National Ringette League announces Elite Eight rankings, December Stars

Ottawa, Ontario – January 6, 2010 – The new year marks the halfway point of the 2009-2010 National Ringette League season and with only ten weeks left in regular season play, teams continue their hunt for a spot at the NRL Championship tournament being held in Saskatoon, SK from April 5-10, 2010. Today the league announces its monthly rankings as well as its stars for the month of December.

This month’s elite eight rankings see the Cambridge Turbos (1) retain their spot as the top team in the league. Ottawa Ice (2) win three of their four games and move up one spot to second despite facing their first loss of the season to Cyclones de Quebec. Manitoba Jets (3) break into the rankings this month in third place after beating Fraser Valley Avalanche twice and downing Edmonton WAM! once. Rive Sud Revolution (4) are also newcomers to the rankings, placing fourth after winning three of their four games last month, including a shootout win over Montreal Mission. Edmonton WAM! (5) fall from second to fifth this month after dropping one of their three game series to Manitoba Jets. Calgary RATH (6) maintain their sixth place ranking and Montreal Mission (7) fall from fourth to seventh. Another newcomer rounds out this month’s rankings, with Richmond Hill Lightning (8) splitting their two December games, beating Waterloo Wildfire.

The top star in the Western Conference is Kristy Maksymyk of the Manitoba Jets who was instrumental on defence in the Jets five December games. Erin Cumpstone from Saskatoon Wild picks up the second star nod after posting five goals and four assists in the Wild’s three games, including a hat trick and an assist in a game over Prairie Fire on December 12th. The last star in the west also hails from the Manitoba Jets – goalie Amy Clarkson posted a 0.897 save percentage after facing 174 shots in five games.

In the Eastern Conference, some familiar faces are recognized again this month, with Montreal Mission’s Julie Blanchette receiving the first star honor. Blanchette, who was last month’s third star, posted seven goals and seven assists in the Mission’s four December games, including a hat trick and three assists in a game against BLL Nordiques on December 20th. Rive Sud Revolution’s Julie Primard claims December’s second Eastern star after gathering 15 points in four games, including five goals and an assist in a game against Lac St. Louis on December 20th. Last month’s first star picks up the third star honor this month – Jacqueline Gaudet of the Cambridge Turbos picked up four goals and a pair of assists in Cambridge’s two December games.

National Ringette League Elite Eight as of January 6, 2010:
Rank – (Ranking last month) – Team name – Conference
1 – (1) – Cambridge Turbos – Eastern
2 – (3) – Ottawa Ice – Eastern
3 – (-) – Manitoba Jets – Western
4 – (-) – Rive Sud Revolution – Eastern
5 – (2) – Edmonton WAM!
6 – (6) – Calgary RATH – Western
7 – (4) – Montreal Mission – Eastern
8 – (-) Richmond Hill Lightning – Eastern