19 Teams in 19 Days – Cambridge Turbos

Another season is underway and as teams hit the ice in their quest for the 2011-2012 NRL Championship title, we’re taking a closer look at each team in the league. The new series is called 19 Teams in 19 Days and we would like to encourage you to join in the discussion on Twitter by following www.twitter.com/nrllnr or by sending us an email at NRLchatter@nationalringetteleague.ca

Cambridge Turbos

Last season finish:
Regular season – 1st place Eastern Conference
NRL Championship – 2nd place

Head coach: Glen Gaudet
Two questions with coach Gaudet:
What would it mean to you, as a coach, to win the NRL championship this season?
Winning the NRL championship has been our goal each year since the inception of the league. It would mean that as a group we achieved the task we set out to do. As a coach it is very satisfying in seeing your team excel and achieve their goals.

What does your team have to do to win an NRL championship?
To achieve that goal takes eight months of planning, training and competing at a very high level. Some players are able to elevate themselves to these levels in all three areas while others may only get part way there. We all have to recognise our own strengths and weaknesses and work on improving the strengths and diminishing the weaknesses. The more of us that get to the highest plateau in each area the better our chances of succeeding. Together we have to Play it! Love it! Live it!

The NRL nugget to know about this team:
Despite being known as a bit of an offensive juggernaut, the Turbos led the league in goals against last season with a paltry average of three goals allowed per game. They can score, but they really are defined by their ability to keep the ring out of their own net.

The question to be answered:
How will this team go about replacing Jennifer Wakefield? Team Canada veteran and one of the greats in the history of the sport has moved to BC and joined the LMRL Thunder. The Turbos have very big shoes to fill this year.

What happened in the off-season:
The Turbos confirmed their participation in the World Club Championships. They will be joined by the Richmond Hill Lighting, facing the best of the Finnish Elite League.

The (hidden) gem:
Vanessa Cowlen can flat out defend. The Team Canada veteran really anchors the defensive efforts for the Turbos. You will not see her that often on the scoresheet, but that does not mean she isn’t contributing.

Reason for optimism:
Their coach is the head coach of Team Canada. They have Team Canada members, they have former Team Canada members and they have the legacy of those distinctive orange jerseys. A good base and some tradition provides a lot of room for optimism.

Reason for concern:
They can’t do this forever, can they? Over the past few years the Turbos have lost several outstanding performers and it seems like there will be a point when that catches up to them. The question is, what year?