Thursday, July 2, 2009

Montreal Jazz Tournament - 2009 Women's Preview


This year's Montreal Jazz tournament features 16 teams, up from 8 last season. The early favorites, of course, are local elite club Storm. However, club teams PPF, Salty and QUB and Sugar Shack might have something to say about that. Further, some of the unknown American teams might surprise on day one and make noise in the Sunday playoffs.

Storm 2008 Jazz Warm Up
Photo Source (Phillipe Maclean)

Pool A- Storm (MTL), Salty (NS). QUB (QC), and Chrome Ladies (NB)

It is probably a safe bet to predict Storm to take this Saturday pool. The games of excitement (that I would like to watch) will be Salty and QUB. These are two teams that have run their programs for several seasons, and 2009 seems like an up year. Every year I hope both programs take the next step and challenge Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa.

Photo Source (Phillipe Maclean)

Pool B- PPF (Waterloo), Vintage Ultimate (MTL?), Sugar Shack (VT), Hucking Gorges (NY)

Last year I watched PPF play at this very tournament and I saw two major things:
  1. This team lays out and plays aggresive like an open team, downright exciting.
  2. This team needs to play more efficently when they face the top teams
Many captains and coaches would take the athletic team and say "I can teach discipline and technique". Teaching players to be efficient is easier said than done. Expect a lot of returning players like Tawyna Jackson, Darcy Drummond and former Ottawa junior Rebbeca MacPherson to make plays.

Vintage Ultimate may be Alison Fischer's (former Storm captain) tean and feature ex comp players from Montreal and Ottawa. Sugar Shack will hope to enter quarter finals in their 3rd major tournament of the year. Hucking Gorges from Binghamton might shock all 3 teams in the pool, or bomb out entirely.

Pool C- Chinchilla (NY), Lily (TOR), Fingerbell (?) and Chicklets (QC)

Lily should be a team to watch over the next year and half. Their sister team Lotus recently won the Boston Invite and seems to have taken another step to being UPA competitive. Does that mean Ottawa and Toronto might shy away from combining each fall and instead focus on developing their own farm teams? If so, that will be a huge plus to Lily and Feisty.

Two goals for Lily this weekend should be to clean up this pool and win a crossover into quarters, or to beat any future CUC competitors they face during the weekend. Especially Scarlett from Ottawa.

Pool D- Scarlett (OTT), Mystik (MTL), Feisty (TOR) Karma Chameleon (MTL)

If you want season long rivalries, this might be the pool for you. Scarlett from Ottawa looked promising all season last year. They brought in rookie players that were taller, more athletic, and had upside. If they had a larger critical mass of savvy handlers, they would have scared alot of teams.

This year, they lost some of those developing players via coed, moving out of the city or simply real life. So, despite the addition of former Stella player Emily Sangster (many have raved about her athleticism and upside) the team has to start over with a smaller roster but more help from the big club. One player to watch- former basketball player Nathalie Johnston. In her first year of play, Johnston has height, tremendous athleticism and might be a very dominant cutter with the right coaching. It's always exciting to see new players that just need good coaching to harness ability. (Note: Johnston has now moved to Victoria for the rest of the season)

In 2005, Ottawa ultimate was the only program with a men's and women's A-B system. Imastation is the highest form of flattery, and now cities like Montreal and Toronto have equal or better systems to Ottawa. This year Mystik has emerged as a B team for Storm, and they have several familiar names. Anik Turcotte and Brenda Campbell are two of the players opponents should be watching out for.

Feisty is another women's team from Toronto that is affiliated with the Ultimate Experience. Karma Chameleon is a local team that might shake up this pool.

Montreal Jazz Tournament- 2009 Open Preview


This weekend, the open and women teams from both Canada and the US's east coast travel to one of the best destination cities on the competitive circuit- Montreal and the Montreal Jazz Tournament.

Last year, Sonia Scalise did a great job with the tourney, and now Kirsten Niles is assuming the role. Expect a well run tourney, good food, and lots to see and do in Montreal during your evenings.

Sadly, I won't be able to make it this weekend as planned. I'm protesting the dismantling of my beloved Habs this past week, and more importantly I am spend some time with the Praha Princess before she heads out to Vancouver for 8 months to work on the 2010 games. It's looking like a lot more ultimate, dojo, and french lessons to busy my time this year!

But hey, this blog isn't about me, it's about the previews and predictions!!


24 teams will be competing in the divison. The tournament is not listed on UPA, but I received the following Pools.

PowerPool A features Mephisto (MTL), GLUM (OTT), NADS (North Bay), Medicare (Waterloo)

Mephisto is not a home team that hides from Saturday pool play competition. They have a tough pool that will challenge them. GLUM is a very strong masters team every year and has added some young (legal masters age mind you) legs that have experience playing top level elite ultimate. NADS is always tough (in the Invictus mode) and features the Beast (Scott Stinson) and Beast Jr (Scott's younger brother). That may cause some huge matchup problems. Medicare features some of the better coed males from Waterloo and the surronding region. Once again, I will shower Andrew Higgins with some props for being a great cutter and defender who can give any team 3rd handler reps when needed.

