Women's hockey roundup - Week 8

The top three stayed the same this week, and only one team moved more than one spot.

The Calgary Dinos, previously ninth, now sit in seventh place in the CIS rankings after two large wins over Regina (7-0 and 7-3 qualify as large).

The presence of Hayley Wickenheiser is, if nothing else, a unique experiment: what would happen if you took a mediocre CIS hockey team (7-17 last year and hardly a dynasty in the ACAC before that) and gave them the best player in the world?

Wickenheiser, which Google translates as "really frickin' good at hockey", is clearly having her way with CIS hockey, with 12 goals and 14 assists in just 10 games. Put another way, Calgary has received 26 points from her in the team's 13 games, or two per game, and Calgary's goals-per-game is up from 1.5 to 3.5, or two per game. How...expected.

But that doesn't tell the whole story, remarkably. In their 10 games with Wickenheiser, the Dinos scored 38 goals, and she was on the ice for (at least) 29 of them. It's the kind of dominance that forces other teams to base their entire strategy around one player (Michael Lewis should be writing a book about this any time now).

And so far, the Dinos have 18 points in 13 games (.692 points percentage), compared to last year's 16 in 24 (.333). That's a pretty big jump; it's higher than any other team in the conference. It's not the biggest jump in CIS (Brock also deserves attention for their improvement), but even at this early point in the season, it's clear that the Calgary team is better.

Of course there are other factors. Amanda Tapp's save percentage is .933, best in Canada West and 34 points higher than Calgary's goaltenders as a whole last year. And as good as the best hockey player in the world is, I don't think she can make her goalies that much better.

Still, the early returns indicate that Wickenheiser is having exactly the effect you'd expect. We'll see where Calgary ends up at the end of the year.


Here's the new top 10, with their previous rank, and what they did last week:

1. McGill (9-0-0) / (1)

I was pushing Carleton as a better-than-second-last-place team for most of last year, and they've now responded by falling to last place. (McGill needed a shootout to beat them, true, but the earlier games were blowouts.) The Martlets, who also beat Montreal 4-0, have lost just two games this year by fewer than three goals, and both were shootouts. This week McGill has one game, against Concordia.

2. Wilfrid Laurier (14-1-0) / (2)

Only gave up one NOTPP (not on the power play) goal on the road against Western and Windsor, beating the Mustangs 4-1 and the Lancers 3-1. Tonight they play Guelph at home, and I encourage anyone in K/W or Guelph to attend.

3. StFX (10-0-0) / (3)

Big wins over UPEI and STU. Not much to say there. I would love to know what Kayla Blackmore did in her Tommies' 6-0 loss to warrant the third star. Led her team in shots?

4. Manitoba (9-3-1) / (5) and 5. Alberta (8-3-3) / (4)

This series saw two huge wins for the Bisons over the defending national champions: they went into Edmonton, beat Alberta 2-1 in the first game (the first time the U of A ever lost at home to the Bisons), then did it again the next day, though the OT score was 5-4, and Manitoba came back from a 4-0 deficit halfway through the second. "Rookie backup goaltender pulled at 15:31 for extra attacker, team completes four-goal comeback over last year's champs" is a great storyline, so naturally it wasn't covered by anyone in the Winnipeg media. Manitoba now has the rest of the calendar year off, league-play-wise.

6. Brock (12-2-0) / (6)

As mentioned above, Brock's record has increased by more than any other CIS team (well, except for Concordia, but the Stingers' improvement from losing 19 out of 20 is mostly regression to the mean). They've only lost to Guelph and Laurier, and if I half-remember my not-yet-published goalie analysis correctly, I think Beth Clause was at the top (yes, above Liz Knox). So they might find themselves at nationals this year, is what I'm saying.

Brock beat Toronto 2-1 and York 6-1; tomorrow and Saturday, they play Waterloo and Laurier in Waterloo.

7. Calgary (9-4-0) / (9)

Covered above.

8. Guelph (9-3-2) / (7)

Two shootout losses to York and Toronto. There has to be a better way to resolve tie games. Still, perhaps the Gryphs aren't at their normally lofty heights this year.

9. Windsor (8-6-0) / (8)

Beat Waterloo 5-0 in a game that I'm sure was fun for about eight seconds, then lost to Laurier 3-1.

10. Moncton (9-2-1) / (NR)

A 1-0 win over Mount A was their only action, and that was eight days ago (so technically still last week, by some definition).


Forgive me for not following the league as much this year, but is there any particular reason why only one Q team made the top 10? There was a time last year when I would have argued that three or four deserved it.
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