Guelph's rookie goalie Cassandra McNichol might be David in goal pads for the underdog Gryphons, as friend of the blog Greg Layson chronicled in today's Guelph Mercury.
Nothing against No. 3 Laurier, but inevitably it gets eye-glazing when the same teams go to nationals season after season. It's exacerbated when only one team comes out of the 10-team OUA women's hockey league, not to begrudge the other three leagues.
McNichol was recruited by Laurier but opted for the U of G rather than wait her turn behind Liz Knox (and Cindy Eadie, as it turned out), which adds to the whole underdog vibe.
At 5-foot-10, McNichol is a lanky rookie who's stopping everything, so you're excused for drawing an overly obvious, awkward analogy to Steve Mason in the NHL. (Hey, both are from the Toronto area, too.) A good hockey upset usually involve a goalie throwing up a brick wall and buying her teammates time to bury a couple chances. Really, no offence, Laurier, but Guelph is the underdog to back in the lead-up to the nationals in March in Nova Scotia.
Canada West only has one berth, meaning Alberta is at risk. A women's hockey nationals without the Pandas and the Golden Hawks? It could happen.
McNichol a stopper for Gryphs (Greg Layson, Guelph Mercury)