Tuesday, August 7, 2007

What about the Women?

My Canada Games Council coworker, who plays for a certain ladies team based in Toronto and Ottawa, asked me why I haven't done a women's preview. It's simply a matter of time to replicate a similar preview to that of the open pool.

However, I can list the ladies teams, and give some previews on the teams I know or have seen.

Capitals- Ottawa/Toronto

3 losses all season, 2 coming to Fury and one to Riot. Score wise, a close game with Vancouver at Flowerbowl. No Borders and Boston Invite titles this season.

So many great players from both cities to comment on. Just as Ali Lemay returns from injury, reports are Shannon Elliott will miss CUC 2007. Both great throwers.

#5 Anne Mercier is the one to watch. Lead U of O to a University Nationals title, starred at the World Juniors, a regular player in the UPAs in Sarasota at 16.. hopefully she'll play well for a long time.

Traffic- Vancouver

Have not seen them play, but I am sure no one is taking them lightly. With veterans who played on the 2003 National championship team that won a worlds berth, they know how to win. If the Capitals have a weakness, they will attack it.

Storm- Montreal

A strong 5th place showing at the Boston Invite. A much stronger game against the Capitals in Boston than the one at No Borders.

Sonia Krajicek is a well known performer. Alison Fischer and Amy Richardson are great throwers. Marion Van Horne is as great a player as she is an academic. Marion is already a fan favorite, so I don't need to say any more.

Team Alberta- Alberta

No one in the east knows what to expect from Team Alberta, but the expectation is that this will be a tough team, bigger and better than the one present at flowerbowl.

Diggers- Toronto

Toronto team with a mix of quality veterans and athletic newcomers. 10th at Boston. 3rd at No Borders.

Dark horse possibility. Wish I had seen them play more.

Crush- Vancouver

Another Vancouver team, that is seeded 3rd out of the west according to the CUPA site.

Scarlett- Ottawa

Great story here. After a inaugural season in which many players got
great experience and developed through Scarlett, Ottawa's second
team was hurt badly by a surprising number of Stella call ups (Sully Duhaime, Kate Crump, Nancy Symons, etc) and coed defections during year two. It was a VERY tough season, but many new players got nationals exposure and that helps the city.

Year 3 rolls around, and the Ottawa/Toronto merger allows Scarlett to have players otherwise not available to them. Amanada Sage, Carrie Lugg, and Vanessa Lyon are great examples. Justine Price and Deb Murphy are also on board, two of the most experienced players and coaches in Ottawa. As expected, the results and the experience are much better. Scarlett followed up her first top 10 finish at Montreal Jazzfest with a top 10 at No Borders.

Cheryl Wadasinghe and Sam Morris are two of the new players to watch. Cheryl's work ethic for off field workouts is impressive. Morris is tabbed as a natural athlete.


This team is coached by former GLU player Scotty Macdonald. Awesome Guy.

This team has traveled to play top teams all summer, and one hopes this pays off at nationals.

QUB-Quebec City

Every single guy on the circuit reminds me how "great" this team is.

I see a lot of athletes on this team. I wonder how long it will be until this team makes a jump in the standings consistently.

Dice- Barrie?

Cross referencing the CUPA list and the CUC 2007, I guess that Dice may be the team name for Barrie's entry.

If that is the case, I look forward to seeing to former North Bay players- Deb Dugas and Pam Chadbourn leading the cause.

I think Barrie's ultimate program will continue to grow with its rising population. How much bigger can Toronto 'suburbs' reach?

Psycho- North Bay

Don't know them. Lots of great players come from North Bay though. The UWO women's team can attest to that.

Another plug for the annual Northern Flights tourney in North Bay. It rocks.

Amazone- Sherbrooke

Unknown (readers, help me out!)

Update: Sherbrooke insiders tell me this is the 1st Nationals experience for this team. The team will be led by Sherbrooke coed ladies who did not make nationals. The team will be similar to Chikitas (Jazz Fest) team that finsihed 3rd at Montreal Jazzfest. However, a few key women from Jazz will be playing for coed team Gecko during CUC 2007……set expectations accordingly.

Feisty- Toronto

13th at No Borders.

Glow- London

Interesting to see some London participation. GLOW is a new team, lead by some of the ladies who played either for coed team LUCifer or for the Western University team.

One player to watch will be Tanya Jackson. During College UPAs in the spring of 2006, the Western men's team took Ms Jackson with us to compete in open. Given that the fall before was her first taste of ultimate, I can attest that her performance as a solid o-line cutter was awesome. She helped us qualify out of Michigan sectionals, and she'll be a machine at nationals also.

XX- Toronto

Another Toronto team.

UPDATE: Sources say this team is made up of ladies from the coed team Zen Asylum (who did not qualify for nationals) and friends.

Catfish- Ottawa

A local team I don't know. I look forward to seeing the team and what they bring to the field.

UPDATE: According to the Ottawa coed legend Andrew 'Batch':

"I believe Catfish is the BigFish (Ottawa co-ed) women."

If this is the case, will the team be able to sneak Gavin Thompson in for a naked point? It will be interesting to see the ladies of Big Fish (and friends) play.

We're getting so close....

I am really excited about Nationals, as I am sure everyone is.

