For immediate release
Toronto, ONT (Mar. 25, 2019) –– The Calgary Inferno defeated Les Canadiennes de Montréal 5-2 at the Coca-Cola Coliseum to capture their second Clarkson Cup championship in team history. It was the third final between the clubs in four years.
The game was broadcast nationally on Sportsnet, and on TVA Sports and the NHL Network.
The Inferno played a dominant first period, taking a 2-0 lead with goals by Zoe Hickel and Halli Kryzyzaniak. Les Canadiennes came out firing in the second frame and cut Calgary’s lead to one when Ann-Sophie Bettez scored a powerful backhander from the left faceoff circle to defeat netminder Alex Rigsby. However, the Inferno regained their two-goal lead when Brianna Decker, the game’s eventual playoff MVP, scored on a powerplay. With less than five minutes left in the period, Bettez netted her second of the afternoon to end the first 40 minutes 3-2.
Les Canadiennes’ momentum carried into the third period when Jill Saulnier scored the equalizer before it was disallowed for goaltender interference. Over six minutes into the period, Hickel struck again to bring Calgary’s tally to 4-2. Les Canadiennes pulled Emerance Maschmeyer for an extra player near the end of the game but Rebecca Johnston scored an empty-net goal to lead the Inferno to victory.
“Throughout the second and third periods, we gained some momentum, but unfortunately we didn’t play 60 minutes,” said Ann-Sophie Bettez. “We fell short but we definitely felt united as a team.”
“It’s tough to beat a team like Calgary when you don’t play for 20 minutes,” said associate coach Caroline Ouellette. In the second and the third, we created a lot of chances. It’s like we gained our confidence back. We felt prepared for this moment, but for some reason we were not ready to attack it. Calgary is a great team. We gave them too much time, too much space, and too much respect and in the end, it made the difference.”
Despite the result, Les Canadiennes’ season was marked by a number of accomplishments, on and off the ice. Finishing second in the league with 43 points in the regular season, Les Canadiennes ushered in a new era of talented rookies and off-season acquisitions. With a coaching transition behind the bench, Les Canadiennes welcomed an all-female bench with associate coaches Caroline Ouellette and Danièle Sauvageau, and assistant-coaches Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux and Valérie Bois.
Several players made their marks this season; captain Marie-Philip Poulin recorded 50 points for the first time in her CWHL career, capturing the Angela James Bowl, CWHL MVP and the Jayna Hefford Trophy. Defence Erin Ambrose finished first among all defence with 24 points, earning her first CWHL Defenceman of the Year award. Ann-Sophie Bettez and Jill Saulnier (acquired in the 2018 offseason), both finished in the league’s top-10. Goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer was stellar between the pipes, recording the best GAA and save percentage in the regular season and posting two shutouts in the playoffs.
Les Canadiennes also had an impact on their community, raising over $ 24 000 for the MUHC’s Breast Clinic’s Wellness Program in Quebec and attracting over 3 100 fans to the Laval Rocket’s amphitheatre at Place Bell, where they opened their season in front of 2 000 fans. In the playoffs, Montreal rallied against the Markham Thunder, defeating their rival in three games in front of raucous fans on home ice.
“This wasn’t the result we hoped for, but a championship game presents an intense opportunity to learn as individuals, and progress as an organization,” added General Manager, Meg Hewings. “This was a year of transition for Les Canadiennes, from the introduction of nine new recruits, to a change in leadership and a move to Place Bell. Through it all, the heart, soul and spirit of this team shone through, inspiring a thrilling playoff run. Calgary played the better game Sunday, but as an organization, we have strong fundamentals to build on next season, including an extremely talented and motivated community of players, staff and fans in Montreal ready to push each other, and our sport, to new levels.”
For media requests, please contact [email protected]. Please note that as of Mar. 26 until mid-April, all requests for national team players must be made to their respective national team programs.
About the CWHL
The Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) is the premier, professionally-run women’s hockey league in the world. With six current clubs throughout North America and China, it enables elite female hockey players to pursue their dreams of competing at the highest level possible, while enhancing the lives of others through exceptional athleticism, entertainment, and motivation. The league is a centrally funded not-for-profit organization, meaning all participating teams receive equal access to funding to ensure equal opportunity and competition. To learn more visit thecwhl.com.
Media Relations Contact
Les Canadiennes de Montréal|CWHL