Powerpool B features Phoenix (Ott) Packdogs (RI) Vermont (VT) and Big Science (MA)

Phoenix hasn't won this tourney in over 5 years, but will look for an appearance in the finals. Their season has seen them win some very crucial crossovers in CUT and Boston, and now we will get to see how they handle being a favorite in their pool. Fans might want to check out some of the many new players that are assuming big play time for the Bird this season (Ray Arteaga, Colin Froats, Jeff Moloney, etc).

Packdogs had a very strong Boston Invite and might take this pool if the roster remains in tact. The Packdogs actually faced Phoenix last weekend in Boston and won the head to head battle.

Vermont is formerly Chuckwagon. They are a very solid team by reputation that can take advantage of huck opportunities and down field matchups. Big Science is mostly a pick up team from Boston area of college and open players, they might cause teams trouble on day one.

Pool C features Chesapeaked , The Veterans (MTL), LXG (OTT), and OPUS (MA)

I can't say much about Chesapeaked. The veterans is a new Montreal masters team that intends to be part of CUC 2009. LXG is a collection of solid players from the new elite men's league in Ottawa.

Pool D features QUF (QC), Jerk Factory (NB), Demon (MTL), and ROY (TOR)

This might be the most interesting pool on day one. QUF is essentially the old Q team. Most of these players have moved on to coed, but they reunite for this tourney, and add players such as Jonathon Lestage (PHX) and JF Mauger (PHX, Q). They should be solid and are the best bet to win a crossover in the elite pool.

Jerk Factory is a combination of open and coed players from Fredericton. They might be hard pressed to hold seed. Demon is the home team that had a wildly successful Boston Invite. Expect their best sqaud available. ROY is rumored to be better than any of their past incarnations (2007 CUC team was pretty strong for a C team, so that is high praise).

Pool E features BDU (Ott), Thruway (NY), Magma (MTL) and Vandalay Industries (MTL?)

Bad Daddy Ultimate is Ottawa's alternative masters team. They are lead by Mike Belanger, Keith Bourdon, Ken Maclean, and Mehmet Karman. I'm not sure if super throwerWah Phung Lu is playing for this team.

Thruway is a new team from Albany. Magma is a local team looking for results this weekend and
Vandalay Industries has the best team name in the tourney.

Pool F features GOB (?) Space Jam Ultimate (MA), Armageddon (?) and Blue Carnival (?)

I can't say much about 3 of these teams. Space Jam Ultimate is a team I am desperate to see play. They walked into the very elite CUT tournament this year with a lot of hype and fanfare. Since then, they've gone 2-9 in two tournaments and keep falling in tournament seeding. Perhaps this young team will rebound in la belle province.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 2009 Canadian Open Power Rankings


Leading up to Nationals, I will attempt to produce monthly power rankings of the CUC divisions.

Photo: GOAT- Boston Invite 2009 Elite Champs
Source: Anatoly Vasilyev

Criteria (In Order)
-Performance this Year
-Past CUC results and previous year's results

Right now, picks 3-6 are a toss up.

  1. Goat (Toronto)- Boston Invite Champs deserve the title as best team in the nation. One of the things that impresses me from the picture above is that the core of GOAT is actually quite young, and this team could just be starting to peak for many years.
  2. Furious George (Vancouver)- Not registered for CUC, but will make a rankings exception for the great Monkey. A year of transition sees many old vets out and many new talents into the lineup.
  3. Invictus (Calgary)- Tough D, Big throwers like Robert Mcleod, and some continuty in Calgary could help make for a CUC title run.
  4. Mephisto (Montreal)- Strong CUT 2009, Weaker Boston Invite...
  5. General Strike (Winnipeg)- 2009 CUC Hosts expect nothing less than open gold in August. MOFO junior program is a factory of talent, and it should transfer to the men's program
  6. Phoenix (Ottawa)- Looking to defend their No Borders title this year before targeting redemption at nationals.
  7. Grand Trunk (Toronto)- A bit puzzling thus far this season. The team looks deeper and more talented than it has ever been. However, results at No Surf and Boston were just okay. My guess: They are working to plateau in August.
  8. Mangina (Regina)- Everyone always discounts them, and they always hold their own every summer. Best logo in the circuit. (Send me a green jersey!!)
  9. Blackfish (Vancouver)- Amazing B Team in 2008, an insult call them a B team really. Many of their core players moved on to Furious, but some solid veterans remain. This team knows how to develop talent.
  10. Red Circus (Halifax)- Strong showing at Boston. Team thinks this is an up year after a strong development year in 2008.
  11. Too Bad (Toronto)- Savvy veteran squad. How strong will the squad be at CUC?
  12. Sofa Kings (Kelowna)-We won't see much of them until nationals outside of Flowerbowl. A very strong middle tier team that was a win away from quarterfinals last year (I feel responsible for that... oh wait, it was us!)
  13. Demon (Montreal)- Strong Boston Invite showing. Patience of 2008 is paying off with a better roster in 2009.
  14. ROY (Toronto)- Last year was a very tough year for this team after a solid 2007 nationals. Now, it seems like talent has trickled down from Goat and GT and Brad Amson is being rewarded for his hard work with ROY.
  15. SirLoin- Team's height in 2008 was impressive. Year 2 seems more organized, and results could prove positive.
  16. Tommy Douglas Dream Machine (Saskatoon)- Great name for a new open team.
  17. Flatline (Vancouver)- News is that this team is better than 2008. If you have to be a C team in a city, Vancouver seems like an excellent place to do it.
  18. Magma (Montreal)- In development mode. Getting better results in 2009.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Boston Invite 2009- Results Summary- The Big Smoke's Big Day!


