Tight Race in the CWHL
Since we’re about at the halfway point of the CWHL season it’s time to see who is leading the race for their awards and since we focus on goaltending here let’s look at the leading candidates for the CWHL Goalie of the Year. So to start this off I’ll give you my top 3 CWHL goalies in no particular order: Charline Labonte (MTL), Emerance Maschmeyer (CGY), and Genevieve Lacasse (CGY). These are the top three goalies in raw Goals Saved Above Average along with being the top 5 in Quality Starts %.
My personal pick right now though would be the rookie goalie, Emerance Maschmeyer. Even though Maschmeyer only has five starts (at this date), Maschmeyer is a leader in nearly every relevant goaltending statistic. Maschmeyer leads in raw Save Percentage with a 0.941 SV% with Lacasse (0.937) and Sonja van der Bliek (0.932) right behind her. Along with leading in raw SV% Maschmeyer leads the CWHL in raw GSAA as well with a 5.450 GSAA. Labonte (4.52 GSAA) and Lacasse (3.970 GSAA) are right behind Maschmeyer though. Also last but not least Maschmeyer is tied for 3rd (with Christina Kessler) among CWHL goalies for Quality Starts % with a 0.800 behind van der Bliek and Lacasse who both have a 1.000 QS%.
There are arguments you can make against Maschmeyer though. First off Maschmeyer only has five starts this season compared to the ten starts Charline Labonte has. Another possible argument against Maschmeyer is her record. Out of my personal top 3 goalies Maschmeyer has the worst Points % out of the three of them at 0.600 PT% whereas Labonte has a 0.850 PT% and Lacasse has a 1.000 PT%. I personally believe though that wins are more slanted towards being a team stat I’m not going to use PT% against Maschmeyer though it is a plus for Labonte and Lacasse. One last thing is this could all be used to say that Genevieve Lacasse should be goalie of the year. The one issue I have with Lacasse is that she’s only had 25.2 SA/60 which is lower than Maschmeyer showing that she’s had it a bit easier than Maschmeyer.
With all that said though the Goalie of the Year race in the CWHL is very close. Each weekend changes the race. Before the CWHL came back from its break Sonja van der Bliek was one of the leading CWHL Goalies of the Year. This weekend will be huge in deciding the course of the race as Calgary and Montreal face off in Montreal while Toronto and Brampton have their own weekend series. Another factor is the playing time afforded to the Inferno goalies. Each Inferno goalie has at least five starts while Delayne Brian has six starts. The Inferno head coach is doing great giving each goalie a fair amount of starts but it could ultimately come back to hurt Lacasse or Maschmeyer due to the lack of starts compared to Kessler or Labonte.
Brittany Ott Runs the NWHL
While the CWHL race for Goalie of the Year is tight as it’s ever been the NWHL race for Goalie of the Year looks like it is over. Last year’s winner was Brittany Ott and there’s a huge chance she’ll be the winner again. First off Brittany Ott has the highest raw SV% of any NWHL goalie at 0.949 and second place is her goalie partner Lauren Slebonick who has a 0.921 SV%. The third goalie in the NWHL for raw SV% is Nicole Stock at 0.903 SV%.
When you look at raw Goals Saved Above Average the difference between Brittany Ott and the other goalies below her is even bigger. Ott is currently sitting at a 7.628 GSAA and in second place is Stock with a 1.264 GSAA. Goalie of the Year is Ott’s to lose with Stock and Katie Fitzgerald the extreme dark horses in the NWHL. For Ott to lose her spot as top goalie we’d have to see the Boston Pride to fall apart allowing teams to get more offensive opportunities on Ott while Stock or Fitzgerald post a record amount of shutouts. Even then Ott could still win Goalie of the Year barring Ott forgetting how to play goalie which doesn’t seem likely.
Even with Ott running the NWHL it’s promising to see Nicole Stock step up into the starting position and being trusted more. She’s obviously deserved and if Connecticut wants to be a serious contender for the Isobel Cup they need to see what Stock can do as the starter. Another goalie that deserves more recognition is NWHL rookie Katie Fitzgerald. Even though the NWHL is small it’s still great to see your name in the top 3 for NWHL goalies. Shin/Fitzgerald are trending up to be a surprise tandem in the NWHL.