Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CUC 2009 Mixed Finals Review- Dynasty Felled by Quebec, Total Chaos Ensues!


While the women's teams from PPF (Waterloo) and Zephr (Vancouver) were the clear winners of the CUC Saturday Party, the coed division was proudly represented by many of its teams.

The party was unique- Sectioned off outdoor block party downtown with access to several bars. The outdoor angle was hugely popular, and many were quite sad when the outdoor music turned off early. With the indoor part packed, teams and players remained outside and had their own party till the wee hours.

The Mixed final was a tougher game to commentate. We really could have used a production meeting the night before. We managed to acquire the numbers to go with the names just before the start, and we did the best we could. I was personally disappointed that I had played against so many of these ONYX players in open for several years and knew so few names before the match. Having Chaos come back from the dead after years away from nationals didn't help us, but we managed to get players and background from TD Corey Draper.

2009 Mixed Final- ONYX (Quebec City) versus Chaos (Winnipeg)

Starting right after the thrilling Open final between Mephisto and Phoenix, the Mixed final really had a big act to follow. Describing how these teams made it to finals, and who failed to make it, dominating our pre game discussion.

Team Fisher Price from Vancouver came in nationals having won four of five nationals they attended. They were also defending world champs and their youth and skill suggested their reign would continue for many years. That still may be the case, but their lack of practicing and their short roster at this year's CUC lead to three surprising upsets from three Quebec teams. When asked what happened to them this year, one player simply said "Quebec happened to us!!!"

ONYX was the team that elimiated TFP in the quarterfinals by a score of 12-8. They then beat Montreal's RIP 15-7 to advance for the final. This was ONYX's second straight final, and they really wanted to improve on their silver medal from 2008.

Chaos from Winnipeg kept defying the odds by beating Monster from Toronto (9-8) and Gecko from Sherbrooke (8-7) on universe to make it to finals. Both the quarter and and semi final were very heated battles, and the local squad felt fortunate to squeak through.

The game started off with a big crowd and even bigger rain fall. It was quite evident that wet disc conditions was going to be a factor in the game. I thought this was an instant advantage for Chaos, as they really wanted to stay away from man to man coverage on ONYX's speedy handlers.

Both teams started by playing zone. Chaos threw a 3-3-1 Chinchilla zone that had no cup and force throws through a maze of players waiting to bid. Of note was Chaos was very reluctant to melt this zone, and were rewarded early with some d's close to their end zone. ONYX countered with a 1-3-3 rabbit zone, with a tall marker and three fast girls providing the backfield pressure. ONYX was so comfortable with this strategy they broke into it even on transition rather than opting for person to person defence.

Chaos took an early lead 4-1 and a timeout was taken by Quebec. ONYX then went a a three point run to tie it at 4. A time out was then called by Winnpeg, and the huddle was very animated. Either this was the type of team that would respond to the time out rant and come out flying, or they would crawl up and get crushed.

Clearly, Chaos was the type of team to respond to their leaders. They got the game back on the next point. Their zone defence was air tight and they forced ONYX to do three things that lead to turns
  • Get trapped on the sideline and force tough throws
  • Make ONYX throw so many throws that the weather caused some key drops and throwing errors
  • Entice ONYX to throw deep to players covered.. namely by Jared Lehotsky.
ONYX had their moments of brillance, but they felt the game slip out of their grasp and they didn't have an answer. This team was clearly talented, but it never seemed like they could break past the second layer of Chaos' defensive wall.

The match neared time cap and ONYX tried to shake up the lineup and the strategy to get back into the game. However, Chaos was lead throughout the match by a core of excellent players. Donovan Wiebe used his backhand to break the defence at will. Danny Saunders seemed to play every point, being a key handler on offence and being a crucial wall defender in their zone. And the Chaos ladies really showed that they were exactly the kind of efficient and intelligent players that every Mixed teams needs in order to be a champion.

