Tuesday, April 7 at 1:50 pm Atlantic – CARI Arena A
Prairie Fire (0-0) vs Cyclones de Quebec (0-0)
Day one can be a gauntlet of potential landmines for any team coming to the national championship, but for two teams coming for the first time, and in a tough pool, the day one matchup is as important as it gets. With tough games against Edmonton and Montreal on their round robin schedule, these two teams will be under pressure to get two vital points right off the bat in their schedule.
Prairie Fire will be buoyed by the experience of their top scorer, and Team Canada member Sheena MacDonald. The Winnipeg crew will also be led by Elise Crocker, who at only 18 is the youngest player in the NRL Championship event and although she brings an impeccable pedigree as a goalkeeper for Canada`s Under 19 team, it will truly be a trial by fire for a young, but very talented goalkeeper.
Goalkeeping will be an area of strength for Quebec City as well, with Julie Fleury-Roy being an integral part of Quebec City`s progress into a playoff team this year. She backstopped the team with an .886 save percentage and was in nets for both overtime wins in their playoff series against Richmond Hill Lightning. Offensively, Chantal St-Laurent led the team in the regular season with a nearly two-point per game scoring pace, and she will be relied upon to supply goal scoring against their western rivals in this game.
Look for a quick start in this game. Both of these teams had to perform in very tight games at the end of the season in order to qualify for the national championship, so neither team is a stranger to big games this season. In the end, the team that adapts the best to the pressure cooker of the event and gets timely goalkeeping is likely to come out on top.