Blades blanked for the weekend by Calgary

POST_CAL_BLADES

It was the Calgary Inferno visiting Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center this weekend to take on the Worcester Blades in a pair of Canadian Women’s Hockey League contests, with the Blades hoping to finally find the scoring touch they’ve been lacking all season.

In Saturday’s game one between the clubs Worcester and starting goaltender Mariah Fujimagari kept the game close by not allowing a goal in the opening 20 minutes for the first time this season, stopping all ten Inferno shots.

The second period saw Calgary fire 17 shots at Fujimagari, and it was one from in close that started the scoring. Inferno forward Kelty Apperson got Calgary on the board at 6:45 when she banged home a rebound of a Brigette Lacquette shot. Later Kacey Bellamy followed with a hard shot from the point that Fujimagri probably would want another chance at. Brianna Decker and Zoe Hickel had the assist on the goal at 11:50.

Blayre Turnbull added an unassisted shorthanded goal for Calgary at 16:58 for the three goal period.

Inferno forward Venla Hovi put the game out of reach for the Blades with a nifty shot from the high slot at 1:20 of the third, with Lacquette getting an assist on the play. Laquette got a goal of her own at 4:54 for what would be the eventual 5-0 win for Calgary.

Annie Belanger, making her CWHL debut, had the 17-save shutout for the Inferno, which included big saves on a couple breakaway bids and a tough glove save late in the second. Fujimagari did all she could in the Worcester net, stopping 42 of 47 shots against.

Sunday’s second game was virtually never in doubt as Calgary scored two goals in the opening period and never looked back as they routed the Blades 9-0. Fujimagari started in net and stopped 14 of 16 shots before being lifted for Lauren Dahm to start the second. Dahm didn’t have much help out there either, stopping 17 of 21 shots in the middle period.

Fujimagari came back for the third and stopped 17 of 20 shots. The 67 shots surrendered by the Blades are the most ever for a pro hockey team that calls Worcester home.

Belanger recorded her second shutout is as many days, stopping all 23 of the Blades shots.

Worcester is off until November 6th as they head to China for three games against the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays.

GAME NOTES
In Saturday’s game the scratches were Lizzie Aveson, Jessica Convery, Erin Hall, Megan Myers, and Morgan Turner. Lauren Dahm was the back-up goaltender. On Sunday Aveson was added to the line-up.

I’ve been writing about hockey for a very long time, and have been a fan for even longer. Occasionally someone says something that’s sounds positive but is in reality very telling of a team or organization. Presuming this quote is accurate, and as it came from a Blades press release Sunday morning we have to presume it is, it says a lot about Blades Head Coach Paul Kennedy. From the press release:

“Kennedy also mentioned what he hopes to see change for the next game.
‘Actually, nothing. I thought we played very well. Shots in the first two periods were about 17-10, thats (sic) not bad. [Down] 2-0, I’m ok with that as well,’ he stated. ‘We skated with them, it’s just that we’ve got to keep the game within two goals going into the third period so that we don’t have to open it up, we don’t have to spread the ice out…If we could’ve kept it to two goals and under going into the third period, or if we got a goal, I think it would’ve been a different game.’

At the time of the quote the Blades had scored two goals in five games, and as they went scoreless on Sunday that’s now two goals in six games. Since the start of the 2015-16 season the Blades franchise has scored the fewest goals in the CWHL. If you take all the goals they’ve scored since the start of that season, 93, they would rate no better then second in the CWHL in any single season since then.

Granted this is Kennedy’s first season with the organization and he’s not responsible for past failures, but if he doesn’t want to change anything on a team that can’t score perhaps it’s time for the Blades to make a change at head coach. You can’t win not scoring, and the Worcester Blades flat out don’t score. As of the end of Sunday’s game the Blades have gone 194:41 without a goal.

