Welcome to Monday Morning Quarterback, a weekly look at all the best U SPORTS stories from the week.
No. 1 Ravens down No. 10 Gee-Gees in Capital Hoops Classic
One of the top U SPORTS regular-season basketball events annually is the Capital Hoops Classic, where the crosstown rival Carleton Ravens and Ottawa Gee-Gees square off at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Classic has been held at that arena (formerly Scotiabank Place) since 2007, and it’s regularly set U SPORTS basketball attendance records. This time around, 8,759 fans showed up. On the men’s side, the top-ranked Ravens got all they could handle from the Gee-Gees earlier, trailing 18-12 after the first quarter thanks to Ottawa shooting five of seven from three-point range in the first 10 minutes, but Carleton rebounded to take a 35-30 lead by the half. The Gee-Gees pulled within three ahead of the final frame, but the Ravens outscored them 16-8 down the stretch to emerge with a 67-56 win.
For Carleton, Eddie Ekiyor had a great game off the bench, chipping in 14 points and adding 10 rebounds and two steals. Here are two of his fourth-quarter points, coming off some impressive post play:
Yasiin Joseph also had 15 points and five assists with two rebounds for the Ravens, while Stanley Mayambo hit three of his four three-pointers to finish with nine points and Munis Tutu had eight points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Tutu said afterwards the win was thanks to the Ravens focusing on the basics:
“We just wanted to stick to fundamentals, both offensively and defensively. We practice that every day and it was just a matter of translating it into the game tonight. I’m glad we pulled out the win.”
He added that the atmosphere was impressive.
“The atmosphere was great. I love these kinds of big games where everyone in Ottawa can come out and enjoy some good basketball. It was good for the city.”
The Ravens had quite the on-court celebration afterwards:
For the Gee-Gees, Brandon Robinson had a team-high 15 points while adding two assists and two rebounds. Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles added 11 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Elsewhere in men’s basketball, the No. 2 Brock Badgers, No. 3 Alberta Golden Bears and No. 4 UBC Thunderbirds all posted wins, but the No. 5 Laurentian Voyageurs fell 101-96 to the Nipissing Lakers Saturday. Marcus Lewis and Marvin Ngonadi both had 21 points for Nipissing in the win, which dropped the Voyageurs to 16-3 and improved the Lakers to 8-11.
No. 9 Gaels win Carr-Harris Cup before record crowd, then pull off crazy comeback over Ravens
The Queen’s Gaels and Royal Military College Paladins have the oldest still-played hockey rivalry out there, and that was on display Thursday in the Carr-Harris Cup. The Kingston-based schools have played each other in plenty of different forms since that first 1886 game, and the Cup was initiated in 1986 by the Kingston-based International Hockey Hall of Fame; it’s been contested every year since. Since 2012, those games have been played at Kingston’s Rogers K-Rock Centre, and Thursday’s drew a series-record crowd of 3,524. Those in attendance saw an amazing game, as the No. 9 Gaels came away with a 6-5 overtime win.
Queen’s started things off with a first-period goal from Ryan Bloom, but Riley Brandt struck back for RMC with his OUA-leading 19th goal. The Gaels then got goals from Luke Edwards and Slater Doggett (with Eric Ming recording an assist on Doggett’s goal and earning his 100th career point in the process), but the Paladins struck back in the second with a goal from David Savery and then an equalizer from Brandt. Alex Stothart scored for Queen’s to end the second, but Rhett Wilcox tied it up for RMC in the third, and Doggett’s go-ahead goal was then countered by Dylan Gilberson to send the game to overtime. There, though, Darcy Greenaway came up with a tremendous end-to-end rush, beating one defender, falling to the ice, getting back up, spinning past another defender and burying a shot from the slot to end the game with a Gaels’ victory:
And that wasn’t all the action the Gaels saw this week. On the road Saturday against the Carleton Ravens, they trailed 3-2 late in the third, but Doggett tied the game with just one second left. He then played hero again in the extra frame, beating Francois Brassard with a quick wrist shot to give Queen’s the 4-3 win:
Elsewhere in men’s hockey, the No. 1 StFX X-Men fell 7-3 to the Dalhousie Tigers Friday, while the No. 2 UNB Varsity Reds edged the No. 7 Saint Mary’s Huskies 5-4. StFX rebounded with a 5-2 win over the Moncton Aigles Bleus Saturday, while UNB lost 4-3 in overtime to the No. 8 Acadia Axemen, who snapped a five-game losing streak in the process.
