Wednesday, October 22, 2008

CIS Corner: A Raven success story

Isn't that always the way: Write a feature on Carleton Ravens goalie Alex Archibald one week, and the next, the team makes the CIS men's hockey Top 10 for the first time in the program's short history.

Carleton is No. 1 in men's soccer with the CIS championship in Ottawa coming next month. The basketball team looks like they have played together before (wink). It's either that you wonder why CU would change what is working pretty well by adding football, or that they're at a point where there's enough positivity, good vibes that it would work this time.

What does everyone think?

By the way, A Top 10 Tracker has been added to The CIS Blog. It's nothing major, just our version of the "How The Top 25 Fared" that the Associated Press has put out for men's basketball and football for years.

The shinny Ravens in Kingston Friday to play the Golden Gaels. Speaking of which, Queen's and RMC play three times in the regular season. Would it not make sense to have one of the games at a neutral site?

The mental image of RMC cadets streaming across the Lasalle Causeway, waving hockey sticks and wanting Tyler King's blood, well, that is too much to resist.


Andrew Bucholtz said...

That Carleton men's soccer team was ranked No.1 heading into the playoffs last year too, and they wound up finishing fourth in Ontario after Queen's beat them in the bronze-medal game. They're good, but Ontario has a lot of solid soccer teams and they may not even get through to nationals.

sager said...

... except for the part where they're in as host team.

I'm going to call this the flukiest fluke of all-time, right up there with the time the NDP got elected in Ontario ... I corrected Andrew on an OUA soccer item! You would think I had seen a game since 1998.

Andrew Bucholtz said...

My bad: I mixed up the men's and women's nationals this year. The women's are out in B.C. Lack of sleep will do that to you. Seriously though, it's good to see three OUA berths in this year's tournament. There's enough strong teams here with York, Western, Carleton and the like to make it deserved. Too bad they couldn't have given Ontario a third berth last year: Queen's would have claimed it. The Gaels got knocked out by Laurentian in the first round this afternoon...

Andrew Bucholtz said...

Also, that is a pretty funny mental image. The cadets might be after me first, though, especially after I criticized their spraypainting of Richardson Stadium before Homecoming.

kinger said...

No... they'll be after me. I'm far more divisive.

Speaking of the shinny Ravens being in Kingston Friday - you can hear this showdown on CFRC 101.9! Way to namedrop and linkdrop but not radiostationdrop, Neate!

I think Fred Parker is a genius - wasn't it just last year we were criticizing him for bringing on a lot of players who would only be there a few years and give them only short term success without much development? Now it might be the quickest improvement since the Golden Gaels themselves.

I still say if you combined Brett Gibson's recruiting prowess with the full-time status and lower academic standards (no offence) of the Carleton job, he'd have a national contender on his hands.

I think Friday will be a great test of whether Carleton is a for-real national contender, esp. considering Queen's defeat of top-10 Laurier last year and taking western powerhouse Guelph to overtime last weekend. My inkling is that Carleton is like the football Warriors last year when they were #10 for a week - a poll momentum fueled by record alone.

Though that victory of UQTR shocked the bejeezus out of me.

kinger said...

of = over. I'm not on a roll with my comments today.

sager said...

Well, with any expansion team you need your veteran stabilizers ... that seems to be have been Parker's take in going with some guys with pro experience and others who had been in the NCAA for a couple years (like the goalie Jordan Wakefield, who was at Mercyhurst.

"Instant veterans."

Anonymous said...

I think the entire athletics program at Carleton has undergone an amazing transformation over the last decade, due in large part to former AD Drew Love.
Whatever one might think of him...and there still more than a few disgruntled former Carleton football players who would like to hang him from the nearest tree...under Drew Love's watch, the Ravens program has gone from being the epitome of mediocrity to becoming highly successful and well rounded.
The crown jewel of Carleton athletics is, of course, the men's basketball team.
Under Dave Smart, who was hired by Love 11 years ago, the Ravens were transformed from a perennially sub .400 team to a dynasty that is second only to the storied Victoria Vikings of the 1980's.
With former Smart right hand man Taffe Charles coaching the women, that program is quickly going from laughing stock to respectability in short order.
Now, men's hockey has returned to full varsity status for the first time since 1974 and the team is not only competitive from the get go, in its second year it is perceived as a contender.
Carleton is already a power in both men and women's soccer and water polo.
So with all of this recent success, it is small wonder that the current Ad is contemplating a resurrection of the football program.
I personally hope it comes to fruition.
It would be ironic if Carleton football does return, because a decade ago Drew Love deemed it necessary to gas the program in order to fund other programs.
But because the athletic program has grown exponentially since 1997, such a return now seems not only feasible but inevitable.

kinger said...

This is the exact opportunity Queen's had and completely passed it up.