Of all players, the MVP in my opinion was Jared Lehotsky (pictured). Playing deep in the zone defense and serving as the key cutter on offense, Lehotsky was dominate from start to finish. He seemed tireless when fatigue hit other players, and he really had a finals performance that all fans and peers noticed.

The final score was 14-8, and it was a happy surprise for the home team and the fans at Canada Inns Stadium. Chaos entered the finals after years of hibernation, and entered a division where any of the top 8-10 could realistically hope to make the finals. They survived two universe point games on Saturday to take the title.

ONYX, dissapointed with a 2nd place finish for the second year in a row, had to be dissapointed with their performance in the finals. Known throughout the country for their talent and their spirited play, they are a great team that failed to play their best in the very end. A lot of the credit for that can be given to the weather. One can only hope that the team is able to stay together and make another run at CUC 2010 in their home province in addtion to an appearance at World Clubs in the Czech Republic.


Batch said...

ONYX beat RIP 12-7 in the semis, not 15-7. The CUC site is also wrong.

Jed said...

Highly suspect "win" in quarters by Chaos.

Universe point: By Chaos' own admission, their receiver was still sliding after his layout when he "threw the disc in celebration". Looked like a drop from the sideline, but the point is moot. Still sliding means the catch did not survive the ground contact. Turnover, no point - even by Chaos' version of events.

But who needs rules when you can just argue / curse / accuse and intimidate until your opponent gives up in exasperation?

Oh, and where were the observers? Requested by Monster when the game was getting ugly early on, but DENIED due to lack of availability. It was only a semis berth and a bid to Worlds on the line after all.

Jed said...

I should mention - I am a Monster player, but speak only for myself.

que.soni said...

TFP couldnt bring their usual roster of world champions to CUC this year (due to ECC and other reasons) so they had to pick up a few non tfp players (15 players in total for the duration of the tournament). Although there really isnt an excuse for losing, they lost because they didnt have players not because they dont practice. From what I saw, TFP lost in the final 15 minutes against all those Quebec teams even though they were up at half simply because they didnt have a deep bench. I dont think Mr. Trainor should write about TFP anymore because I don't think you know anything about TFP. You hyped up TFP so much prior to CUC without knowing who they're bringing just to degrade them after they lost. Although I do support your blog, it's hard to read erroneous facts about my friends. Maybe you should consult people on the west coast the next time you write about westcoast teams? Or even better: interview some players yourself.

higy said...

That's unnecessarily harsh. 4 divisions of teams were 'reviewed' in the days prior to the tournament. So what if there's missing information? There would be dramatically more work involved to get an insider's scouting report on every team.

It would have been easy for you (or anyone) to have supplied that information via comments or email before the tournament - if you cared enough to do so.

Daniel said...

I'm confused now. Was TFP at CUC or ECC... or both?

T1000 said...

I wouldn't call Steve's remarks degrading -- he actually speaks quite highly of TFP, I think. Really, the only contentious point here is how much TFP actually practices (as a team).

No matter how you look at it, though, TFP still brought at least six last-minute additions (rather good ones) to CUCs out of a roster of about 15. By that fact alone, one can surmise that the team that attended CUCs would not have been a well-practiced one.

And naturally, Furious and Traffic members could not have practiced as TFP anyway.

I think Steve made a fair observation -- it's an insult only if one chooses to take it that way.

T1000 said...


TFP attended CUCs. However, outside of a handful of regulars, TFP's roster fluctuates from tournament to tournament depending on who is available. What que.soni means is that TFP could not call on its Furious and Traffic membership to play at CUCs.
There are also a few players taking a hiatus, etc.

Sport Management Steven said...

Que Soni's comments made me so mad I almost burned my Scott Hislop t-shirt. But that would be insanity!

If I over hyped the the team that won 4 of 5 national championships in a row, I am sorry. I am a terrible person.

I blame the lack of online rosters previous to the event and the fact that my TFP readers (some of them former teammates) didn't correct me before or after the previews. They also failed to acknowledge their hardship to CUPA for seeding purposes, and took their seed without complaint.

