Facing elimination early in their quest for a Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) championship will help the Calgary Inferno in their upcoming Clarkson Cup Final, according to one of the team’s players.
“It was kind of a reality check for us,” Eden Murray, an Inferno forward, said Sunday during an interview on Global News Morning. The team lost the first game in a best-of-three series against the Toronto Furies before capturing games two and three.
“I am kind of glad that happened earlier on rather than after,” she said.
The Inferno had entered the playoffs as the team to beat after finishing the regular season on top of the league standings with 23 wins, four losses and one shootout loss. The team won 10 of their final 12 games heading into their first-round matchup against Toronto.
After a 3-1 loss to the Furies in game one of the playoffs, the team found itself in a stressful situation, according to Kelly Murray, Eden’s sister and teammate.
“Toronto seemed to have our number a little bit this year,” she said.
The Inferno will now face off against Les Canadiennes Montreal on March 24 in Toronto in a one-game CWHL championship final. Montreal finished second to Calgary in the regular season standings and defeated the Inferno in the 2017 Clarkson Cup championship game.
“It’s not like the NHL where you’ve got seven games and you’re allowed some errors and mistakes throughout the series,” Kelly said.
“Of course it’s a big game and there’s a lot on the line, but you can’t really let that be your main focus,” she added. “You got to trust and believe that your teammates are preparing the same way you are.”
The Inferno plan to host a Clarkson Cup viewing party at Schanks North in Calgary on the day of the game at 10 a.m.
This is the team’s third trip to the championship final in the past four seasons.