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Calgary Flames

Inferno clinch second place, Johnston clinches scoring title in sweep over Brampton



Rebecca Johnston scored twice and Camille Trautman made 24 saves to secure second place for the Inferno, who beat Brampton 5-3 and swept the season series on Sunday.

Johnston's first goal turned out to be the only one in yet another fairly close first period between the Thunder and Inferno, but the second was full of scoring. Natasha Fryer tied the score at 1 a minute and a half in on a shot from the point right off of a faceoff win. Then Brittany Esposito broke the tie barely 20 seconds later. Fielding Montgomery finished a play from Ellie Seedhouse to knot it up once more. Johnston and Tegan Schroeder put the score at 4-2 before the period ended, and things seemed to be going Calgary's way.

But Brampton wasn't done just yet. Jess Jones finished off a great passing play between her, Carly Mercer and Jesse Scanzano just 1:12 in to cut the lead to one goal for Calgary. Despite the slow start, the Inferno managed to take back over, withstanding 10 more shots from Brampton and adding on an insurance goal by Erica Kromm midway through the final frame.

Johnston's two goals this game pretty much secured a trophy we already knew she'd get — the Angela James Bowl, given to the top scorer in the CWHL. Though Brianna Decker made a late push and got to 32 points this season, Johnston has been head-and-shoulders above the rest for the better part of the season, and it's a well-deserved honor for the Inferno forward.

The win ensured that Calgary will face Montreal in the first round of the playoffs. Boston swept the Stars by scores of 2-1 and 3-1 this weekend, keeping Montreal at 29 points and in third place, while Calgary leapfrogged them for second. Stay tuned this week for a look at the matchup and what the Inferno need to do to make it to the Final.

Notes: Johnston is the first player in five years not on the Montreal Stars to win the Angela James Bowl… Aina Takeuchi doubled her scoring total this season for Calgary in Sunday's game, tallying two assists on Johnston's and Esposito's goals… with two points Sunday, Esposito now has a three-game points streak to end the season… This season marks the best record Calgary has had in its history as a team, at 15-6-3. It is also the team's best finish in the standings (second place).

Clarkson Cup Notes: There is a brand-new streaming package specifically for the Clarkson Cup playoffs and final. For $10 CAD ($8.22 USD), you will get all of the games, including the Clarkson Cup Final. Games are generally also archived for free viewing 48 hours after the end of each match, but no word yet on which games will be archived this year aside from the final.

by Angelica Rodriguez