How the mighty have fallen
After an impressive end to last season, the Mount Allison Mounties haven't just gotten off on the wrong foot: they haven't even left the starting line. Last in the league standings, but also last in goals for and goals against. Losses over the weekend to Moncton and St. Thomas didn't help, although at least the Mounties didn't lose to the Tommies via a 5-0 shutout as they did last time. For those expecting things to get easier for the Mounties, think again: the Mounties travel to Antigonish on Sunday to face the perennial contender X-Women.
Who are these Huskies?
The two-time AUS Champion Saint Mary's Huskies (1997-98, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2009-10) are establishing themselves early on as the Cinderella team this year. Sitting in third place with 9 points, it took a late third period goal and an extra frame for the first-place Tommies to beat the Huskies two weekends ago. The second-place X-Women weren't as lucky as the Tommies as Sienna Cooke made 32 saves to down the X-Women in Halifax by a score of 2-1. The Huskies will travel to Prince Edward Island for a date with the Panthers on Sunday before renewing pleasantries with the Tommies in Fredericton on November 17.
Tommies a contender early
The Tommies' perfect season was ruined by the team right below them in the standings, the X-Women, but things remain the same for St. Thomas. In six victories this year, the Tommies have only allowed two or more goals once, and that was at the start of the season. With three shutouts already in the book this year, the STU goaltending is delivering for the Tommies and making Peter Murphy's job relatively easy these days when it comes to picking someone to guard the net. The Tommies were rewarded early for their efforts this season with the tenth place ranking in the CIS Top Ten, behind the X-Women who hold down the number 7 spot.
AUS Power Rankings (our ranking as of Oct. 25 in parentheses):
- St. Thomas (2): A CIS Top Ten ranking, great goaltending and the offence isn't too shabby either averaging three goals per game (2nd in the AUS). Kayla Blackmore has 5 goals and 9 points in just 7 games.
- Saint Mary's (4): Brianna Soper's two goals against the then-5th ranked X-Women were huge and the Huskies have received some hot goaltending on the road from Cooke, who has a ridiculous 0.91 GAA away from Saint Mary's along with three wins.
- St. Francis Xavier (1): Their high scoring offence and solid goaltending aside, the loss to the upstarts Huskies shows that the X-Women can be beat on any given day.
- Moncton (3): Goaltender Jenna Van Belois is 3-0 for the Aigles Bleues who sit at the middle of the AUS with not just their record (at 4-3) but also goals allowed (4th) and goals for (3rd).
- UPEI (7): Their second win of the season, a shutout over Moncton, may be the kick the Panthers need to get in the right direction. The Panthers have yet to score more than two goals in a game so one has to suspect an offensive outburst is coming soon.
- Dalhousie (5): The Tigers have had their last three games go into OT, losing two of them. Being shutout on two other occasions doesn't help either.
- Mount Allison (6): Granted the team is young, but the Mounties have to start winning some games sometime soon to have a good season.