Welcome to Weekend Watch, your weekly preview of all the best U SPORTS action that can’t be missed across Canada West, the OUA, RSEQ and AUS.
OUA West Quarter-finals: No.9 Laurier vs. No.6 Guelph
Game 2 @ Laurier: Saturday, 7:07 p.m. ET / 4:07 p.m. PT
Game 3 @ Guelph: Sunday, 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT
The No. 9 Laurier Golden Hawks take on the Guelph Gryphons this weekend in a Top 10 confrontation, as the first round of the playoffs get underway across the country. The Golden Hawks (13-12-3) come in as the sixth seed after winning four of their last five games down the stretch, while the Gryphons (17-6-5) finished third in the OUA west standings. The two teams split the season series at a game piece, with the Gryphons winning the Frosty Mug 4-3 last month at the Sleeman Centre, but it was the Golden Hawks with the 3-1 upset in Game 1 of the best-of-three series on Thursday night. The winner will advance to the OUA West Semifinals.
Best-of-three playoff action will be in the spotlight all weekend, with the following additional matchups:
OUA West: Toronto vs. Western; Windsor vs. Brock; Ryerson vs. Lakehead
OUA East: Carleton vs. RMC; McGill vs. Concordia; Ottawa vs. Ontario Tech; UQTR vs. Queen’s
CW: Calgary vs. Manitoba; Mount Royal vs. UBC
AUS: Saint Mary’s vs. UPEI; Moncton vs. StFX
CW Play-in Game: Manitoba @ Winnipeg
Friday, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Canada West TV Presented by Co-Op
Playoff hoops tip off in Canada West this weekend as the Winnipeg Wesmen (12-8) play host to the Manitoba Bisons (9-11) at the Duckworth Centre, with the crosstown rivals duking it out in a play-in game for the right to advance to CW the quarter-finals. The Bisons will be seeking revenge after being swept in the regular-season series, and are looking for their first appearance in the CW final eight since the 2008-09 campaign. Meanwhile, the Wesmen can clinch their fourth consecutive conference quarter-final appearance with a win over the Bisons, who closed the year on a two-game winning streak.
Other play-in games Friday include:
UNBC @ Lethbridge, Thompson Rivers @ Fraser Valley and Regina @ Victoria.
No. 7 Brock @ No.1 Ottawa / No. 10 Carleton
Friday / Saturday 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT
In regular season action, the No. 7 Brock Badgers (16-4) have a pair of Top 10 road showdowns to close out their OUA regular season schedule. Sitting tied atop the OUA Central division standings with the Ryerson Rams at 32 points, Brock will travel to Ottawa for a date with the No.1 Gee-Gees (18-2) before staying in the nation’s capital for a duel with the No. 10 Carleton Ravens (13-7) to wrap up their regular season. Point guard Melissa Tatti leads the Badgers in scoring with 18.6 points per game in 20 appearances. She will look to lead Brock to their first OUA conference championship since 1982-83.
Ottawa, meanwhile, has been dominating down the stretch winning their last 14 straight games to take over the No. 1 ranking in the nation. The Gee-Gees are led by Guard Brooklyn McAlear-Fanus, scoring a team high 16.1 points per game on the season.
The other Top 10 matchup this weekend sees No. 6 Windsor (16-4) battling the No. 5 Western Mustangs (18-3) for top spot in the west division on Saturday.
As well, the Shoot for the Cure campaign is winding down, with this week’s slate featuring McMaster @ No. 10 Carleton, UQAM @ Laval and StFX @ Saint Mary’s.
No. 6 Laurentian @ No. 7 Ryerson
Saturday, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
The Laurentian Voyageurs travel to the Mattamy Athletic centre to battle the Ryerson Rams on Saturday night for a Top 10 battle to close the OUA regular season. The No.6-ranked Voyaguers (15-5) are third in the OUA East division and have won seven of their last nine games since the season resumed in January. On the other side, the Rams (14-6) rank second in the OUA Central, with U SPORTS January Athlete of the Month Tevaun Kokko leading the offence with 27.0 points per game, which ranks second in the nation.
Out West, the post-season gets underway with CW play-in games Friday night, including:
Thompson Rivers @ Saskatchewan, Brandon @ Victoria, Winnipeg @ Fraser Valley and Regina @ Lethbridge.
No. 6 McGill @ No.8 Montreal
Friday, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT
The McGill Martlets (10-5-4) take on the Montreal Carabins (9-5-5) in the last weekend of RSEQ action. The Martlets have had an up and down season, winning seven of their last 10 games. McGill excels on the defensive side of the ice ranking fourth in the country in goals against, while Montreal is led by Forward Alexandra Labelle, who has six goals and 13 points on the season. A win by either will go a long way to securing second place in the conference.
The playoffs also open this weekend with CW and AUS best-of-three quarterfinals as follows:
CW: Regina vs. Mount Royal; UBC vs. Saskatchewan
AUS: Moncton vs. UPEI; St. Thomas vs. UNB
No. 4 Montreal @ No.8 Laval
Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT
The Montreal Carabins (14-1) take on the Laval Rouge et Or (11-3) in the finale of the RSEQ regular season. The No. 4 Carabins will look at close off the campaign strong with their 12th straight victory. Laval has also had an impressive season with a .786 winning percentage, and second place in the RSEQ. Montreal leads the season series 2-1, winning the last matchup in four sets in January, with their lone defeat to Laval being their only blemish on the season.
The other Top 10 matchup this weekend sees the No. 5 UBC Thunderbirds (15-5) visit the No. 9 Brandon Bobcats (13-7) for a weekend set to close the CW regular season. Both teams have been going in different directions as of late, with the Thunderbirds having won six of their last eight since the season resumed in January, while the Bobcats have only won two matches – a pair at home to Manitoba last weekend.
This weekend is the final opportunity to qualify for the U SPORTS Track and Field Championships, with Guelph, Toronto and Carleton hosting Last Chance Meets in the OUA and RSEQ respectively.
Meanwhile, on the ice, the OUA Curling Championships are underway from the Guelph Curling Club, with the Carleton Ravens men and Queen’s Gaels women looking to defend their conference titles from a year ago.
All three medalists for both men and women will qualify for the 2020 U SPORTS / Curling Canada Curling Championships, March 11-15 in Portage la Prairie, Man.
The 2020 U SPORTS Winter Championships begins Feb. 20-22, with swimming hosted by the Victoria Vikes and wrestling hosted by the reigning champion Brock Badgers in St. Catherines, Ont. CBC Sports and USPORTS.LIVE will provide digital broadcast coverage throughout the national championships. The full schedule is available here.