final score.
On Saturday, the Blades shook off the last night’s performance and came back with a win. Monique Lamoureux found the back of the net first, unassisted, but Danielle Stone would net the tying goal for Calgary shortly after. Rachel Llanes scored to give the Blades a 2-1 lead, assisted by Knight. Knight capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play to give the Blades a 3-1 lead after one period.
After a scoreless second period, Knight registered an empty net goal when Calgary pulled Camile Trautman. It would seal the Blades’ win.
On Sunday, the Blades’ overtime win would feature a back-and-forth battle throughout the game. Haley Irwin scored first and the first period would end 1-0 in favor of Calgary. In the second, the Blades came back when Hilary Knight found the back of the net. The Blades extended their lead to 2-1 when Blake Bolden, assisted by Kacey Bellamy, beat Calgary goaltender Brian Delayne. Calgary would capitalize on a 5-on-3 power play, though, and made it a 6-on-3 advantage after pulling Delayne for the extra skater. With the game-tying goal, the game went to a five minute sudden-death overtime.
With less than one minute left in overtime, Knight picked up the puck at her own blue line while her teammates went for a line change, broke away, and buried the puck behind Delayne.
Knight leads the team in scoring with four goals and eight assists in eight games.
Despite the wins, the Blades still could not catch the Calgary Inferno in the CWHL standings. The Blades improve to 6-3-1 with 13 points, while Calgary remains in first place in the standings at 7-2-2 (16 points).
Next weekend will be the first annual CWHL All Star Game at the Air Canada Center in Toronto.