First, thanks to all of you who visited last week and gave insider information on the teams that were playing at Boston. Given the amount of flamers and crap talkers on other sites, I was really impressed with the accurate information on the teams.

Results are in from Boston.

The city of the day is Toronto. Elite champions in both genders, and an Easterns III championship from Grand Trunk as well.


Had 5 out of 8 quarter final picks right, with 4 out 4 semi picks and the correct finalists. Yes, it was mostly luck and a lack of volatility at the top for these kind of tourneys.

Saturday Notes
  • Goat and Ironside hold their seed
  • Bodhi continues to impress and challenge the big two in the East
  • Mephisto has a very tough 0-3 pool day and loses their crossover
  • Phoenix goes 1-2 in pool play but wins the crossover to stay in elite
  • PoNY bombs out on day one, losing all three pool games and their cross-over
  • Forge has a bounce back Saturday and wins their crossover to Sunday elite quarters
  • Providence Pack Dogs (great name BTW) dominates again this year and wins elite crossover
  • The Replicants had a poster called their shot... and they actually stepped up and walked the walked. 3-0 in pool play and won their crossover into Easterns 1.
  • Roots of Rhythm have an excellent Saturday and win their crossover into Easterns 1
  • Red Circus of Halifax goes 1-2 on day one
  • Grand Trunk of Toronto goes 3-1 on day one
  • Demon of Montreal is the best Canadian story of day one, going 4-0 and winning their pool. Huge improvement from last year's tournament at this time for this squad.
  • Magma from Montreal goes 1-3 on day one, but also shows better results from last year.

Sunday Notes
  • GOAT and Ironside march to the finals
  • Bodhi continues to shine, finishes 3rd
  • Phoenix loses in the quarterfinals , loses in the 5th place bracket but advances to the 5th place game and loses to Sons of Liberty. I'm not sure how a team loses the 5th place semi and moves on the 5th place final.. but I am sure there was a reason. Final record 2-5 and 6th place
  • Mephisto (2-5) finishes in 13th.
  • PoNY rebounds and takes 9th
  • Red Circus (3-3) goes on a Sunday run, but loses to Philly Love for the Easterns II championship and finishes 18th
  • Demon (6-1) has a huge weekend, losing only to Red Circus and finishes 19th-20th
  • Grand Trunk (6-1) routs some teams on Sunday and takes the Easterns III trophy (27th)
  • Magma (1-5) finishes 33rd, having faced some stiff competition and competing very hard in their games.
Finals (As told by Lady Logic)

"Goat winning on universe point over Ironside, holding on to the win after Ironside makes a comeback from being down 11-7 to tie it at 13s, game to 14. On the final point, (Sam) Kennedy takes down a big hammer just outside the endzone, almost right on the sideline. Up the line pass gets tipped by a defender but Thomson McKnight ends up on his back with the winning catch for the GOATs."


Saturday Notes
  • Ozone wins pool A as expected. Bent surprises the tourney seed and jumps 3 teams to take second in the pool
  • Lotus wins pool B, Nemesis takes second and Brute Squad takes 3rd. Storm goes 1-3 on day one
  • Pool C shows QUB from Quebec city having a great day at 2-1, while Montreal's new club Mystik goes 0-3
  • Salty of Halifax, rumoured to be on the rise this year, has a great saturday, going 3-0. Sadly, they lose their crossover chance versus another upstart team with the apt name Wildcard.
Sunday Notes

Does anyone ever finish their games? Why do we have so many games if we don't finish them?
  • Stella, Storm, Bent and Lady Godivia bow out in quarters
  • Stella (2-3) and Storm (1-4) finish in the 5-8 range
  • Mystik finishes 0-4
  • QUB finishes 2-3 and finishes 7-8th
  • No Sunday data for Salty
Finals (As told by Lady Logic)

"Lotus starts the game against Nemesis up 2-0, ends up down 5-7, but then scores 3 in a row (O, D, D) to take half and never relinquishes the lead again, winning 15-11 over Nemesis."