Laurier Ranked #1 for CIS Women’s Hockey Championships

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OTTAWA (ISN) – For the second time in program history, the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks head into the CIS women’s hockey championship as the pre-tournament favourites.

Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wice/index

The seeding and pools were announced Sunday night for the six-team CIS tourney, which kicks off Thursday at Clare Drake Arena on the campus of the University of Alberta. The gold medal final is set for 6 p.m. Mountain Time next Sunday.

SSN Canada will have live webcasts of all nine games from the tournament at ssncanada.ca.

Joining the OUA champion Hawks in Edmonton will be the reigning national champ McGill Martlets (RSEQ champions), who have been seeded No. 2, as well as the No. 3 Calgary Dinos (Canada West champions), No. 4 UPEI Panthers (AUS champions), No. 5 Alberta Pandas (Canada West finalists & Hosts) and No. 6 Montreal Carabins (RSEQ finalists).

Top-ranked Laurier will compete in Pool A with UPEI and Montreal in the round-robin portion of the championship. Pool B is comprised of McGill, Calgary and Alberta.

The competition kicks off Thursday at 3:30 p.m. Mountain Time with Laurier taking on Montreal. The Pool B opener follows at 7 p.m. with McGill facing Calgary.

UPEI and Alberta take the ice Friday against the losers of the opening-day matchups.

The Golden Hawks, who took over from McGill as the top-ranked team in the country in mid-January, had been seeded No. 1 only once in the past, in 2006, one year after they claimed their lone CIS banner. They reached the gold-medal final of the 2006 tourney but dropped a 2-1 decision to Alberta.

The Martlets had earned the No. 1 seed each of the past five years. They beat StFX 5-2 in the 2011 final to capture their third CIS title in four seasons.

A pair of Canadian Olympic heroes will go head-to-head in Thursday’s Pool B opener, with goalie Charline Labonté protecting the McGill net and hockey legend Hayley Wickenheiser leading the Dino attack.

The CIS major award winners and all-Canadians will be announced at a banquet Wednesday night.

NOTE: A complete championship preview will follow on Tuesday.

SEEDING & POOLS

1. Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (OUA champions: 25-0-1 regular season / 6-1 playoffs)

2. McGill Martlets (RSEQ champions: 18-1-1 regular season / 4-1 playoffs)

3. Calgary Dinos (CWUAA champions: 20-4-0 regular season / 4-0 playoffs)

4. UPEI Panthers (AUS champions: 13-10-1 regular season / 3-0 playoffs)

5. Alberta Pandas (CWUAA finalists & Hosts: 14-3-7 regular season / 2-2 playoffs)

6. Montreal Carabins (RSEQ finalists: 13-5-2 regular season / 2-2 playoffs)

Pool A

1. Laurier

4. UPEI

6. Montreal

Pool B

2. McGill

3. Calgary

5. Alberta

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

NOTE: Live webcast of all games on SSN Canada (ssncanada.ca)

Wednesday, March 7

19:00 All-Canadian Banquet (Crowne Plaza Chateau Lacombe)

Thursday, March 8

15:30 Pool A #1: No. 6 Montreal vs. No. 1 Laurier

19:00 Pool B #1: No. 3 Calgary vs. No. 2 McGill

Friday, March 9

15:30 Pool A #2: Loser Pool A #1 vs. No. 4 UPEI

19:00 Pool B #2: Loser Pool B #1 vs. No. 5 Alberta

Saturday, March 10

15:30 Pool A #3: Winner Pool A #1 vs. No. 4 UPEI

19:00 Pool B #3: Winner Pool B #1 vs. No. 5 Alberta

Sunday, March 11

11:00 5th Place

14:00 Bronze

18:00 Final

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