Sunday’s game was so lopsided a Worcester city pro hockey record this writer thought was unbreakable was broken. On October 16, 2010 defenseman Nick Petrecki went a woeful minus-5 for the WorSharks against the Norfolk Admirals. Blades defender Taryn Harris ended Sunday’s contest with a minus-6. All told four Blades players were minus-4 or worse in the game.

Despite playing in western Canada there are a lot of Massachusetts connections on the Calgary Inferno. Defender Kacey Bellamy was born in Westfield, and Forward Brianna Decker played for the Boston Blades during the 2014-15. There are four players that spent four season in NCAA hockey in Massachusetts, with forwards Rebecca Leslie and Louise Warren both attending Boston University and Tori Hickel going to Northeastern University, and goaltender Annie Belanger attending UCONN. Forward Dakota Woodworth hit all three categories by being born in Beverly, spending four years at BU, and playing for the Blades in the 2016-17 season.

Saturday’s three starts of the game:
1) CAL – 4 Brigette Lacquette
2) CAL – 40 Blayre Turnbull
3) CAL – 14 Brianna Decker

The 210Sports Player of the Game was Mariah Fujimagari.

Sunday’s three stars of the game were
1) CAL – 14 Brianna Decker
2) CAL – 6 Rebecca Johnston
3) CAL – 41 Annie Belanger

BOX SCORE
Saturday
CALGARY 0 3 2 – 5
WORCESTER 0 0 0 – 0

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Turner Wor (hooking), 8:25; Krzyzaniak Cgy (interference), 10:06; Spurling Wor (tripping), 16:19.

2nd Period-1, CALGARY, Apperson 1 (Lacquette), 6:45. 2, CALGARY, Bellamy 1 (Decker, Hickel), 11:50. 3, CALGARY, Turnbull 1 16:58 (SH). Penalties-Krzyzaniak Cgy (tripping), 16:38; Crossman Wor (roughing), 17:26.

3rd Period-4, CALGARY, Hovi {I} 2 (Lacquette), 1:20. 5, CALGARY, Lacquette 1 (Turnbull), 4:54. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-CALGARY 10-17-20-47. WORCESTER 4-8-5-17.
Power Play Opportunities-CALGARY 0 / 0; WORCESTER 0 / 0.
Goalies-CALGARY, Belanger 1-0-0-0 (17 shots-17 saves). WORCESTER, Fujimagari 0-3-0-0 (47 shots-42 saves).
A-111

Sunday
CALGARY 2 4 3 – 9
WORCESTER 0 0 0 – 0

1st Period-1, CALGARY, Decker 4 (Johnston, Bellamy), 15:45 (PP). 2, CALGARY, Apperson 2 (Gosling), 16:17. Penalties-Gosling Cgy (tripping), 8:41; Williams Wor (body checking), 14:02.

2nd Period-3, CALGARY, Turnbull 2 (Hovi {I}), 1:09. 4, CALGARY, Murray 1 (Hickel), 2:42. 5, CALGARY, Leslie 2 (Decker), 4:04. 6, CALGARY, Johnston 3 (Bellamy, Decker), 18:21. Penalties-Atkinson Wor (roughing), 6:49.

3rd Period-7, CALGARY, Woodworth 1 (Lacquette, Hovi {I}), 1:30. 8, CALGARY, Jenner 3 (Kromm, Hovi {I}), 19:17. 9, CALGARY, Krzyzaniak 2 (Woodworth), 19:55. Penalties-Spurling Wor (tripping), 11:21; Johnston Cgy (slashing), 15:53.

Shots on Goal-CALGARY 16-21-20-57. WORCESTER 10-7-6-23.
Power Play Opportunities-CALGARY 1 / 0; WORCESTER 0 / 0.
Goalies-CALGARY, Belanger 2-0-0-0 (23 shots-23 saves). WORCESTER, Fujimagari 0-4-0-0 (36 shots-31 saves); Dahm 0-0-0-0 (21 shots-17 saves).
A-135

-30-

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