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INFERNO FALL IN CLARKSON CUP FINAL

The Inferno were edged by Les Canadiennes de Montreal in Sunday's final

by PAUL MAWDSLEY @pmawdsley23 / CalgaryFlames.com

The dream season came to an end on Sunday.

But it wasn't a dream ending.

After finishing at the top of the CWHL's standings with a 20-4 record, the Calgary Inferno couldn't end the season in the same place. Les Canadiennes de Montreal edged the Inferno 3-1 in the 2017 Clarkson Cup.

Tweet from @k_richards7: Disappointing end to a remarkable season... Can't wait to run it back next year! #stayignited @InfernoCWHL

At the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, the Inferno and Canadiennes dropped the puck on a rematch of last season's championship game. Early on, things were a bit sloppy, with both teams being called for a pair of penalties. Late in the first period, Montreal would take advantage of their powerplay, when Katia Clement-Heydra drove to the net and was able to pop it past Emerance Maschmeyer.

Down a goal after the initial 20 minutes, Calgary was fired up coming out for the second period.

Looking energized, they controlled a large portion of the play early on, registering a handful of quality scoring chances and seemed to have Les Canadiennes on their heels. Unfortunately, a turnover in the neutral zone sprung the CWHL's leading-scorer Marie Philip-Poulin, who scored on a quick wrister that just beat the glove of Maschmeyer.

"Poulin does a really good job of shooting through the D," Maschmeyer told the Ottawa Citizen. "She kind of used the D as a screen, and I lost it a little bit through the legs of my D. Thought I had it, but it trickled in."

Calgary jumped right back into attack mode, spending a large chunk of time in the Canadiennes' zone. Despite a number a great shots, nothing was able to beat goaltender Charline Labonte.

The Inferno continued to skate hard in the third period, looking to get themselves back into the game. With 7:03 left in the period, a forechecking Rebecca Johnston stole the puck behind the Montreal net and passed it out front to Jill Saulnier, who slid it past Labonte.

All of a sudden, there was hope for the Inferno.

As time ticked down, head coach Scott Reid decided to pull Maschmeyer to get an extra attacker on the ice. Calgary had some strong pressure and great puck movement, but a blocked shot by Caroline Ouelette set Poulin off to the races and she was able to score on the empty net, putting Les Canadiennes up 3-1. 

That's how things would end, to the chagrin of the Inferno.

"I think we came out a little flat in the first and just took too long to get things going," Calgary captain Brianne Jenner told the Ottawa Citizen. "I believe we had a chance at the end. We thought we had the momentum, but sometimes it doesn't go your way."

No matter the result, the Inferno showed a lot of heart throughout the entire season and especially in the final game. They've made the entire city of Calgary proud with their performance this year.

Tweet from @nenshi: Thanks to @InfernoCWHL for a great season for making us proud and for getting people excited about women's hockey! Next year: #ClarksonCup!

Tweet from @CrazySteveC: @InfernoCWHL Proud to be a fan of this team! Great run this season.

Tweet from @BoLeviMitchell: Proud of @InfernoCWHL ! Keep your heads high. Y'all killed it this season. Everyone in Calgary is proud of y'all.

 

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