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.
For U SPORTS Football Weekend Watch, click here.
Queen’s @ McGill
Saturday, 1 p.m. ET/ 10 a.m. PT
This Saturday, the McGill Martlets women’s basketball team host the Queen’s Gaels in a preseason matchup that’s been nearly a century in the making. The matinee marks the 100th anniversary of the first women’s varsity basketball game between two Canadian universities.
The first time the two schools crossed paths, McGill beat Queen’s by a score of 21-16 in the inaugural game. This weekend’s matchup is expected to be a much higher-scoring affair.
The preseason inter-conference meeting kicks off the milestone centennial season in honour of the historic game that took place Feb. 6, 1920. Today, the two teams play each other infrequently due to residing in different conferences. Case in point, Saturday’s contest marks the first time the two clubs have met since Oct. 22, 2017, where the Martlets came away with a 78-57 victory over the Gaels.
The U SPORTS regular season officially begins with the OUA tipping off first on Wednesday, Oct. 23.
No. 8 Queen’s @ Laurentian
Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 p.m. PT
The Gaels are also taking to the ice this weekend, as the defending OUA champion and No. 8 nationally-ranked men’s hockey team visits the Laurentian Voyageurs to open the first full slate of conference action.
Last year, the Gaels went 18-10-0 and captured their first Queen’s Cup conference championship since 1981, qualifying for their second University Cup in three years. With the graduation of several key stars from their championship roster, Queen’s will turn to second-year forwards Mason Kohn and Jared Bethune to lead the way. Kohn had nine goals and 22 points in 19 games last season, while Bethune had five tallies, including two in the Queen’s Cup to take home MVP honours. Head coach Brett Gibson is back for his 14th campaign, after serving as head coach of the Canadian men’s Under 18 team at the 2019 IIHF World U18 Championship over the offseason.
With Canada West on a bye week following last weekend’s curtain raiser, and just three games on the AUS calendar, several teams across the nation will also be heading south of the border to face NCAA opposition in exhibition action. Check your team’s schedule to find out where they are heading.
UBC @ Alberta
Friday, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
Saturday, 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT
The defending Canada West champion Alberta Pandas open the 2019-20 season at home as they host UBC Thunderbirds this weekend.
Last year, the Pandas captured their 13th conference title bysweeping the Manitoba Bisons in the best-of-three final. The Pandas boasted a 13-1-2 record last season at Clare Drake Arena, en route to going 4-0 at home during the playoffs.
Reigning U SPORTS Player of the Year and U SPORTS All-Star captain Alex Poznikoff will be looked to offensively for the Pandas, after leading the nation with 37 points (15 G, 22 A) last year.
On the other side, UBC finished third in the CW standings, outscoring their opponents 61-35 in 28 games. The Thunderbirds will look to netminder Tory Micklash for another solid campaign between the pipes, after picking up 13 wins and six shutouts, while posting a stellar 1.01 goals against average last season.
UNB @ St. Thomas
Saturday, 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT
Out east, the AUS season also begins this weekend, with the St. Thomas Tommies preparing to defend their first conference title in program history. The Tommies are set to visit Moncton Friday, before rekindling their crosstown rivalry with the UNB Reds – now in their second season since returning last fall – in St. Thomas’ home opener Saturday night.
No. 1 Laval @ Sherbrooke
Friday, 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT
The RSEQ women’s rugby regular season comes to an end following this weekend’s games. The No. 1 nationally ranked Laval Rouge et Or take on the Sherbrooke Vert & Or in their final contest of the year, looking to go undefeated after claiming the top spot for the first time in program history on Tuesday.
The OUA playoffs are also in full swing this weekend, with four crossover games between the Russell and Shiels divisions, including York @ Brock, Waterloo @ Western, Trent @ McMaster and Laurier @ Toronto.
TOP 10 MATCHUPS
No. 8 Acadia @ No. 2 StFX
Saturday, 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT
No. 5 Victoria @ No. 9 UBC
Sunday, 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT
No. 9 Laval @ No. 10 UQAM
Friday, 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT
No.1 Trinity Western @ No. 6 Calgary
Sunday, 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT
OUA: Don Mills Open @ Waterloo
RSEQ: Capital Cross Country Challenge @ Carleton
AUS: Acadia Invitational @ Acadia
All races scheduled for Saturday.
McMaster @ Toronto dual
Saturday, 5:15 p.m. ET / 2:15 p.m. PT=