The Atlantic Attack took a giant leap forward in the 2014-2015 season by securing a position in the playoffs. The Attack currently hold 6th in the Eastern Conference standings after a disappointing 2013-2014 which saw them secure only three wins in 26 games. Currently, the Attack are well into the playoff picture but their final placement with only four regular season games remaining continues to be a large question mark. Richmond Hill holds 5th by a mere 3 points and 6, 7, 8, and 9 are holding on with a 3 point differential. The Attack are in tough to hold on to, or surpass, 6th with two games apiece against Richmond Hill and the Cambridge Turbos left on the February calendar. The goal of the remainder of the regular season will be to finish in the top 6 and finally be able to bring the Eastern Conference playoffs to their home ice in Cocagne, NB.
The Attack will look to improve upon their playoff history when they were downed in two close matches against Richmond Hill in 2012 and walked away from their NRL championship host team stint with 7 straight losses in 2013. As the team heads into the playoffs, there are a few key positives that will most likely help the Attack have their strongest playoff performance to date:
Discipline- the Attack have 48 less penalty minutes than last season and are the 4th lowest in penalty minutes among their Eastern Conference opponents, which translates to a team playing a more sound, composed type of game.
Offense- The Attack have scored 174 goals so far this season which surpasses all other total goal statistics they have scored in any of their previous three regular seasons. Two Attack players who consistently provide offense for the team, Joelle Proulx and Josée Doiron, both have contributed a point per game average in playoff match-ups and specifically, Doiron posted 10 points in 7 games at the 2013 NRL championships.
Energy- Seven Attack players will be fresh off returning from their experience at the Canada Winter Games in British Columbia and will be ready to continue the momentum into the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Attack also have 10 veteran returnees that have been on the roster since day one that will be looking to change their playoff history.
Goaltending- Twenty year old Karine Doiron is within the top 10 in the league amongst goaltenders in the most wins category and is number one in the Eastern Conference when a game goes to a shootout. Doiron is also within the top three for minutes logged with 997 in the crease, and faced 643 shots in 21 games played. Doiron has displayed her best goals against average out of her past four seasons this year and her endurance and confidence will be a large component of the Attack’s playoff success.