Ten Things I Think I Think – January 14, 2010

It’s a new year and with that comes our first 2010 edition of "10 Things".

1. I think that scoring five goals in a game is quite impressive. This year, it has been done three times. Chantal St-Laurent (Quebec), Courtney Keeble (Lac St. Louis) and Salla Kyhala (Saskatoon) have all notched five goals in wins.

2. I think that Ottawa Ice had an awfully good showing against the Cambridge Turbos in their 3-2 loss this weekend. In that game, the Turbos’ Sharolyn Wouters was held goal-less for the first time in 40 games. A great accomplishment by the Ice, and an incredible run by Wouters (who did get an assist in the game). This means that the current longest goal scoring streak lies with Montreal’s Catherine Cartier who has scored in 18 straight.

3. I think the Manitoba Jets had a great month of December. But good enough for the #3 ranking? As one of the authors of the elite eight rankings system, this one was a bit of a curiosity. The Jets had a great month, and a ranking was not out of the question, but the system seemed to love their wins against Fraser Valley and Edmonton and not really punish them for losing twice to the highly ranked Edmonton WAM!. Math can be a fickle friend! Of course, the Jets will have the month of January to prove that the ranking were not just a quirk and they will do their best to do just that.

4. I think that the NRL distribution of the members of Team Canada is interesting. Here they are:
1. Calgary RATH (8)
2. Edmonton WAM! (4)
2. (tie) Cambridge Turbos (4)
4. Prairie Fire (3)
5. Montreal Mission (2)
5. (tie) Ottawa Ice (2)
6. Rive Sud (1)
6. (tie) BLL (1)
6. (tie) Richmond Hill Lightning (1)
6. (tie) Saskatoon Wild (1)
6. (tie) Gloucester Devils (1)
6. (tie) Waterloo Wildfire (1)
6. (tie) Fraser Valley Avalanche (1)
This means that 13 our of 18 league teams have at least one player on the Team Canada roster and that 16 come from the Western Conference and 14 from the East. Pretty evenly spread out overall.

5. I think (actually, I know) we forgot to give kudos to Cyclones de Quebec in our pre-Christmas edition of "Ten Things". Quebec defeated the previously undefeated Ottawa Ice on December 5. Of notable mention in the 3-2 win was Quebec’s Julie Fleury-Roy making 41 saves, while Ottawa goalie Tori Goble blocked nine shots.

6. I think that 17-0 is a pretty good start to a season for the Cambridge Turbos! The undefeated talk should start soon. Will Head Coach Glen Gaudet rest his starters a la Indianapolis Colts? Not too likely! I also think the Turbos have not lost a game since March 22, 2009, a stretch of 26 in a row and counting.

7. I think that a hat trick is pretty good. I think that two players on the same team getting a hat trick in one game is awfully good. And I think that two hat tricks in a weekend is outstanding. Saskatoon’s Salla Kyhala and Erin Cumpstone both got three goals in a win over Manitoba. Kyhala followed that up with a five goal performance against Manitoba the next day. In the east, Jacqueline Gaudet notched three goals in a win over Gatineau and then potted three more the next day against Gloucester.

8. I think the shooters have some work to do in the shootout. Shootout shooters are scoring 42% of the time in the shootout, giving the goalies a pretty good edge halfway through the season. Oddly, the shooters are shooting 100% in their regulation time penalty shots with Montreal’s Catherine Cartier and Gatineau’s Genvieve Dorval both scoring on their attempts.

9. I think that Alison Biewald is having quite an impact as a rookie. Gloucester has nine wins, Biewald as the game winner in three of them. That kind of clutch performance must make coach Dave Mainwood and the Devils organization very excited for the future with Biewald.

10. I think these are my non-NRL thoughts this week:
a. I think that the next time I hear someone complain about the international competitiveness of ringette I will angrily (yea – you heard me – I said angrily) point to this year’s World Junior Hockey. 16-0? 6-0? 8-2? Sure the final was close but the rest was nothing to write home about. Some countries are better than others – this is a fact and ringette’s competitiveness is not that different than most other sports.
b. I think that anyone who was lucky enough to see any of the Team Canada training camp in Kitchener knows that Finland should be worried. Ottawa Ice and Team Canada head coach Lyndsay Wheelans has this team focussed, intense, ready.
c. I think that as a Packers fan, the loss to Arizona was heart-wrenching. Ugh.
d. I think I’m old. I don’t care if Jay Leno gets cancelled because I can’t stay up that late anyway.
e. I think that sport should be safe. I think that an attack on sport is an attack on all we strive for as humanity. I think that the attack on the Togo soccer team is reprehensible. Protect sport because it provides us with examples of excellence that inspire us all. (Sorry to be a bummer, but this matters and need to be said….)