People are probably wondering about the weather. Based on the current forecast, we're looking at rain Thursday, followed by nothing but sun until finals. The wind is predicted to be at 15KM/Hr during the tourney, max. Mother Nature has decided to' let the boys (and girls) play'.

I'm guessing that due to others posting the blog address on various sites, there is a lot of traffic from people who I don't know. I hope you are enjoying the site.

I (and contributors) have a lot of content ideas post nationals, but we're going to give them justice after the nationals hubbub ceases.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Nationals Open Preview- British Columbia

The Latin Motto for British Columbia is Splendor sine occasu ("Splendour without diminishment").

Vancouver has stood as the standard for ultimate in Canada during this decade. Most notably, the exploits of Furious George have served as the benchmark of other open teams. Ultimate leagues in cities such as Kelowna are growing, and soon these cities will perhaps send teams to Nationals.

This year, Vancouver and the province sends two teams- Furious George and Blackfish.

Furious George

Years Of Existence: 12 Years

Past Results:
2007: Flowerbowl- 2nd , Solstice- >5th (0-3 in Sat Elite Pool Play)
2006 CUC: Did not compete.

Top Players: Andrew Lugsdin, Jeff Cruickshank, Mike Grant

Players to Watch: Former Goat and Queens star player Adam Melnyk, Oscar Pottinger, Morgan Hibbert

Can we all agree that GOAT winning Flowerbowl (and two games versus Furious) was great for the upcoming nationals? If that doesn't happen, is there really a true rivalry?

Let's give the Monkey their due. 3 UPA titles, a world championship title in 2004, a roster full of great players, and years of dominant play.

Far too many people are offering predictions regarding the CUC final. I will say only what we can be sure of- Furious has every reason to have their full squad at CUC and play to win the tourney.

Years in Existence: 2
Past Results:
2007: Flowerbowl- 7th (Elite), Solstice- approx. 4th (Elite B)
2006 CUC: 5th

Top Players: Aaron Koenig, Adam Silverstein, Pat Gatien

Players to Watch: Brad Touesnard


This team may serve as the B team in Vancouver, but by no means will they be second rate at Nationals.

The team has a lot of familiar faces to Ontario and Eastern Ultimate. Kierran McConnell (Grand Trunk), Adam Silverstein (Phoenix), Brad Touesnard (Jerk Factory) and Pat Gatien (SeVen) provide skills to the locals on this team.

Word from the team's results in their second season has been positive. Competing in the ultra tough northwest, Blackfish has competed in the big tourneys and will only benefit from doing so.

Silverstein, a national level fencer, provides well know leadership and is able to lead by example. How this team does against Eastern opponents in the first day of the tournament will be exciting to watch.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Nationals Open Preview- Prairies

Geographically vast. Beautiful wheat fields and rocky mountains. Oil and precious metal rich. Self proclaimed as politically ignored and isolated. This is the Canadian Prairies.

Teams from this region are located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Regina, Saskatchewan, and Calgary, Alberta.

Invictus- Calgary

Years in Existence: 2nd 'new' year... Before that there was the D&D club and RWBB but the rebirth of Invictus is in it's second year.

Past Results:
2007: Flowerbowl -3rd Solstice- 7th (Estimated)

2006 CUC: Did Not Play

Top Players: Dustin Hong (offense), Jesse Robertson (Defense) & Eric Froese (Overall)

Players to Watch:The Defense...

A Calgary insider has simply said about this team " All out every point on defence.... If "O" can score, they'll be a force. "

Annual team name changes typically indicate internal problems- leadership squabbles, player defection and turnover, and general frustration from results. It now seems that Calgary Open has their sh^t in order, and are ready to assert themselves as more than a legitimate top four squad at Nationals.

Hopes are high in Cowtown, really high. Dustin Hong is a sensational player who is well known across the nation for his play.
Mangina- Regina

Years in Existence: 4+ years

Past Results
2007: 0-2 Two Losses to General Strike
2006 CUC: Did Not Play

Top Players: Jaime Bishop (Captain)
Players to Watch: The tall Ukrainian kid... oh wait, they all are.

After two solid performances at CUC 2004 and CUC 2005, Mangina returns to nationals after a one year hiatus. Finding information on this team has been difficult. They have attended no major UPA or Canadian tourneys, and only General Strike seems to have had the chance to play them.

This nationals should give the rest of Canada a glimpse of how far Regina ultimate has developed. A Saskatchewan team (by the way, having VC Ultimate misspell Saskatchewan on all tournament apparel was a major embarrassment) did the province proud at university nationals last fall. It's Regina's turn.
General Strike- Winnipeg

Years in Existence: 4+ years
Past Results:
2007: 6-1 Minneapolis Invite- 3rd
2006 CUC: Did Not Play

Top Players: Kyle Parker, Danny Saunders

Players to Watch: Aaron Dobson, Garrett LeBlanc, Scott Warwaruk


Like many of the other western teams, General Strike returns to Nationals.

Long a city with a dominant coed team at the national level (Chaos represented Canada at the 2004 World Championships), The open program has not shared the same level of success, but definitely competes with the majority of top teams in Canada.

General Strike will look to secure a quarterfinal spot, and will fight with a large majority of teams for final position after the big 2 (or 4).