Tuesday, August 9, 2011

CUC 2011- Women's Division Preview


I am happy to present my women`s preview.

Let me say this first...
CUC lost some very strong teams to regional competition this year. Lotus and Zephyr, and even spunky Lily will not be at CUC. Two of these teams went to worlds last year! It is great that the fight for bids is tight, but it sucks for those teams. The lessons learned is simple: pressure your region`s strongest teams to attend CUC annually instead of showing up in a worlds year and "stealing" other`s bids.

2011 CUC Preview- Women's

The Favorites

Two teams stand out as finals candidates- Traffic of Vancouver and Capitals of Ottawa/ Toronto

What everyone really wants to know is... Can the Capitals seal the deal this time? In 2007, they dominated all summer, and in the CUC final suffered a match up issue that they could not rectify ( Does anyone else remember that tall blonde from Traffic running deep early and often) and had some disappointing uncharacteristic performances from key players.

A lot has happened since that failure for Capitals. They have finished 2nd at USA championships last year, and they have used the club and university systems to add new talent and experience to their roster.

Traffic will be no slouch either. They still have the swagger, and they have a great talent pool in the Vancouver area as well.

The goal for both teams- Use their depth to get through the first three days, stay injury free and rested for finals.

The Challengers

PPF (Kitchener Waterloo)

Watching their final at No Borders versus Capitals, I saw leadership, skill, and athletic talent. More than previous years. I also saw more potential than what has been shown. This team should aim to be in the semis and give Capitals and Traffic lots of trouble. That will mean they need to be better with the disc and fight the mental barriers that come with trying to upset.

Dame (Ottawa)

You gotta love a local story. Made up of Stella, Capitals, and Fuse leaders/stars of the past, this will be a very talented squad.

Cohesive, talented, and blessed with some speedsters like Sue Sallaj Ginn and Jamie Collins , Dame prefers the humble "awh shucks" vibe and it works for them.

The core of team leadership is really savvy, and given the talent at their disposal, they might make things interesting all weekend.

Storm (Montreal)

Losing many players to coed, we are reminded that Storm was the 2010 CUC champ, is always a presence at CUC semis, and will be a force in 2011.

Enough said. :)

Fusion (Winnipeg)

Stable leadership, good juniors program, and no coed teams to sap their talent pool means Fusion could look to strike into quarters and semis.

QUB (Quebec City)

This program has continually been working on making the jump to the top level. It will be very interesting to see if this is the year that next step is taken

Wild Rose (Alberta)

Really unsure what to expect from this squad.

Vintage (Montreal)

Like Dame, a collection of former local stars that made up past Storm and other squads.

If the weather is rough, expect strong handling teams like this to benefit and compliment their talent base.

Stella (Ottawa)

One of the proudest names in ultimate, they were roughed up at regionals this year. There is no denying it.

However, the team has strong talent to rely on, and will welcome the local support which is sure to follow them every time they play.

Salty (Halifax)

Always a bubble challenger, Salty has the same development issues as Red Circus (Players coming and leaving the city often based on school), but a full squad for Halifax's team means they can play spoiler this year.

EXO (Sherbrooke)

I saw this young team play last year at No Borders. It looked like the makings of a very good program. No doubt, one that needed some experience and skill development, but gave a glimpse of better things to come in the future (Think PPF in 2008).

2011 CUC Preview - Open Division

This preview is dedicated to all the friends and readers that have asked me to post since my hiatus. I really appreciate the feedback, and wish I had more time to write.


The nation's best players are coming to Ottawa this week for the Canadian Ultimate Championships.

Yes, the best players. This is a worlds qualifying year, and although the location for worlds is earthquake and radiation contaminated Japan, everyone seems very eager to be the team to represent Canada in their respective division.

In order to preview, I think it is important to focus on the following things
  • Past worlds qualifying results this decade
  • Past results this year
  • Team rosters (that we know of)
As you know, I always try to "go positive", and I certainly try to avoid cliches and conventional wisdom when possible.

Open Division- 2011 Preview

It's going to be an exciting year. It's probably the deepest field of teams we have seen at nationals.

If you expect a new team to emerge and upset either GOAT and Furious in the finals, you might be disappointed. Many of the teams that could have pulled off this trick have been hurt by key losses, Phoenix has lost many players to GOAT or coed squad Trainwreck. Mephisto has been devastated by the loss of key players to coed squad ODYSSEY. General Strike might challenge, but the loss of Mark Lloyd to GOAT smarts.

It looks like a two horse race. I will personally enjoy watching how it enfolds.

