First Semester Report Card
Graded by: Bryce Forbes, Sports Editor
MENS — A
For the men’s hockey team, it’s a season of about seven steps forward but one giant step back.
After playing near-perfect hockey for the first 12 games of the year, the biggest game of the year came against the SAIT Trojans, their lifelong rivals who sat only three points behind them in the standings. In game one of their home-and-home series, the Cougars were able to dominate the Trojans 8-4 in a fight-filled affair. However, less than 24 hours later, the Cougars were on the wrong side of 7-1 drubbing to the Trojans.
While it continuing the only blemish on their schedule, and they sit on top of the ACAC standings, the Cougars will need to find the ability to A) keep to their game plan against the Trojans and B) keep their head in the game and out of the penalty box. During the second game, they allowed four goals on 11 penalty kills.
The other aspect is a terrible powerplay that sits at the bottom of the ACAC with only a 13.6 per cent rate.
WOMENS — B+
Three numbers stand out when looking at the women’s squad: 45, 21 and four.
That means 45 goals for — league leaders.
That means 21 goals against — league leaders.
And that’s four top scorers in the top six. (Chrissy Hodgson, Tanika Dawson, Kat McDonald and Taralynn Suzuki.)
Any way you cut it, the Cougars are at the top of their league right now.
They easily dismantled the second-place NAIT Ooks in their last home game, drubbing the Edmontonians 6-0 by the end of the second period.
The next night though, in theback end of the home-and-home series, the Cougars lost 3-2 in overtime.
They are sitting pretty in first place of the league with 17 points, thanks to eight wins in 12 games.
MRU has apair of solid goaltenders in Kendall Kilgour and Jessica Ross. Splitting time in net, they have a combined 1.75 GAA.
MENS – B
The men’s volleyball team has been nearly perfect at home with a 6-1 record.
However, it’s been a different story on the road with only one win in three outings.
The Cougars will need to pick up that record in the second half as six of their final ten games are away from the friendly confines of Mount Royal’s Kenyon Court.
The team sits 7-3 overall, good enough for a third-place tie and only two points off top spot, currently tied between Keyano College and Briercrest College.
Parity is strong in the conference, with only four points separating the top seven teams.
Third-year outside Colton deMan is leading the league with 4.2 kills per set.
Watch out for the debut of Grigor Kartev. The seven-foot-two giant from Calais, France has been held out so far this year for academic reasons, but should be starting in the new year. He’ll add a whole new dimension to the Cougars’ middle.
WOMENS — A
The defending national champions are on their way to another long playoff drive.
Currently, they are sitting atop the CCAA rankings, while also second in the South Division of the ACAC.The Cougars only have a single stain on the schedule against McEwan on the road.
Since then though, the Cougars have rallied out six straight match wins, only losing three sets along the way.
However, the biggest test will be their first weekend back after the Christmas break with a home and home series against the Medicine Hat College Rattlers, the only team above them in the standings.
Third-year setter Mackenzie Allen has a stranglehold lead on the assist category with an average of 4.2 assists a set, more than double her closest competitor.
In addition, coming from the left side, third-year player Olivia Grecu is second in the conference in kills with 3.3 a game.
MENS — A
Defense wins championships is an old adage. Well, if the men’s basketball crew continue their defensive play then they could be well on their way.
The Cougars have only given up 574 points, through nine games of the season, which averages out to 63.7 points a game. That’s 13 points better than their closest competitor in the division. Only once, in their loss to NAIT, have the Cougars allowed more than 80 points in a game.
Defence has been one of the keys for the Cougars, who now lead their division by four points over Medicine Hat with an extra game in hand.
The offensive side has been keeping their end of the bargain too, averaging 80.9 points per game.
While they have dominated within their division, the Cougars have not yet played the Lakeland College Rustlers. The Rustlers are the kings across Canada right now with a perfect record and a no. 1 CCAA ranking.
WOMENS — A-
Just like their male counterparts, the women’s basketball team is at the top of their division, all while owning the stingiest defense and top-notch offense.
With an 8-1 record, the Cougars sit a top of the South Division, one game up on Lethbridge College with one game in hand. On the national level, they are entrenched at number six.
However, it’s their one game against Grant McEwan University that showed how far the Cougars need to go for the provincial title.
Facing the only other undefeated squad in the league, the Griffins dominated the Cougars to a 78-49 victory. It was the Cougars worst game of the year.
On the scoring front, Danica Rybachuk and Emily Larson are two of the top scorers in the division.
The second half of the season opens up for the Cougars on Jan. 13 with an away meeting against the King’s University College.