Photo courtesy of Sportsnet.
In a partnership with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the 2019 CWHL All-Star Game was played at Scotiabank Arena this past weekend. It marked the fourth time that Toronto has hosted the league’s All-Star festivities, the first occurring in December 2014. Last season’s All-Star game was cancelled due to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
This year’s CWHL All-Star game featured Team Gold, captained by Markham Thunder goaltender Liz Knox, against Team Purple, led by defender Brigette Lacquette from the Calgary Inferno. Aside from the teams’ respective captains, the game featured many of the CWHL’s top talent and skill, making for an exciting Sunday afternoon of hockey.
During the first period of play, it wasn’t long until Inferno forward Brianna Decker made her mark on the game. The U.S. Olympic gold medalist scored a pair of goals in the opening frame. Team Gold’s captain and goalie Knox stood tall, not allowing a single goal in the first period and giving Team Gold a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
In the second period, it was Brianne Jenner’s turn to light up the lamp. She scored twice to put Team Gold ahead 4-0, but Team Purple responded with goals from Blayre Turnbull and Laura Stacey to cut it to 4-2. Hannah Bunton scored to make it 5-2 for Team Gold, followed by a goal from Team Purple’s Lauren Williams in the middle frame.
With a 5-3 score to begin the final period of regulation, Jenner completed the hat trick to regain Team Gold’s three-goal lead. Forward Ann-Sophie Bettez extended Team Gold’s lead to 7-3, but Team Purple’s Zoe Hickel scored her team’s fourth of the game. Bunton added her second of the afternoon, resulting in a final score of 8-4 for Team Gold.
Knox made an on the fly change with fellow Team Gold goaltender Noora Raty midway through game. Raty performed very well, shutting the door and allowing only one goal in the third period. Team Purple’s Stacey was named the game’s Third Star player, while Team Gold’s Bettez received Second Star honours. Jenner from Team Gold received First Star as the game’s top performer for her three goals.