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
Last season finish:
Regular season – 6th place Eastern Conference
Eastern playoffs – won 2-0 over Waterloo
NRL Championship – 8th place
Head coach: Claude Guerard
Two questions with coach Guerard:
What would it mean to you, as a coach, to win the NRL championship this season?
Winning the NRL Championship would be the culmination of several years of development and hard work! It would be reaching the ultimate achievement for a coach.
What does your team have to do to win an NRL championship?
Continue to develop in order to improve in all aspects of the game. Maintain a positive team spirit and bring the players to their peak form at the perfect moment.
The NRL nugget to know about this team:
At a little over 29 years old, the average age of the Cyclones opening day roster is the highest in the league. This team has a ton of experience to bring with them into this season.
The question to be answered:
Can this team adapt to a different style of play in the newly formed “White” division (the other one is “Red”). Last year the Cyclones were in the Capital division and played a lot of games against competition in the Ottawa area. Now they will be paired up with the Atlantic Attack and the Montreal-area teams. Ringette is ringette, but the Cyclones played a certain style for a long time and they will have to be ready to adapt this season.
What happened in the off-season:
Not much, and that might be a big help. The Cyclones added Nadia Chenard, who returns to the Cyclones after two years with Bourassa (and brings a point-a-game scoring pace with her). But this team needs a quick start and a stable roster might be a big help with that.
The (hidden) gem:
It is hard to think of this team and not think of Julie Fleury-Roy. Fleury-Roy has hit both the 4000 minutes played mark, as well as the 3000 career save mark. At times Fleury-Roy has provided unbelievable goalkeeping for the Cyclones and she will be called upon again to deliver for Quebec City this season.
Reason for optimism:
This team is experienced, and maybe more importantly, they are experienced in playing with each other. Their familiarity and a track record of being a constant threat to get to the NRL championship give them a lot to look forward to this year.
Reason for concern:
The Cyclones will have to face a more offensively inclined division this year which could add to the strain felt by the defence and by goalkeeper Fleury-Roy. Chantal St-Laurent will lead the way on the Cyclones offense once again and she will be needed not only to score, but to retain the ring and keep the high powered offenses in the division from scoring as well.