Reconstructing the remnants of an ill-fated liveblog into the usual rigmarole about our teams of interest from The 613:
- Gaels: Been waiting a long time to break out this Mallrats reference ...
"Breakfast, schmeakfast ... look at the score, for Chrissakes. Ryerson 3, Toronto 2 in a shootout. Breakfasts come and go, Renee, but Queen's, the Tricolour, they win their division and get a first-round bye maybe once, twice, a lifetime."
It would probably be bad form for Queen's to invite Ryerson goalie Pierre Beaulieu to their first home playoff game, but they should. The Rams goalie helped his team play spoiler, stopping 43-of-45 Toronto shots in a shootout win that delivered the division to coach Brett Gibson and the Gaels.
CFRC Sports should have more on this down the line. It's probably kismet that U of T wasn't able to take advantage of the much-reviled shootout and get the win they needed to win the division.
- Gee-Gees: So it's Ottawa-Toronto and Ottawa-Montreal (Carleton vs. McGill) in the two first-round series. Yanick Charron had two assists and bagged the OT winner in Sunday's 4-3 winner that clinched home ice for the Gee-Gees. Ryne Gove, a rookie who didn't crack the lineup till the New Year, had a pair of goals in regulation.
- Ravens: Carleton's first goal in their 7-1 rout of Ottawa perfectly illustrated how coach Fred Parker layered his lineup in order to build a playoff team right off the hop.
Carleton was down a goal five minutes into Saturday's do-or-die game when Brodie Beard made a tape-to-tape, breakaway pass ahead to speedy Francis Walker. Walker, who played pro in Austria last season, was stopped by the Gee-Gees' Riley Whitlock in close. Instead of sailing past the net out of control like a lot of less experienced guys might have, Walker backhanded the loose puck to Adam Marriner, who chipped it over the goalie.
For those of you keeping score at home, that's a former Tier II player scoring with assists from an ex-OHLer (Beard) and a former pro (Walker). That perfectly describes how Parker, whose team will play McGill in a best-of-3 first-round series starting Wednesday in Montreal, put his team together. Carleton won 12 games in its first season, twice as many as the other first-year team, the UOIT Ridgebacks (although, granted, the western half of the OUA is generally a little stronger).
Parker, the former Central Junior league coach,. rolled the dice on bringing in players such as Walker, who had four assists today, knowing he might only have them for a season or two. The next layer is ex-OHLers who are serious about treating the CIS as a next step (instead of a four-year country club, as sometimes happens), including Beard (three assists) and Brad Good on the blueline as well as captain Andrew Gibbons, who got the third goal late in the first period.
Last, but not least, since CIS hockey is also a bit of a second-chance league, came the Tier II grads such as Marriner and goalie Doug Jewer, who stopped 19-of-20 shots on Saturday. Mike Testa, one of the holdovers from Carleton's club program from '06-07, also scored and made a behind-the-back feed to set up Jared Cipparone during a three-goal outburst in the second period that blew the game wide open.
It's safe to say that Parker's provided a template for how to quickly make a new team competitive. UOIT decided to go with a coach, Marlin Muylaert, who's got a great track record in the university game, having won a national title at Guelph. Carleton decided to go with a coach with deep roots in the region and it's paid immediate dividends.
- Gee-Gees: Ottawa split, beating RMC after a loss to Queen's.
There was a point late in Queen's 64-48 win at Ottawa on Friday where the Gee-Gees' group on the floor was Bojan Dodik, Vlad Pislaru, Marvin Bazile, Stefan Lawrence and Aaron Rados -- four rookies and a sophomore. Ottawa played hard, but not having Josh Gibson-Bascombe was too much.
One sequence that stuck out, from when the game was still in doubt: In the third quarter, down 45-33, Dax Dessureault (who was held to four points) gets free for a jump hook that deserved to go down. On this night, it rimmed out, and while Ottawa coach Dave DeAveiro was pleading for a foul call, Queen's quickly got downcourt and canned a three. Another empty possession, another three and suddenly it's an 18-point lead for the Gaels instead of 10.
- Gaels: Baris Ondul had a team-high 17 points in a 76-63 loss to Carleton on Saturday night. Mitch Leger, who had a double-double in the Ottawa win, along with Jon Ogden were impressive.
You know something else about Queen's? Very deadline-friendly. Since they tend to emphasize quick ball movement and perimeter shooting, there aren't a lot of fouls. Friday's game was an 8 p.m. tip and it ended around 9:30.
- Ravens: That 113-27 score against RMC might raise eyebrows from folks who don't follow the league. Far be it to point out that the RMC basketball players, in a few years' time, will face stuff that's a lot more challenging emotionally than getting your butt beat in basketball. And for pity's sake, Carleton didn't even dress Jean-Emmanuel Jean-Marie, a starting forward.
This doesn't seem like it was analogus to Lou Holtz when he was the coach at Notre Dame calling a fake punt in the last two minutes with a 30-point lead over Navy. So long as Carleton's players weren't doing anything they wouldn't do in the normal course of a game (crazy shots, alley-oop dunks), there's nothing they have to apologize for.
FOOTBALL (yes, in February)
- It's nice to know the London Free Press sports department is so well-staffed and has so much space that's it now conducting teach ethics and good newsroom practices to student sportswriters, even if they don't go to school in that city.
Friend of the blog Andrew Bucholtz, a sports editor at the Queen's Journal, might have slipped up, along with his senior editors, with the handling of a sensitive story. Gaels football coach Pat Sheahan says his quotes in a story about possible steroid use in the CIS with regard to Western were taken out of context. The inclination here is to believe them both, which is actually possible.
Guess what, though? It happens. People make mistakes in journalism every day. No one has ever died from it, except maybe from laughing. I've effed up. I probably will again. The same goes for the holier-than-thou types in London. Why, just last week the same columnist who's apparently decided to put Andrew in his place wrote a column about footy where he spelled Sven-Goran Eriksson's name "Ericksson."
The Free Press should have seen it as a youthful indiscretion and been cool and detached enough to laugh it off and leave well enough alone. There was no need to order a Code Purple on Bucholtz just because it looked like a contrary word had been spoken against their beloved Western Mustangs in an out-of-town student paper.
Fortunately, Andrew Bucholtz, Pat Sheahan and Western coach Greg Marshall each have a sense of humour. Now, can the Free Press get one?