Championships Vanier Cup

Welcome to Monday Morning Quarterback, a weekly look at all the best U SPORTS stories from the week across Canada West, the OUA, RSEQ and the AUS.


Dinos beat Carabins 27-13 to win their fifth Vanier Cup

The 55th Vanier Cup presented by Promutuel Insurance took place Saturday in Quebec City, and the Canada West champion Calgary Dinos took down the RSEQ champion Montreal Carabins 27-13 in front of 8,376 fans.

Fifth-year Calgary quarterback Adam Sinagra led the way, completing 22 of 28 passes for 292 yards and two touchdowns. Sinagra earned the Ted Morris Memorial Trophy as the game’s Most Valuable Player. Calgary led 13-7 at the half, with a touchdown pass from Sinagra to Jalen Philpot staking them to that lead, and they went on from there.

A full recap of the Vanier Cup can be found here. A recap of the U SPORTS football major awards and All-Canadian picks can be found here


Thunderbirds again sweep conference titles, Varsity Blues sweep division titles

Some key U SPORTS swimming events took place this weekend, and in Canada West, a familiar team wound up on top. At the Canada West championships this weekend in Lethbridge, the UBC Thunderbirds won their seventh-straight titles on both the men’s and women’s sides. But it wasn’t all that easy for them, especially on the men’s side. There, the No. 3 Thunderbirds were in a close fight with the No. 1 Calgary Dinos heading into the final events Sunday, but a pair of outstanding performances from UBC’s Alexander Pratt (a second-year swimmer who just happens to be from Calgary) put them over the top.

The final individual event was the 400 metre freestyle, and Pratt won that to put the Thunderbirds down by only one point heading into the final team event, the medley relay. He then proved crucial there as well, shining on the anchor leg to give UBC a win both in the event and in the competition. That gave the Thunderbirds a 785-780 victory over the Dinos, which also gave them their 20th men’s conference title (tied them for a Canada West record). Overall, Pratt finished with two individual medals and that team medal, and UBC head coach Derrik Schoof had high praise for him afterwards:

“Alex came up big when he needed to and he is a swimmer that is getting ready for not only great varsity things but great international things. He came to this meet excited to be a big part of the team and he really delivered when he had to, so I am really happy with his swims for sure.”

On the women’s side, the No. 1 Thunderbirds also weren’t assured of a win. They went into the final day with just a 22.5 point lead over the No. 2 Dinos. However, they managed to increase that throughout the day, eventually posting 905 points to the Dinos’ 812 and the third-place Victoria Vikes’ 529. Anna Dumont-Belanger and Raben Dommann shone for UBC, earning nods as the rookies of the meet, while Victoria’s Danielle Hanus and Manitoba’s Kelsey Wog each broke several Canada West records (three and two respectively). A full recap of the event can be found here.

In OUA action, the University of Toronto Varsity Blues won the Fairweather Division championships again on both the men’s and women’s sides. The No. 4 Toronto men posted 1136 points to 776 from the Waterloo Warriors, 627 from the Western Mustangs, and 607 from the Laurentian Voyageurs. On the women’s side, the No. 4 Varsity Blues posted 1107 points to 808.5 from No. 9 Western, 648 from Waterloo and 587.5 from Laurentian. Hannah Genich particularly shone for Toronto, winning the 100m and 200m butterfly events, plus the 200m backstroke and 400m freestyle.

And in RSEQ action, the second Quebec Cup was hosted by the Laval Rouge et Or this weekend. No. 2 McGill took the men’s title behind four gold medals from Clement Secchi, while the No. 5 Montreal Carabins won the women’s title.

Men's Hockey

Gardiner MacDougall posts 500th career win with Reds

The No. 2 UNB Reds had a very memorable weekend in men’s hockey. On Friday, UNB beat the Dalhousie Tigers 10-0 at home for head coach Gardiner MacDougall’s 500th career win. MacDougall is in his 20th season at the helm of the Reds, and this marked his 400th win in AUS competition; he also has 100 career wins in AUS playoff and national University Cup action.

Samuel Dove-McFalls, Mark Rassell and Stephen Anderson each posted two goals for UNB in this game, with Alexandre Goulet, Tyler Boland, Matthew Boucher and Matt Murphy each adding single goals. And afterwards, MacDougall said his milestone came thanks to his players:

"It means I've had a lot of good players. You don't get to that without a lot of good players. I've been really fortunate here, right from the first year and on. A lot of good people and a lot of good players."

