Women's hockey: Ranked teams fall in all conferences

Teams are ranked by Simple Rating System (SRS) based on regular-season games for everyone and exhibition games for the top teams, with the most recent CIS ranking in parentheses.

The only top 10 matchup this week is Queen's at York. Both Ottawa games sort of count, but I dropped the Gee-Gees from the top 10 (see below).

Our #3, #4, and #5 teams each lost this weekend, but mostly to solid teams, so it may not change the SRS rankings too much. And I'm sure that this is a self-evident statement, but it seems that missed powerplay opportunities are incredibly damaging, and one wonders how many goals you "lose" for every two minutes without a 5-on-4 score.

  1. McGill (1): One game at uOttawa, on Sunday afternoon. The Gee-Gees kept it close, being outshot 46 to 19, and McGill only had a two-goal lead for about four minutes of the game. Final was 4-2, with two goals by Amy Soberano.

  2. Laurier (2): Two games at home against Waterloo, Saturday and Sunday nights. Your humble correspondent lives a 30-minute walk from the arena, and can't really believe he can pay just $4 to see one of the best teams in the country. The Hawks' speed and strength were very evident last night against a nonthreatening Warriors team, and the final score of 4-1 is a little misleading, because Laurier pulled an Indianpolis and shut it down about halfway through. Liz Knox was pulled after 30 minutes, something I've never seen the winning hockey team do, but I suppose they don't need her to play 120 against this team on back-to-back nights. That last sentence was certainly correct, because the rematch was 9-0.

  3. Montreal (8): At home, against Concordia Friday and Ottawa Saturday. Subdued the Stingers 8 to 2, thanks in part to a hat trick from Marie-Andrée Leclerc-Auger and four assists plus a goal from Amanda Lalande. Then the Gee-Gees knocked them around the ice 5 to 2. However, it was only 3-2 up until the halfway mark of the third. Lalande scored again, but les Carabins did not score during eight minutes of 5-on-4.

  4. Alberta (3): Two-game series at UBC. Game 1 went 3-1 for the Pandas, with Dana Vinge facing between 4 and 6 shots each period (or one every 3 to 5 minutes, which must have been thrilling). Tarin Podloski picked up another point (a powerplay assist) to maintain her country-wide lead in total points. Game 2 was a little less predictable, as Alberta lost 2-0 for their first loss of the season, first shutout loss since February 3, 2007 (thanks to the U of A's Paul Cartledge), and their first ever loss to UBC in Edmonton. The Thunderbirds' two goals came within the last 20 seconds of the first and third periods, the latter obviously an empty-netter without even having to look it up. Dana Vinge faced only 12 shots, but 11 saves aren't enough when your team goes 0-for-35 on the other goalie, Melissa Choy (a deserving first star).

  5. Queen's (7): At York and Toronto. The Gaels became another top 10 team that lost this weekend, but in a shootout against York, which is pretty meaningless as far as "real" losses go. Elizabeth Kench scored the only goal for Queen's (and their only goal in the shootout), who like many teams that lost by one or two goals, did not take advantage of their powerplays: 11:47 of 5-on-4 led to no Queen's goals--that's one-fifth of the game without scoring! They then lost to Toronto as well, 4-3, in a game that saw nearly 100 shots and a two-goal lead for most of the third. Kench had a goal and two assists.

  6. Carleton (NR): They may still be high in this ranking, but their preseason record was a solid 6-0 (or thereabouts) and they play the Martlets often, so strength-of-schedule should be a consideration. One game this weekend, against the Stingers. Their second and third goals in this 3-1 win were powerplay goals by Kaila Lassaline and Claudia Bergeron. Quiet night for Valerie Charbonneau, who faced a shot on average every 200 seconds.

  7. York (9): Welcome Queen's and UOIT. As noted above, killing six penalties helped the Lions greatly in beating Queen's 2-1 in a shootout. Autumn Mills scored York's only regulation goal; Mandy Cole and Courtney Unruh netted the shootout winners. Against UOIT, they won 4 to 1, Courtney Unruh and Kelsey Webster each with a goal and an assist.

  8. Guelph (NR): At Western, then Windsor. Gave up four in the first against the Mustangs, but came back and scored three in the third to win 5-4. Two of those first-period four were shorthanded, which makes this a "well, at least we won" game for the Gryphons. Dayna Kanis and Tori Woods each had a goal and an assist, and Erin Small picked up three helpers, one in each period. Kanis and Small, if this game is anything of a guide, probably yelled various obscenities at the Western bench for a long while after each one of their points. They then lost to Windsor 3-2 on a late third-period goal.

  9. St. F-X (6): Host UPEI, then go to Halifax to play SMU. 6-2 win in the first game, which is about what you'd expect, but on five (five!) powerplay goals, which you wouldn't. Carolyn Campbell scored three of those. Sunday was X-Women 4, Huskies 1.

  10. Moncton (5): This spot is technically Ottawa's, based on SRS, but I'm putting les Aigles Bleues here instead to avoid having four out of five Q teams in the top 10. They have one game, at Mount Allison, and apologies to everyone in Sackville, because I forgot there even was a hockey team at your university, and then you go ahead and score four against a team like Moncton. However, it was an 8-4 final, with five goals scored against Mount A in the second, including goals at 2:17, 4:29, and 6:27. The Mounties' Meghan Corley-Byrne played the whole game and faced 50 shots, twice as many as the winning goaltender. Marieve Provost (2 goals, 2 assists, no surprise there), Natalie Cormier (1, 3), and Johannie Thibault (3, 1) led the scoring for Moncton.

Manitoba, 4th in the CIS rankings but not listed here, has two games at the U of S, and lost the first 3-2, giving up all three goals while shorthanded, and the second 6-1, never being closer than two goals behind.

Our Top 10 for the coming week is McGill, Laurier, Montreal, Alberta, Queen's, Carleton, York, Ottawa, Guelph, StFX. The only big change is the Gee-Gees, who move up to 8th after beating Montreal.
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