19 Teams in 19 Days – Montreal Mission

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

Montreal Mission

Last season finish:
Regular season – 2nd place Eastern Conference
NRL Championship – 7th place

Head coach: Patrick Summers
Two questions with coach Summers:
What would it mean to you, as a coach, to win the NRL championship this season?
It has been a goal of mine since I started coaching ringette over 15 years ago. I know many of the previous winners and I would be honored to be part of that elite membership.

What does your team have to do to win an NRL championship?
The Mission need to stay focused on the job and task at hand, play within their emotions. We tend to get very emotional and let little things affect our performance.

The NRL nugget to know about this team:
Of the top six scorers in the league since 2007, four of them are members of the Mission. Catherine Cartier, Julie Blanchette, Stephanie Seguin and Julie Primard all are above the 300 point mark and are all in the top six.

The question to be answered:
Can this team translate goals into wins in big games? The Mission have not had a hard time getting to the NRL Championship over the years, but have struggled upon arrival. This team really should have found a way to win one by now, and they need to find a way to get through that.

What happened in the off-season:
Arielle Sanschagrin was added via the draft. A better than a point-per-game scorer for Quebec in the U19 division at the 2011 Canadian Ringette Championships, she could be a huge addition for secondary scoring and for youthful enthusiasm.

The (hidden) gem:
The Mission added Julie-Eve Finn, which may end up being an under-the-radar signing. Finn, a New Brunswick native flew a bit under the radar as she moved to Quebec and potentially could be big addition for this team.

Reason for optimism:
Any team that can score like the Mission can score, can win games. The Mission averaged 8.45 goals per game last season and had Primard in the lineup only after the trade deadline. The Mission’s offence is terrifying!

Reason for concern:
The Mission need to find a way to rise to the occasion at the end of the season. This is easier said that done, but when the games (and the checking) gets tighter the Mission have to find a way to win 2-1 because we already know they can win the 10-9 barn burner.