TORONTO, ON – There’s a new top team in the OUA West Division this week, thanks in no small part to the new top goalie in the OUA, Martina Fedel.
With a 20-6-1 record across two OUA seasons heading into 2023-2024, Fedel was already a strong goalie, but across the first month and change of the new season, she has taken things to another level. Fedel leads the league in wins with six, has the lowest goals-against average at 0.72, and the league’s highest save percentage at .968, ten percent higher than Acadia Carlson in second.
Fedel’s save percentage through her first eight games is so high that if the season were to end today, it would be the highest save percentage in OUA history since Liz Knox put up a .960 save percentage for Laurier in 2009-2010.
The impressive start continued this past weekend as Fedel followed a 4-0 shutout of the York Lions on Nov 4, with back-to-back 1-0 shutouts of the Toronto Varsity Blues and the Waterloo Warriors. Including their Nov 3, 4-1 win over the Brock Badgers, the Gryphons have now won four straight games and flipped with the Laurier Golden Hawks for the top spot in the OUA West.
The Gryphons will try to continue their perfect November on Wednesday, Nov 15, with a re-match at the Gryphon Centre against the Waterloo Warriors before a pivotal matchup sees the Laurier Golden Hawks make the trip to Guelph on Friday.
With two games in November against the Golden Hawks, the team that it looks like they’ll be fighting for the top spot in the division against, getting the tiebreaker for potential playoff scenarios under control would be a significant advantage heading into the winter.
Nipissing continues to roll over the rest of the OUA East
The Lakers have hit the OUA East like a tsunami this season. Pardon the terrible pun, but it’s true.
After back-to-back losses in the McCaw Cup Championship, the Lakers opened the season on a revenge tour, and after a 6-1 loss to Guelph on October 21 made them 2-1-0, they proceeded to rattle off six straight wins and get a tight grip on the OUA East. Seven of those wins have come in the division, helping the Lakers stretch out their lead.
The Lakers added to their win streak this past weekend against Toronto Met as they made the trip to Mattamy Athletic Centre to take on the struggling TMU Bold. It was Nipissing vs Lauren Griffin in the first game on Nov 10, as the Lakers outshot the Bold 48-18 but only got one goal by Griffin before winning 2-1 in a shootout.
Things got a little easier in the second game as the Lakers bookended one TMU second-period goal with four of their own, two in the second and two in the third, to ultimately pick up a 4-1 win. That dropped the Bold to 1-7-1 while making the Lakers 8-1-0.
It’s been both ends of the ice that have been carrying things for the Lakers. Chantelle Sandquist leads the OUA with eight wins and holds a top-10 goals-against average and save percentage. Offensively, three Lakers sit in the top five of league scoring, led by Maggie Mckee, who sits tied for first with 12 points in nine games.
The Lakers look to add to their already nine-point lead on the division over the Toronto Varsity Blues in the upcoming weekend as they host a pair of struggling teams in the Western Mustangs and Windsor Lancers, who sit in fifth and sixth in the west division, respectively.
With those two games followed by a pair of road games at Western and Windsor before Nipissing’s end-of-first-semester battle against second-place Toronto on Dec. 2-3, the Lakers could put a large gap between themselves and second place before the end of first semester