With two of its big guns back, the Calgary Rath is running roughshod through the 16th annual Jim Benning ringette tournament in Regina. Goaltender Stacey McNichol is back from her stint with the national team, which lost the world championship final 9-3 to Finland in November.
Lisa Brown also returns to the lineup after missing the first tournament of the fledgling National Ringette League to watch the worlds in Stockholm, Sweden.
"They'll make a big difference," said Rath head coach Steve Hutchison. "Especially Lisa. She's a veteran player who gives us some composure on the bench."
The difference showed in the first day of tournament action.
The Rath, which sits seventh in the Elite Eight national rankings, pummelled both the Saskatoon Wild and the Manitoba Ice yesterday by 7-1 scores.
Entering the Regina tournament, the Rath held a 2-4-2 record in NRL action and its goal, said Hutchison, was to post at least five wins this weekend.
"All our games have been fairly close," he said.
"The main thing is we're improving every outing. We started with a very young team."
McNichol sees improvement in the team since practices started last fall.