National Ringette League announces Elite Eight rankings, December Stars

Ottawa, Ontario – January 5, 2011 – The new year opens with the National Ringette League (NRL) announcing its monthly Elite Eight rankings as well as its December stars. Teams continue to have their sights set on a spot at the NRL Championship tournament, which will be held in Cambridge, ON from March 27 to April 2, 2011.

In the Eastern Conference, the top star goes to Montreal Mission’s Julie Blanchette who also picked up the honour last month. Blanchette posted an impressive eight goals and 11 assists during three games in December. The second star goes to Waterloo Wildfire goalie Amanda Voisin who had a 0.921 save percentage in December. The last star goes to Sharolyn Wouters from the Cambridge Turbos who picked up four goals and seven assists in two games in December.

In the Western Conference, the league’s first star goes to Victoria Russell with the Calgary RATH. Russell posted seven goals and seven assists in five games during the month of December. The second star goes to Edmonton WAM!’s Ashley Peters who scored five goals and eight assists during the WAM!’s five December games. The last star in the west goes to Manitoba Jets forward Morgan Jones who picked up five goals in four games during the past month.

Today the league also announced its monthly Elite Eight rankings, with the top three teams holding onto their positions, a bit of movement in the four through seven spots and a newcomer rounding out the rankings. Prairie Fire (1), Cambridge Turbos (2) and Calgary RATH (3) remain firmly rooted in the top three spots. Prairie Fire won three of their four December games, previously undefeated Cambridge Turbos faced their first loss to Waterloo Wildfire but also picked up four wins in the last month, and Calgary RATH dropped one of their last five games. Montreal Mission (4) move up one spot from fifth to fourth after winning their last three games, Ottawa Ice (5) also won their last three games and move up to fifth from eighth last month, and Richmond Hill Lightning (6) move up one spot to sixth after splitting their four last games. Edmonton WAM! (7) fall one spot from sixth to seventh after winning four of their last five games and the Manitoba Jets (8) break into the rankings in eighth winning one of their last four games. This past month also saw the Fraser Valley Avalanche, ranked fifth in last month’s rankings, cease operations as a result of unforeseen financial difficulties.

National Ringette League Elite Eight as of January 5, 2011:
Rank – (Ranking last month) – Team name – Conference
1 – (1) – Prairie Fire – Western
2 – (2) – Cambridge Turbos – Eastern
3 – (3) – Calgary RATH – Western
4 – (5) – Montreal Mission – Eastern
5 – (8) – Ottawa Ice – Eastern
6 – (7) – Richmond Hill Lightning – Eastern
7 – (6) – Edmonton WAM! – Western
8 – (–) – Manitoba Jets – Western