National Ringette League announces Elite Eight rankings, January Stars

Ottawa, Ontario – February 2, 2011 – With just over a month left in regular season play, competition in the National Ringette League (NRL) is fierce and teams have their sights squarely set on securing a spot at the 2011 NRL Championship tournament being held in Cambridge, ON from March 27 to April 2, 2011. The top three teams in the Western Conference will join the host Cambridge Turbos, an Atlantic entry and five Eastern Conference teams who will be determined through playoffs in early March. The league today announced its monthly Elite Eight rankings, as well as its stars for the month of January.

In the Eastern Conference, the top star goes to Waterloo Wildfire forward Bryanna Kelly who scored an impressive 11 goals and nine assists in the Wildfire’s last ten games. The second star goes to Montreal Mission’s Julie Blanchette who continues to be a top scorer and picked up 17 goals and 20 assists during the Mission’s last ten games. The last star goes to Rive Sud Revolution’s Julie Primard who scored 12 goals and 11 assists in the last eight games. Primard will now be putting her scoring abilities to work for the Montreal Mission after being traded during the January 31st trade deadline.

In the Western Conference, the league’s first star goes to goaltender Elise Crocker from the Prairie Fire. Crocker posted a .905 save percentage during her four January games, facing 95 shots and making 86 saves. The second and third stars come from the Manitoba Jets, with the number two nod going to defender Kristy Maksymyk and the third star going to Jets goaltender Amy Clarkson. Clarkson had a .920 save percentage after facing 150 shots and making 138 saves in the last four games.

Today the league also announced its monthly Elite Eight rankings, with movement taking place in every position. The Cambridge Turbos (1) reclaim first place, while Prairie Fire (2) drop one spot to second. The Turbos won nine of their last ten games, while Prairie Fire dropped one of their last four games. Montreal Mission (3) move up one spot from fourth after winning eight of their last ten games. Ottawa Ice (4) move up one spot to fourth after winning eight of their ten games in January. Notably, the Ice downed first place Cambridge Turbos and third place Montreal Mission. Richmond Hill Lightning (5) also move up one spot in today’s rankings, winning five of their last nine games. Calgary RATH (6) fall from third last month after dropping three of their five games in January, while Cyclones de Quebec (7) break into the ranking this month in seventh place after winning seven of their last ten games. Edmonton WAM! (8) round out this month’s rankings, down one spot from last month and picking up six out of eight wins in January. The Manitoba Jets, who were ranked eighth last month, have fallen out of the rankings.

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