Photo by Marc Lafleur
The Ravens women’s hockey team returns to the ice on Friday, October 29, 2021, when they host the Bishop’s Gaiters at the Carleton Ice House to drop the puck on the 2021 season.
After a long hiatus from inter-university competition, GoRavens.ca looks back at the 2019 women’s hockey season and previews the upcoming campaign.
2019-20 regular season record: 4-14-2-02019-20 regular season standings: 5th in RSEQ2019-20 playoff record: Did not qualifyHome Ice: Carleton Ravens Ice HouseSEASON SCHEDULE
The Ravens got off to a slow start in 2019-20 dropping their first four games of the season before turning their season around and picking up points in 4 of their next 5 games. The young Ravens team remained competitive throughout the season picking up points against all four of their RSEQ opponents. In November, the Ravens seemed to be hitting their stride, upsetting the top-ranked Concordia Stingers on the road at Ed Meagher Arena. The Ravens would pick up points regularly over their next five games before hitting a slide down the stretch. Perhaps their most notable win during the stretch came on home ice on Saturday, January 18, after performing admirably on the penalty kill and holding the Montreal Carabins scoreless through regulation Bethan Wilson would walk into a slapshot in the second overtime period giving the Ravens a 1-0 home win.
The win would fail to spark the Ravens playoff hopes, the team would lose key games down the stretch against Ottawa and Montreal falling short of a playoff birth.
This season the RSEQ makes it’s long-awaited expansion to six teams. With the addition of the Bishop’s Gaiters, the Ravens will see more variety in their schedule playing each of their conference rivals five times.
In a conference that’s seen a changing of the guard in recent years, Carleton will be in tough when they travel to Montreal with stiff competition from the Carabins, McGill Martlets and Stingers. When not in the Paris of North America the Ravens will need to work hard to pick up points from the upstart Gaiters and cross-town rivals, the uOttawa Gee-Gees.
The Ravens season will also feature a new venue for the Alert Cup when the Ravens and Gee-Gees drop the puck at TD Place on Saturday, January 23 at 3:00 p.m.
The Ravens have a young, exciting roster that features 17 first-year players. With good depth leftover from the 2019-20 season, the Ravens will look to play a fast brand of hockey that challenges their opponents and takes advantage of their every mistake.
Up front, the Ravens forward group features a strong collection of veteran leaders who will provide stability and structure while the young Ravens find their wings. Despite losing scoring leading scorers Annie-Pier Tremblay and Carly Wouters, the Ravens retain third leading scorer Jenna Morais (Burlington, Ont.). The Southern Ontario forward will be joined by veteran leaders like Justina Beard (Metcalfe, Ont.), Stephanie Chouchanie (Montreal, Que.), Hannah Unis-Thibault (Sherbrooke, Que.) and Sandrine Hachez (Valleyfield, Que.) Hachez can expect to be leaned on heavily this year, moving to centre after starting her U SPORTS career on the wing.
Along the blueline, the Ravens may be young, but they are deep, with eight defenders who can contribute both offensively and defensively. Veteran leaders Angela Callochia (Beaconsfield, Que.), Samantha Andrews (Exeter, Ont.) and Nicole Macneil (Sydney, N.S.) are joined by five rookies all ready to make an immediate impact on the program. Among those who stand out the most, Nicole Hunter (Pickering, Ont.) is a strong two-way defender with a good shot who has the ability to make an impact from end-to-end.
Also joining the young Ravens defense core is Lucie Quatro. An impressive defender from Besancon, France, Quatro will split the early season between the Ravens and the French National Team where she hopes to help them qualify for the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China.
The Ravens most impressive area of depth is without a doubt between the pipes. Returning standout rookie Marie-Eve Cote (Quebec City, Que.) the Ravens have true stability in the crease. In addition to Cote, the Ravens feature three more goaltenders all of which are capable of back stopping the Ravens to success in 2021. The Ravens return fourth-year goaltender Nieve Selley (Ottawa, Ont.), while rookies Naida Duffett (Ottawa, Ont.) and Frederike Lavoie-Leroux (Boucherville, Que.) will all battle for their opportunity in the crease.
Behind the bench Head Coach Pierre Alain returns for his 7th season behind the bench, joined by former captain Tawnya Guindon and Tricia Zakaria. The Ravens staff is rounded out by goalie coach Matthew Jenkins and video coach Maxime Cote.
On how all the rookies are progressing…
“It’s exciting, we have a young team with 15 first-years and we’re very excited to start the season. They respond well during practices, and we need to put emphasis on effort work ethic and habits but I like the way they skate, the way they think the game, the way they listen.”
On using the time off to improve…
“We did a lot last year without playing. We came up with the returning players with a way to do a lot of tactics, this way, they are going to help us teach the first-years and the new players coming in, it will help the whole team with cohesion, communication and applying our principles to tactics and systems.”
On the expansion to six teams and goals for November…
“We need to win games and compete every game. That’s the trend during practices; communication, hard work and more than hard work, compete. If we do so during practices we should be able to practice those habits to games, and win. Win and of course, progress, I’m expecting them to be quick learners, and so far they are trying to apply what we’re asking them to do.”
On the team’s depth in goal…
“I feel very good about our goaltending. Marie-Eve Cote is returning and she’s been very good since she’s been here. We’re expecting her to play and play a lot. And with Lavoix, she’s worked very hard this summer. And we have Naida, she’s a big goalie, working hard with our goalie coach. Nieve is pushing the pace, she wants to be in there, she tries to get a game, to start a game and she pushes the pace.”