The Calgary Inferno faced off against the Toronto Furies on Saturday night in their fourth annual Start the Spark game in support of mental health awareness and the Do It for Daron initiative.
Members of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre and ticket sponsors-of-the-game HMC Lawyers were on hand for the ceremonial puck-drop.
Retired Inferno player Jessica Campbell, who started the team’s annual event four years ago was also on hand for the puck-drop. This was also a special night for the Inferno’s Rebecca Leslie, who started the DIFD initiative with teammates eight years ago, shortly after her friend Daron Richardson committed suicide at the age of 14.
“Do it for Daron is an amazing cause, and the biggest thing is talking about it, and anyone can be helpful in any single way, and I think that being supportive to talk about any type mental health issue is the biggest thing, and it’s really great to be able to be on the ice today and supporting that cause,” said Inferno defender and third star of the game Kacey Bellamy.
The Inferno took three penalties in the first period, with the Furies unable to capitalize on any of their power plays. With five minutes left in the first period, Brianne Jenner buried the puck in the back of the net, assisted by Brigette Laquette, giving the Inferno a 1-0 lead after one period. Shots on net were 14-4 in favour of the Inferno.
Kelty Apperson scored halfway through the second period, assisted by Lacquette and Jenner, giving the Inferno a 2-0 lead. Late in the second period, Sarah Nurse went to the penalty box for slashing and the Inferno’s Bellamy scored, assisted by Blayre Turnbull and Zoe Hickel, giving the Inferno a 3-0 lead headed into the third period. Shots on net were 22-6 in favour of the Inferno.
The Inferno scored early in the third period, but the goal was disallowed because of a high-sticking call. The Inferno’s Katelynn Gosling scored with five minutes left in the period, assisted by Rebecca Johnston and Bellamy, giving the Inferno a 4-0 lead. With 2:45 left in the third period, the Furies’ Renata Fast managed to find the back of the net beating Annie Belanger top-shelf, making the score 4-1.
Shots were 54-20 in favour of the Inferno. Belanger saved 19-of-20 shots, and the Furies’ Shea Tiley saved 50-of-54 shots.
“(It was a) huge team win for us,” Bellamy said. “Everyone was involved, everyone was playing … we were was so positive and we had a blast.”
The Inferno are back in action Sunday in Okotoks at the Pason Centennial Arena against the Furies. Puck drops at noon, with tickets available at the door or visit
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