Expect Both Ends Of The Spectrum In Women’s Hockey Playoffs

Heading into the Women’s Hockey Playoffs, here are some of the key things to look out for!

1: Scoring in CanWest

If you’re a goalie, and you play for one of the teams in CanWest, don’t expect to get a shutout these playoffs. Especially so if you’re playing the UBC Thunderbirds or Manitoba Bisons, who each have three players in the top 10 in scoring. The Thunderbirds have the edge in goals with 81 compared to 70 by Manitoba but neither can be taken easily. Even the Alberta Pandas, who statistically speaking have flown under the radar, have scored 77 goals, 2nd in the conference to UBC.

2: UBC Dominance

We already covered how good the Thunderbirds are, but they really deserve a section of their own dedicated to how dominant they will be (or at least can be). Yes, they’re tied for second place in CanWest with 20 wins – finishing just a point behind the Pandas in the standings – and their 81 goals are the best in the conference, but it’s how they’re doing it. Tatiana Rafter ran away with the scoring race in the west and her teammates Nicole Saxvik and Stephanie Schaupmeyer both finished top 10 in scoring (Schaupmeyer was tied for 10th). Throw in a pair of defencemen in Sarah Casorso and Christi Capozzi who have contributed 19 and 15 points respectively and this team is the whole package.

3: Tight Competition In Atlantic

In the AUS, not much separates the teams in the standings. First place has 36 points, while third and fourth have 27 each. Nine points may seem like a lot, but the style each team plays lends itself to close games. Aside from St. FX, which has done a great job of putting the puck in opposing teams’ nets while keeping it out of their own net, no team has any real edge in play. St. Thomas is really the only team at a disadvantage – being the beneficiary of five overtime losses, despite 11 wins.

4: Complicated OUA

The 2014 playoffs in the OUA should be a tale of two stories from beginning to end. The first round is sure to see plenty of blowouts with first playing eighth, and so on. But parity will prevail down the road in the playoffs as the best teams come out on top – meaning more even matchups and closer games. But good luck to the team tasked with scoring on Guelph, which is tied for the CIS lead with 30 goals against (with 5 more games played than the McGill Martlets).

5: Two-Team Show In RSEQ

Games might be high scoring in other conferences, and they might be close, too. There might even be some upsets. But don’t expect anything like that in the RSEQ. McGill has just one loss in 18 games, they’re one of the top scoring teams in the country, they’re one of the best defensive teams and they’ve really just been a superb team this season. But don’t count Montreal out too soon. They trail in the standings, but the Carabins have the power of momentum on their side as they head into the playoffs on a run: Winning 10 in a row dating back to November 30.

Photo Credit:
Article: UBC News
Feature: Derek Drummond/McGill Athletics