Women's hockey: AUS update and power rankings

Once again, here's a guest post from Robert Murray, taking stock of the teams and storylines over the first two weeks of AUS play.

Here are the top three stories at this point of the season:

Panthers and Mounties are hoping things get better

It seems like with any league, the teams reaching the pinnacle of success have the worst championship hangovers at the beginning of the season. Nothing could be truer for last year's AUS finalists, the UPEI Panthers and Mount Allison Mounties. Combined, both teams have scored a total of 3 goals while giving up 25 (12 for UPEI and 13 for the Mounties). What's worse is that both teams have lost by embarrassing scores to league rivals: Mt. A dropped a 6-0 decision to the X-Women and the Aigles Bleues converted a touchdown against the Panthers. Both teams currently sit at the bottom of the AUS standings, and the only point between them came when Mt. A lost in OT to Saint Mary's last Friday night.

STU tied for first

The St. Thomas Tommies hope the adage about the best defence being a good offence holds true. (Though they aren't so bad defensively either.) Last year the Tommies didn't score their tenth goal until their fifth game, on Nov. 5, which was also just the second win of the season for the Tommies. Fast-forward a year and around the same point in the season the Tommies are riding high. Thirteen goals in three games already put them in a tie for first with St. FX (also at 13 in 4). The Tommies also sit tied for first with those same X-Women with 6 points and a perfect 3-0-0 record.

Turning a corner for SMU

It was a year's worth of work accomplished in just one weekend for the Saint Mary's Huskies. A 2-1 OT win over the Mounties on Friday night followed by a 3-1 victory over the Panthers less than 24 hours later cemented a successful weekend for the red and white from the south end of Halifax—but also more wins than they had all of last year. (And, of course, shortly after they nearly lost their team entirely.) Goaltender Sienna Cooke stood tall in net for the Huskies, recording both wins with a .953 save percentage and 1.27 GAA. The Huskies will get two chances for their first home win in over a year when they welcome the Aigles Bleues (Friday night) and Tommies (Saturday afternoon) to Halifax this weekend.


AUS Power Rankings (with pre-season predicted finish in brackets)

  1. St. FX (1): When your goaltending has let in one goal over three games, your team doesn't need to score thirteen goals to win. The X-Women did both.
  2. St. Thomas (5): What's better than having your starting goalie sport a .952 save percentage? Having your backup shutout last year's AUS finalists 5-0.
  3. Moncton (4): Rookie Catherine Dumas has five goals in her first three CIS games, including a four-goal performance against UPEI.
  4. Saint Mary's (7): The Huskies and Aigles Bleues are tied for power-play goals this season with three apiece, and they play in Halifax on Friday night.
  5. Dalhousie (6): If the Tigers want to increase their goal total this season (only three through four games) they will have to put more pucks on net. They currently rank last in the AUS with less than 20 shots per game.
  6. Mount Allison (2): One goal through three games doesn't get you much these days, especially against opponents who are a combined 8-1-0 so far. A 1.7% shooting percentage and an 0-for-9 power-play doesn't help.
  7. UPEI (3): The Panthers must stay out of the sin bin to record some wins. They have given up three power-play goals against on just 8 opportunities so far this season. Even with the advantage, though, they've also allowed a short-handed marker this year—the only team in the AUS to do so.

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