Sunday, October 26, 2008

CIS Corner: Gee-Gees set up semi-final showdown

Notes on our teams and athletes of interest from The 613 ...


  • 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.


Andrew Bucholtz said...

It's looking like it might be a tough weekend for Queen's men's hockey. Didn't manage to catch tonight's game thanks to covering volleyball, but Carleton's a good team, so the loss isn't too unexpected in my books.

The soccer is where the weekend will be really interesting. Carleton should should knock off Ryerson and York should beat Brock, but the other matches are going to be close (#3 West Western vs. #2W Laurier, #2 East Toronto vs. #3 East Laurentian). (As an aside, it's very impressive that York still finished first after forfeiting those points in the Andrea Lombardo situation: speaks to just how strong that program is.)

On the women's side, Queen's-Ottawa is a great clash, and it's grown into quite a rivalry in women's soccer over the past few seasons. I'll have a game story on it in Tuesday's Journal, but will hopefully get a Sporting Madness post on it up after I get back to Kingston tomorrow night and finish covering the men's volleyball game against Western.

Anonymous said...

Carleton men's basketball team defeated Queen's 72-56 in a tournament at Laval.
Saw the Ottawa-UPEI basketball game at Monpetit Hall and came away not particularly impressed with either team.
Manock Lual is a decent player but doesn't compare to his elder brother, IMO.
Dax Desserault is Ottawa U's go to guy, even more so than Josh Gibson-bascombe.
The best team in this year's Jack Donahue tournament is McGill, who crushed Guelph by 21 points, 96-75 Friday.
I'd be surprised if they don't sweep all three games.
The other score in that Laval tournament Carleton is participating in was Waterloo 96 Laval 91, which I find a bit surprising.

kinger said...

You mean you weren't listening to the game, Neate?!

sager said...

It was a pretty busy night at work ... Sens game nights always are.

sager said...

I should point that Waterloo's supported to be not half bad ... Laval a weird team to anticipate ... they almost remind me a bit of a 1970s team, very technically sound players, good shooters, but they're not basketball-quick ... or should I be saying that they're like the Raptors?!.

Anonymous said...

No mention of the OUA football playoffs with a 613 team in there? Looks like it will be rain and wind calling the plays.

sager said...

Talked about it with Kinger on his radio show yesterday .... basically, turf team going down to play on grass, rainy conditions, doesn't bode well for Ottawa.

Guelph has a decent enough offence and has their better kicker and return game, although Elliott's got some potential there for the Gee-Gees.

I like Guelph in this one, but I don't love them. It's just hard to know what to expect since the Gee-Gees are 1-3 on the road with the one W being a 3-point win over a then-struggling Mac team.

Anonymous said...

All true as usual . If the Gee Gees can pull this won off though, it is great practice for playing on the grass field in Kingston , next week---unless Mac upsets WLU that is.


Rob Pettapiece said...

I don't know about the coaching, but Waterloo's basketball team definitely has the talent, especially more talent than you'd expect from a team that went 6-16 last year. They swept UQAM, York, and Alberta (in fact, they destroyed Alberta) during a tournament here last weekend.

To me, it speaks well of the team that they could bounce back from an obscenely early wake-up call and 10-hour bus ride to outscore Laval 27-19 in the first quarter. (And never trail once in the game.)

Anonymous said...

Waterloo's basketball team should get the ultimate test from the Ravens today...
Guess what?
Davey Mason's back, Josh Sacobie's back on form, Gee-Gees win.
Not by a lot mind you, 42-37 but got it done on the road.
D still has plenty of issues, though.
Laurier destroys Mac 29-0....maybe Marauder supporters will now recall the Greg Marshall era with reverie.

Anonymous said...

Ottawa D has issues, special teams have even more. Next week the special teams don't have to play spectacularly well, they just have stop turning over the ball, and that would make a huge difference.

Suggestion, put one of the deep blockers way back , just a yard or two in front of the punter and to the side of him. Make it somebody who can handle and run with the ball , should the punter mishandle it again. He is very slow to recover and pick up the ball so some help to bail him out might be wise. It is a bit of a desperation move I guess, but I have seen it done in years gone by , when a punter was having trouble handling the ball, and it often minimizes the damage.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a highschool manouver

Anonymous said...

A HS manouver it maybe but if you have a HS punter....

Anonymous said...

Ottawa has a fifth year lineman, doing his first year of punting. He had a respectable, but not outstanding, 39.15 average on 47 punts in the regular season.Lately he has mishandled the ball and is slow to react and know how to recover, hence my suggestion oh the old high school maneuverer of putting some one back to cover for him.

Ottawa will be huge underhorses going into Kingston next week. hey , but who knows what will happen in CIS ball?
Ottawa did accomplish a couple of things as well as the obvious of winning the game.
They bought more time for Birungi and the other returnees to get their conditioning and timing back.
Not having played and not practicing much in the last few weeks meant they probably were not in top form yesterday. They should be better next week.
The o-line came together and provided both decent run blocking and pass protection. Now they have to keep it going.
They showed that they can win on the road.
They got a game on grass to prepare them for the grass field at Richardson next week.
The special teams will not be great next week, but they are unlikely to be as bad as at Guelph. Hopefully, they got that out of the system ; losing the ball four times , and handing Guelph points each time.Ottawa's D would have looked better to us if the special teams had not sabotaged them.
Win or lose, Ottawa is likely to give a better battle next week then they did in the regular season.
Hopefully , I will make it to Kingston on Saturday, if I can snafu a ticket in advance.I just hope it ain't cold and wet next weekend.

sager said...

You say it's Kingston after the middle of October? It will be cold and wet.

Actually, the long-range forecast toward the end of next week is clear and plus-11. It will probably be windy, though.

Anonymous said...

Sounds not bad, a high of 11 I can take----wind not great for a football, but I can withstand some---it is the combo of the above with wet weather in uncovered stands that turns me off.

However, it seems promising , so I will watch the forecast and see if it is conducive to a day trip.
I am hoping that Ottawa will get an allotment of tickets early in the week. If not I suppose I can phone Queen's and reserve one.

Anonymous said...

One thing I want to see from my Gee Gees this Saturday. More play action passes. With Ottawa's receiving core returning to strength and with Mason's recent performance it is a logical choice. Give the ball to Mason; fake the handoff to Mason and then throw.