Even with the 15 player addition EXCUSE, TFP had the talent and the players to win the whole thing.

I can't watch TFP as much as I want to (don't get the TFP sports pack save for the last two nationals) and as such I merely have to go by online results and insider help.

So actually, by sticking to only what I know or what has happened in a poorly covered sport you won't find a more accurate Canadian ultimate blog.

Sport Management Steven said...

And if Que Soni wasn't acting like a douchebag Western homer (ouch, being unnecessarily attacked online sucks huh?), he/she might do their homework and give Quebec coed some credit for CUC 2009.

Gecko, RIP and ONYX took their lumps for several years and designed their teams to be able to match TFP's style and relative roster makeup. They deserve a little credit for their play.

Druski said...

Steven, good summary and previews with the information you had. No complaints fro me especially given the amount of pre-tourney information available for Canadian teams and particuarly in Mixed.

Also I think you are perhaps being overly diplomatic with regards to TFP or at least towards que.soni. While there's no doubt TFP has plenty of talent, 15 players for a 3-4 day tournament is barely enough to finish to tournament let alone win it (most teams brought rosters of 20+). I think TFP had enough to win any given game in the tournament but not to win enough in a 9 game format. Sure they may have had some players at ECC but given the roster size and the results it looks clear that for many players the priority was not winning CUC or eligibility for WUCC.

sharpie said...

"Douchebag western homer..."

I've never been so proud of you Steve...

Sonia said...

Que.soni, before ranting and raving, why don't you get all the facts straight. I'm pretty sure losing 15-8 to Gecko did not happen in the last 15 minutes. And neither the 12-8 loss to ONYX. Give credit to the QC teams and stop blaming roster size for losing games (which you did, right after saying you weren't going to do so). It's nationals! You know that you will be playing 9-10 games over 3 days. Build your team accordingly. And as for over-hyping TFP, how do you overhype a team that has dominated for the past 5 years?

Que.soni, relax already, and learn to read. There was no bashing or degrading anywhere on this site. Never was and never will be.

Beave said...

Its sad that Jed felt the need to take the win away from Chaos after such a big game. To let you know, an observer (who was on the field beside our game) came up to a chaos player after the game and told them that the catch was good, but because he wasnt observing that game officially, he couldnt make the final call. Nonetheless, the only person from monster who argued the call was the player at the opposite far end of the field, all the players close by walked away with their head down after the point was "scored" (as you say). I think monster played extremely well, but its upseting that you felt the need to make that post after it was already over with. Sure, the game was heated, on both sides, but it doesnt say much about your attitude as a player when you go on a blog and complain about it...

Jed said...

Sorry Beave, but sad is a team shouting their opponent into submission, instead of respecting their perspective, and the spirit and rules of the game.

Maybe an observer did say what you claim. Other players watching definitely saw it our way, including some guys from Saskatchewan with no relation to our team.

We all know how the play should have been handled - same as any disputed play in any game. Back to the thrower. In fact this would have been very generous to Chaos in this instance, given that even their own version of events should have been a turnover.

Mortakai said...

It's unfortunate to hear the observers brought into the Chaos/Monster, and especially to frame it that this is part of the cause for the (bad/wrong) outcome of the call.

Seriously, Observers are there to help with the game, but the game remains in the hands of the players. Sure it may have been nice to have sent some to this game, but when a proactive request (i.e., before the game) is not made and they're sent to work other games, it's unfair to make it sound like them deciding not to work this particular game on a mid-game request was a wrong decision.

And to others, please don't try to support your own arguments by hearsay (e.g., "after the game, an Observer came up and said we were right"). Without a picture it didn't happen... or something like that.

Please folks... agree on the right call, discussed the right way with the right intent, or send it back to do again. It really IS that simple.

Is there really any significant benefit to comments that suggest, "we would've won if we didn't have to play cheaters and if the observers would've done what we needed them to do". Let me ask this, "what was YOUR role in the situation?"

Play on...