That win came on Teddy Bear Toss night, with the Reds encouraging fans to toss teddy bears in support of local hospitals and charities, part of the wider effort there.

Other U SPORTS schools like the Queen’s Gaels have taken part in that event as well. Queen’s conducted their first-ever Teddy Bear Toss this weekend:

Meanwhile, the Reds finished the weekend with an 8-1 home win over the StFX X-Men Saturday.

Women's volleyball

No. 4 Varsity Blues best No. 2 Rams

In a key matchup in OUA women’s volleyball Saturday, the No. 4 University of Toronto Varsity Blues pulled off a five-set home win against the No. 2 Ryerson Rams Saturday, winning 25-13, 25-15, 20-25, 24-26, 15-9. Toronto’s Alina Dormann posted a game-high 24 points off of 18 kills, three aces and three blocks, and she also added 12 digs on the night. Jenna Woock also added 16 points off of 11 kills, four blocks and one ace.

Another Top 10 women’s volleyball matchup took place in Canada West this week, with the No. 8 UBC Thunderbirds hosting the No. 10 Thompson Rivers WolfPack Friday and Saturday. In Friday’s game, part of UBC’s annual Thunderstruck Festival, the Thunderbirds won in four sets (25-23, 25-21, 10-25, 25-15). In Saturday’s game, the WolfPack won in four sets, 25-23, 25-15, 21-25, 25-14.

Women’s basketball

No. 9 Rouge et Or down No. 5 Gaiters

A notable women’s basketball result this week came in RSEQ play, where the No. 9 Laval Rouge et Or beat the No. 5 Bishop’s Gaiters 72-64 Sunday. That was Bishop’s first loss this year. Carrie-Ann Auger led the way for the Rouge et Or with 25 points, while Amaiquen Siciliano had 21 points for Bishop’s.


Another Top 10 clash in women’s basketball came in OUA play, where the No. 6 Ryerson Rams took down the No. 7 Queen’s Gaels 73-66 Saturday. That marked Ryerson’s second road win on the year, following their 82-33 win over the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks Friday. On Saturday, Marin Scotten led the way for the Rams with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Haley Robertson had 10 points and 10 assists.

Social media posts of the week:

In men’s rugby, the University of Victoria Vikes edged the UBC Thunderbirds 21-20 Sunday to win the Canadian University Men's Rugby Championships at Concordia University in Montreal thanks to a missed last-second kick from UBC’s Max Radcliffe:

In women’s rugby, the Canadian women’s senior 15s team beat the U.S. team 52-27 Sunday in the seocnd match of their Can-Am Series (they won the first match 19-0 Wednesday), with plenty of U SPORTS-connected athletes involved. Some who scored tries Sunday were Gillian Boag (UBC), Sophie de Goede (Queen’s), Tausani Levale (Trinity Western), and Alysha Corrigan (UPEI/Acadia):

In football, the CFL’s 107th Grey Cup took place Sunday, with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers taking down the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33-12. Plenty of U SPORTS alumni featured on both sides, including McMaster Marauders’ product and Hamilton right tackle Chris Van Zeyl (who was named the CFL’s outstanding lineman Thursday) and Manitoba Bisons’ product and Winnipeg receiver Nic Demski (who had four catches for 55 yards and a rush for 22 yards).

Also in football, Edmonton was announced as the host of the 2024 IFAF World Junior championships. Those U20 championships always feature a lot of top Canadian university players.

In wrestling, the Saskatchewan Huskies hosted their annual Huskie Invitational this weekend, and plenty of fans came out:

And in men’s basketball, the Canadian Elite Basketball League (which features a lot of U SPORTS alums) announced a seventh franchise, the Ottawa BlackJacks:

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Andrew has been covering university sports in Canada since 2005 at outlets such as The Queen's Journal, The CIS Blog, and Yahoo Canada, where he also served as the editor of the Canadian football blog 55-Yard Line. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from Queen's University with a major in history, and currently works as a staff writer and editor for Awful Announcing and The Comeback.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewBucholtz

profile_1.png (74 KB)

Andrew has been covering university sports in Canada since 2005 at outlets such as The Queen's Journal, The CIS Blog, and Yahoo Canada, where he also served as the editor of the Canadian football blog 55-Yard Line. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from Queen's University with a major in history, and currently works as a staff writer and editor for Awful Announcing and The Comeback.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewBucholtz