The big boys of the north east hit the field in the sleepy upstate New York area of Cazenovia. I hate to give away Ottawa trade secrets, but if you are looking for a great post game/ tournament meal, take the detour to Syracuse for Dinosaur BBQ. The food is amazing, and the atmosphere is truly unique.
CUT annually serves as the first major open tournament in the region for the summer, and this year is no exception.
Here is a preview of the elite pools and other Canadian squads.
Ironside (Boston)- A deserving top seed. 3rd at USA nationals last year (still getting used to the name change), 2nd the year before, and going to Worlds in Prague as a potential championship favorite.
GOAT Y (Toronto)- Split squad from Toronto's best. 12th at USA nats last year, 6th in 2008 and 3rd in 2007. Toronto understands the season is a marathon and not a sprint, and continues to use the early schedule to make the best decisions for the fall.
PONY (NYC)- I think we'd all have to agree that PONY is one of the best teams not to make USA nationals last fall.
Mephisto (Montreal)- The defending Canadian national champions will have no shortage of day one competition.
Bodhi (Amherst)- It was just 2008 that Bodhi was a relative unknown, trouncing teams in the early season tournaments and their seeds sky rocketed accordingly. The team had a great 2009 season, making it to the UPA finals and finished 11th. They're very young, they've already made it to the show, they have a pipeline of talent in Amherst, how can they not be excited about their 2010 prospects? I am.
Goat X (Toronto)- Second split squad from Hogtown. Toronto's three team open system had a very strong tryout process with large numbers of players trying out.
Philly Open (NJ/PA)- A new team building on players from New Jersey (Pike) and Philly Love (Philadelphia). Pike went to USA finals last year and finished 16th, so this merger team might be a huge boost in their ability to compete at the next level.
Phoenix (Ottawa)- 2009 saw many changes for the Ottawa open program. Many players departed and the second team was lost for the season due to numbers. That being said, Phoenix had a strong summer and fall performance, with a best ever 2nd place finish at CUC 2009. They clearly battled hard at each tournament and got the most out of their squad.
In 2010, Firebird is back, and top team Phoenix has one of their strongest rosters- ever. It was a very tough year to make the squad. One of the biggest surprises was Jan Gorski. After experience with Carleton University and a brief tenure with Firebird in 2008, Gorski played with coed team Liquid in Kitchener-Waterloo. That benefit of a change of scenery (and improvement in fitness evidenced through tryout tests) seems to have made a great change in his game.
Other Canadian Squads
Maverick (Kitchener Waterloo)- As the web site states, "2010 will be Maverick`s first year as an organized, competitive Open team, the first such team in Southwestern Ontario. In previous years we have played as a pick-up team under the name Medicare."
I guess this was an inevitable step (dissolution of coed team Liquid) given Liquid's failure to secure a worlds bid last year and Medicare's strong performances in 2008 tournaments like No Borders and Jazz.
Players of note include but are not limited to Andrew Higgins, Carson Turner (ex Phoenix and World Juniors), Tom Dowler and Trevor Henry (2009 Gender Blender 'Fastest Man').