Ottawa, Ontario – March 3, 2010 – With regular season play nearly complete in the Eastern Conference and only three weeks left of play in the Western Conference, teams in the National Ringette League are putting the final push on to secure a spot at the 2010 NRL Championship tournament being held in Saskatoon, SK from April 5-10, 2010.
Saskatoon Wild will be the host team in the tournament and the Cambridge Turbos have received a bye to the tournament after placing first in the Eastern Conference. The Eastern Conference playoffs will be held on the weekend of March 13-14 to determine the remaining four Eastern teams participating and the top three teams from the Western Conference will earn a spot based on standings at the end of regular season play. An Atlantic entry will also participate in the tournament.
The league announces its monthly Elite Eight rankings today, as well as its stars for the month of February. This month’s rankings don’t show a lot of movement from last month, with the top five teams holding their previous month’s ranking. Cambridge Turbos (1) remain on top after winning eight out of their nine last games. Ottawa Ice (2) dropped two of their last six games and Montreal Mission (3) went undefeated in their last eight games, including a 5-4 win over Cambridge. Edmonton WAM! (4) won three of their last five games, while the Gloucester Devils (5) picked up four wins and lost two in the last month. Cyclones de Quebec (6) move up on spot, winning four of their last six games, including shootouts against Waterloo and Whitby. Calgary RATH (7) drop one spot in this month’s rankings after posting five wins and three losses, including shootout wins over Fraser Valley and Edmonton and a shootout loss to Saskatoon. Prairie Fire (8) hold onto their eighth place ranking, picking up two wins over the Manitoba Jets and one win in a three-game series with Edmonton.
The top star in the Western Conference goes to goalie Shannon Anderson with the Fraser Valley Avalanche. Anderson had an impressive 0.944 save percentage in the past month. The second star also goes to a goalie, with Bobbi Mattson from Calgary RATH picking up the honor. Mattson had a 0.872 save percentage, blocking 171 of the 196 shots she faced. The final star goes to Jen Hartley from Edmonton WAM!, who picked up six goals and four assists and was a game star in three of Edmonton’s five games.
The top two stars in the Eastern Conference stars were awarded the same honor last month, with Jacqueline Gaudet of the Cambridge Turbos picking up the top star nod and Montreal Mission’s Julie Blanchette claiming this month’s second star. Gaudet picked up 15 goals and 13 assists in the last month, while Blanchette posted 20 goals and 11 assists. Montreal’s Catherine Cartier rounds out the list as this month’s third star, picking up 25 goals and 14 assists, including two five-goal games.
National Ringette League Elite Eight as of March 3, 2010:
Rank – (Ranking last month) – Team name – Conference
1 – (1) – Cambridge Turbos – Eastern
2 – (2) – Ottawa Ice – Eastern
3 – (3) – Montreal Mission – Eastern
4 – (4) – Edmonton WAM!
5 – (5) – Gloucester Devils – Eastern
6 – (7) – Cyclones de Quebec – Eastern
7 – (6) – Calgary RATH – Western
8 – (8) – Prairie Fire – Western