Saturday, 21 September 2019

Alumni Updates

If you missed the news, there are a handful of Canadian players who have moved over to the SDHL - the Swedish women's professional hockey league - after the CWHL closed its doors. Among those women were two graduating Manitoba Bisons players as defenders Erica Rieder and Alexandra Anderson as they opted to take their games to Sweden in furthering their hockey careers following a highly-successful run at the University of Manitoba. How are they doing? That's the purpose of today's article.

Over the summer, Erica Rieder joined MODO after signing a contract with them while Anderson opted to join SDE HF. The former teammates met for the first time today as opponents, so there was likely a few laughs and stories shared prior to the game. However, both women are fierce competitors, so it was likely that the two of them weren't smiling once the puck was dropped. We'll get to those results in a moment, but there's a highlight to show first.

Both ladies are adapting to not only a new country, new cities, and new teams, but also new teammates, a larger ice surface, and new systems. Both were looking to get off on the right foot, and I've found video evidence of the first point recorded by Alexandra Anderson with SDE!
Anderson, wearing #18, fired a sharp pass to Leanne Ganney, captain of SDE and member of Team Great Britain, who redirected the puck past Djurgardens netminder and Canadian Samantha Ridgewell who starred with the NCAA's Merrimack College! Anderson's first point came in the second game of the season for SDE, so she seems to be finding her stride in the SDHL!

Rieder, on the other hand, has yet to get onto the scoresheet for MODO, but it should be noted that MODO as a team are also struggling in that department. As it stands today, MODO has scored just four goals in three games with half of those goals coming in their game today against SDE HF. Needless to say, Erica's lack of scoring thus far seems to be a more systemic problem than a player problem.

In any case, today was the first meeting between the two former Bisons rearguards. Let's take a look at the highlights of that game and see if either player can claim a little superiority over the other in this friendly rivalry. If you're looking for our two protagonists in this game, Erica is wearing #17 for MODO while Alex is wearing #18 for SDE.
You have heard names that you recognize. Lindsey Post, formerly of the Alberta Pandas and CWHL's Calgary Inferno, was playing net for SDE. Kelty Apperson, also formerly of the Inferno, had a pair of goals while former Inferno defender Jacqui Pierri had an assist. Our two favorite Swedish players - Anderson and Rieder - didn't factor into the 4-2 score, but SDE HF took the victory with three goals in the third period to erase a 2-1 deficit.

As it stands, SDE is currently tied for second-place in the SDHL at 3-0-0-0 trailing the 4-0-0-0 HV71 with a game in-hand. MODO, on the other hand, is struggling offensively as stated above, and their record shows it as they are winless in three games, going 0-3-0-0 thus far this season. The good news is that there's still a lot of hockey to play with SDE meeting Lulea tomorrow while MODO gets a bit of a break until the 28th where they'll face Goteborg.

It seems the two former Bisons are settling in nicely in their new cities and with their new teams. While they haven't piled up the points yet, they're playing well and honing their crafts in their rookies seasons. I have no doubt that future updates on these two alumni will involve more highlights and lots of talk about their exceptional play!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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