When the Carleton Ravens women's hockey team takes the ice on Friday night, head coach Stacey Colarossi will look to continue on the momentum they built in her first year.
The Ravens' 8 wins and 19 points fell just shy of the program's high watermarks of 9 and 21 set back in 2011-12. Now, a Ravens team that looks the same but simultaneously very different will look to continue its structured climb up the RSEQ standings.
Perhaps the most apparent change on the Ravens roster is in goal. Following the graduation of starting goaltender Marie-Eve Cote, the Ravens goaltending trio looks very different. Only Frederike Lavoie-Leroux returns to the crease - joined by a pair of incoming goaltenders, rookie Jenna Goertzen of Winnipeg and transfer Caitlin Whitehead. Whitehead joins the Ravens as she returns home to complete her master's in legal studies after spending three seasons with St. Lawrence University in the ECAC.
The Ravens see a return of their top two scoring forwards from last season as Lanie Guimond and Sydney Berta return. With complimentary seasons of ten points each, Guimond with six goals and four assists and Berta with four goals and six assists, the two will be leaned on heavily if the Ravens are to increase their offence. Jenna Morais and Cecilia Lopez also return to a Ravens lineup that features one of the most veteran line-ups the team has iced in recent years.
The Ravens blueline gained valuable experience last season as one of the youngest cores in the RSEQ. Now, after a year of playing against some of the top players in the country, the Ravens look to put that experience to good use. Despite the graduation of Nicole MacNeil, the Ravnes return team leading scorer Nicole Hunter, Rhys Cole-Ashbury, Kate Lengyel and a talented core that will bring stability for the season ahead.
The Ravens found momentum in the preseason, splitting their six-game exhibition schedule with a 3-1-2 record. The Ravens' only regulation loss in the preseason came on their opening night on September 15, losing at Guelph. Carleton found their momentum after that, taking the Brock Badgers to a shootout before beating Moncton twice. In the final weekend of the preseason, the Ravens lost in double-overtime to Western before beating TMU 6-0 on the road.
Carleton will play three of their four games in October at home and only have to travel ten minutes down Colonel By Drive to face Ottawa next weekend when they do leave the Ice House. With four of their first six regular season games on home ice and two at Ottawa, Carleton has an opportunity to build momentum before a difficult swing of travel comes their way in November when they'll play seven straight road games including the 2023 Colonel By Classic.
The annual rivalry game at The Arena at TD Place finds itself wedged in as the Ravens' fourth consecutive road game when they meet the Gee-Gees on Sunday, November 19 at 3:00 p.m.
Tickets for all Carleton Ravens women's hockey games are on sale now. There's still time to save big on tickets and get front-of-the-line access to rivalry series tickets by buying women's hockey season tickets.