Cougars down No. 3 Thunderbirds, Gaels give No. 6 Marauders first loss since October
U SPORTS women’s volleyball saw a couple of big upsets Friday. First, the Regina Cougars edged the No. 3 UBC Thunderbirds in five setsat home thanks to an amazing comeback, losing the first two sets but then battling back to take the match 11-25, 27-29, 26-24, 25-19, 15-13. UBC had a match point in the third set for a straight-sets win, but Regina fought them off and managed to come all the way back. For the Cougars, Ashlee Sandiford had a match-high 20 kills and added nine digs, while Kathleen Ens had a match-high six blocks while also adding seven kills and three assists. For the Thunderbirds, Kiera Van Ryk and Anna Price finished with 18 and 14 kills and 19 and 17 digs respectively.
UBC took the rematch against Regina in four sets Saturday, winning that one 25-20, 25-17, 21-25, 25-11. Elsewhere Friday, the Queen’s Gaels handed the No. 6 McMaster Marauders their first defeat since they dropped their season opener to the Ryerson Rams in five sets on Oct. 27. The Marauders had won 13 straight matches since then, but fell in straight sets to Queen’s on the road Friday, losing 25-18, 25-20, 25-23. And this marked the end of another remarkable streak; before Friday’s first set, McMaster had won 22 straight sets. Queen’s was led by 12 kills from Julia Wiercigroch and five service aces from Shannon Neville.
No. 2 Ravens win Capital Hoops Classic
The women’s game at the Capital Hoops Classic Friday was also an electric one, with the second-ranked Carleton Ravens edging the Ottawa Gee-Gees 57-41. The Ravens got off to a great start, taking a 15-point lead in the first quarter, but the Gee-Gees battled back repeatedly and trailed by only eight points at one point in the fourth quarter. However, Carleton pulled away late, closing the game on a 12-4 run. Cynthia Dupont had a great game for the Ravens, posting 12 points on five-of-seven shooting and adding five rebounds and two steals. And head coach Taffe Charles (recently named the Male Coach of the Year at the Ottawa Sports Awards) was impressed with his team’s perseverance afterwards:
“In the second quarter they made things tough and played more physical. But we rebounded after the half and came out aggressive to get some stops when it counted towards the end of the game.”
Elsewhere in women’s basketball, Elle Hendershot of the Alberta Pandas made some impressive history with 15 rebounds in a 68-58 win over the Lethbridge Pronghorns Saturday:
Hendershot’s 246 rebounds on the year are second only to the 271 the Lakehead Thunderwolves’ Leashja Grant has recorded.
Wang leads Redmen to victory at RSEQ championships, Mainville helps Carabins shine
The RSEQ championships were held this weekend in Quebec City, and Samuel Wang helped the McGill Redmen finish on top on the men’s side. Wang won three individual gold medals, taking the 50m backstroke, 100m backstroke, 50m butterfly in times of 25.90, 55.58 and 24.20 seconds respectively (all of which qualified him for nationals), and also helped the 4X50 medley relay team earn another gold and post a school-record time of 1:43.03. Overall, McGill finished with 164 points, ahead of the Montreal Carabins (141) and the Laval Rouge et Or (74). The Sherbrooke Vert et Or were fourth, while the UQTR Patriotes were fifth. The Redmen earned 15 podium finishes overall: six gold, three silver and six bronze. This marked their first Quebec title in swimming since 2003.
On the women’s side, Montreal came out on top with 180 points, led by Rio Olympics bronze medalist Sandrine Mainville’s six gold medals. Fellow Carabins Sophie Marois, Katerine Savard, Camille Bergeron-Miron and Marie-Lou Lapointe all also earned six medals. The McGill Martlets finished second with 138 points, followed by Laval (37), UQTR (36) and Sherbrooke (24).
Social media post of the week
Claire Hanna relays a great Dave Adolph quote:
U SPORTS coaches are often quite quoteable, and Saskatchewan Huskies’ men’s hockey coach Dave Adolph gave us one for the ages this week ahead of their weekend road trip against the Alberta Golden Bears. Here it is, as relayed by Global Saskatoon’s Claire Hanna:
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