- Gee-Gees: Early one-liner on the OUA semi-final next weekend in Kingston: "Let's see how Davie Mason runs with Dee Sterling on his back."
Queen's plays the run markedly better than the Gryphons. Ottawa was full value for their 42-37 playoff win over Guelph on Saturday, which is covered off very well at Big Man on Campus and somewhat less well at The CIS Blog. Ottawa is getting back to health, but Queen's will be rested (one wonders if Mike Giffin is 100%). The Gryphons' weaknesses, run defence and a peaks-and-valley passing game, are also strengths for Queen's.
Ottawa is going to be a formidable opponent, but Mason's record 327-yard day was mostly him and the hogmawlies up front and to a large extent a young Guelph defence. The Gryphons wore down at the end of last season and that tendency reared its head on Saturday.
That being said, Ottawa is getting healed up. (They didn't need him yesterday, but tailback Felix-Antoine Desjardins-Potvin missed the game with a thigh injury.) They're confident and everyone seems determined to beat the this-year-Western's motif. The differences are that those 2007 Mustangs had good special teams at a time of year when that phase has to be an immutable; Ottawa's coaches take a nitroglycerin pill every time they have to punt. Queen's QB Dan Brannagan is a better game manager than he was in '07 and he's certainly better than Guelph's Justin Dunk.
Their interception rates are about the same (one per 25.5 attempts for Brannagan, one every 26 for Dunk), but when consider Dan B. threw twice as many touchdowns, you see who distributes the ball better.
- Manotick's Scott Mitchell and the Rice Owls are a win away from hearing the magic words "bowl eligible" after beating Tulane by 25 points Saturday.
- Ravens: Carleton came back to earth Saturday with that 4-3 loss to RMC. Not to make excuses for them (there's another black-and-red wearing hockey team in Ottawa that could use help there, and it ain't the Soixante-Septs), but it was their second game in a row playing Friday night and then Saturday afternoon. One thing a RMC hockey team will never be is tired.
The bottom line is Carleton no doubt feels OK to have 10 of a possible 14 points. Saturday was an evenout after the UQTR-McGill sweep.
- Golden Gaels: Queen's once again optimized their shots on goal ... They got a split, beating Toronto 4-1 Saturday ... they had five shots in the first period, and three went in. Brady Morrison stopped 37-of-38 for Queen's.
- Gee-Gees: The U of O earned the split of its home-and-home with Concordia the tough way, scoring twice in the final three minutes to win 6-5 on the road Sunday. Ryne Gove got the winner with 1:12 left, just 61 seconds after Corey Thibaudeau had tied the game. Dan McDonald and Yanick Charron each had three-point nights. Ottawa needed that, no doubt.
- South of the border, Nepean native Brittany Wilson's shutout goaltending Friday helped the UConn Huskies beat Princeton for the first time in the program's history. Good on her.
- Gee-Gees: The upshot is that uOttawa got some experience with close games, since none of their three outings at the Jack Donohue tourney were decided by more than three points. McGill won the finale 75-74 on a late 3-pointer by Matthew Thornhill — bear in mind that Ottawa won the tourney last second on a last-second three by Donnie Gibson vs. Brock, so what goes around comes around. Josh Gibson-Bascombe put up 22 points and 12 rebounds in the finale.
It sounds like Craig Norman, the ex-RMC coach, has himself a contender over in that Quebec conference. McGill beat Guelph and UPEI by 21 and 15 points.
- Ravens: Carleton -- think they will be No. 1 when the first Top Ten poll comes out? -- plays the host Rouge et Or for the tournament title Sunday at the Laval Invitational.
Both scores from the first two games were about the same (73-52 over Waterloo, 72-56 over Queen's). Their high scorer had 19 points in each game, with the next two highest counting 14 and 12.
Stu Turnbull was the only one among the top three in each game, while Aaron Doornekamp took down a dozen rebounds vs. Laval.
- Golden Gaels/Ravens: Our own Rob Pettapiece has written a season preview for CIS women's basketball — and Rob is a math guy, so his predictions have more heft to him than anything you've ever heard me say on CFRC. He has the Ravens going 11-11 and tying for third the OUA East, with Queen's in fifth spot at 10-12. That would mean Carleton would have a home playoff game.
Kendall MacLeod, the rookie Carleton is pretty excited about, had an eight-point, seven-rebound game in the Ravens' first game at the Loeb-Glebe tourney. They were 0-3 on the weekend, but there's some optimism.
- Gee-Gees: The rebuilding U of O women's team did go 2-1 at Laval's tournament
- There is one No. 6-seeded football team to root for ... the Carleton women, on a goal by Aisha Stinson, upset Toronto 1-0 in the OUA East semi Sunday. That effectively clinched home field for the final four next weekend for the Gee-Gees, who beat Queen's by the same score after rain delayed the game by almost 24 hours.
- It gives Ottawa three straight weekends of championship collegiate soccer — the OCAAs were here this weekend, the Gee-Gees and Ravens (who are probably in tough vs. Laurier, but hey, maybe they hang in and go to penalties) have the OUA women's finals and the Carleton men host the nationals the next weekend. Crazy.
- Andrew Bucholtz will cover off the Queen's-Ottawa OUA East women's semi-final in print and at Sporting Madness.
- Pinky swear it, this is a total coincidence ... Guelph won the OUA women's rugby title on Saturday ... one of tries was scored by Kendra Heil, of Simcoe, converted by Brittany Benn of, wait for it, Napanee.