As the NHL lockout drags on, women’s hockey has found its place in the spotlight.
While NCAA women’s hockey has seen its share of remarkable accomplishments (primarily Hannah Brandt and the 20-0 Minnesota Golden Gophers), Canadian Interuniversity Sport women’s hockey has featured some remarkable teams.
After a 2011-12 season that saw the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds win only one contest, new head coach Graham Thomas has already led the young squad to seven wins and a third-place spot.
Another team in the Canada West Conference, the Regina Cougars have turned heads. As part of a sweep against the nationally ranked Alberta Pandas, Regina has established itself as an upstart on the national scene.
While the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks have been the dynasty in Ontario University Athletics, a new group of teams is looking to compete. Led by a highly skilled defense, the rough-and-tumble Western Ontario Mustangs are in the double digits for wins. The Guelph Gryphons have a high-powered offense built around remarkable rookie Amanda Parkins.
Eastern Canada has also seen its share of superlative hockey. Montreal’s McGill University continues to be the top-ranked school in Canada with Melodie Daoust leading the nation in scoring. Not far behind Daoust are dependable forwards Leslie Oles and Katia Clement-Heydra.
The Atlantic University Sport conference finds the St. Francis Xavier X-Women back on top, but they face some unexpected competition in the St. Thomas Tommies.
Led by seven freshmen (forwards Emily Ryan, Kelty Apperson, Stephanie Gates, Kenya Marcelline and Emily Francis and defenders Amy Duffield and Eliza Snider), the Tommies sit in second place. With these superlative freshmen adding a new dimension to the Tommies offense, the club should expect to remain competitive for many seasons to come.