The schedule is posted here. Team Profiles are below.
Pool A

GOAT (Toronto)

Fresh off a No Borders title, and a win over Furious at Colorado, hopes are very high for the team. Expect them to be in the finals.

Most impressive at No Borders 2011? 19 year old Tim Tsang. The pulls, the confidence with the disc, attention to coaching he was given, and his Swagger really stood out in the finals.

The Ghosts (Calgary)

Let's be honest, we don't know much about this team, or the status of ultimate in Calgary.

I think we would all love Calgary to become a more stable ultimate market with open, women's, and coed squads that make it to nationals annually.

Feed The Geese (Toronto)

A squad of solid former GOAT and Grand Trunk players. The talent is there to beat almost any team in this tournament.

Can this team hold up over three days versus teams that have practiced much longer than they have?

Their match up against The Ghosts will be the key tilt of day one in the entire division.

Newfoundland Liberation Army (St John's)

These guys are awesome, and I hope this will be an excellent experience that they can take back to Newfoundland and the rest of their leagues.

They are going to be hard pressed in such a great field of teams, but are the frontrunners to legitimately win the spirit prize
Pool B Furious George (Vancouver)

We know they will be great. The old stalwarts are gone to Masters, so the new players will get the opportunity and task to bring home the Worlds bid.

Maverick (Kitchener/Waterloo)

I like this team. I like Andrew Higgins overall play and leadership, I like the speed of Shaw Dungate, and I like the overall team talent level.

Semis? Maybe.

Q (Quebec City)

Another team I have always liked. They would be a lot stronger if their local coed team wasn't so strong (featuring lots of former Q guys).

You better understand how to play against this team on defence, because they run the handler cuts as well as anyone.


I often wonder where North Bay ultimate will be in 5 years. For many years it has been an overachieving city, developing great teams and great players (some playing for GOAT and Furious this year)

A good friend once used the phrase "good at ultimate" to describe teams like NADS. They don't practice 3 times a week, train all year round, or attend tournaments. However, they can roll out of bed and beat the very teams that do work so hard. Experience and athleticism will again serve them well, but it will be much tougher than in years past.

Pool C

Phoenix (Ottawa)

This team lost in the semis at CUC 2010 by one single point to Mephisto. The lost the 2009 CUC final by one point to Mephisto.

The team has lost several key players in 2011 (The Alexanader family, Kielan Way, Reynaldo Arteaga, Dave Janssen, Simon Teather, Colin Green, etc).

However, the team continues to be a strong threat for a semis berth at CUC. There is still a core of experience talent and a large group of emerging players. One player to watch is Nick Boucher, still juniors aged but playing Phoenix after dominating at World Juniors last year.

Blackfish (Vancouver)

I understand that this team has lost a lot of players to graduation (Furious), but this team really is the perfect example of why people can't judge a "B Team".

This team will be tough, benefiting from their regional competition and local talent pipelines. It will be interesting to see how they match up with both Phoenix and Grand Trunk.

Grand Trunk (Toronto)

Very strong in 2010, Grand Trunk hopes to repeat its success in 2011.

Losing many players to Feed The Geese, Grand Trunk has retooled with new players, and will feature sibling giants Kevin and Ben Horgan. Kevin, of UWO and Team Canada U-23 fame, will be tough to match up with. You can't teach tall!

Too Bad (Toronto)

Every nationals, it seems like the pick up format of Too Bad gets harder and harder to qualify for nationals and be a top 8 factor.

Squeaking in to nationals with NADS, Too Bad will have many solid veterans, and at the very least will be a factor in the consolation bracket.
Pool D

General Strike (Winnipeg)
The team that impressed Furious George's Andrew Lugsdin the most in CUC 2007 has the top seed in its pool.

An excellent juniors program, stable leadership, and strong past results position this team well for a quarterfinals spot.

Mephisto (Montreal)

What a great history this team has. 2009 CUC champs, finalists last year, and many top 4 finishes over the past two decades.

Losing many players to co-ed, Mephisto has to moderate their expectations this year. The 2011 squad did win the Quebec regionals title, and will aim to take their familiar spot in CUC semis.

Bloody Gary (Sherbrooke)

Do not be fooled by their seed- This team could be in quarter finals as easily as they could play for 13th.

It's been an up and down touring season for this team. Most of their games against CUC teams have been close games.

Red Circus (Halifax)

Red Circus, a regular factor at CUC, had a strong Boston Invite. Conversely, they had a very tough No Borders 2011 effort.

The program relies on university students in the area, and less on the junior and league programs. Getting players like Ramsey Wright or Matt Hogel is a great help, but these players rarely stay in the town after school is done. In order for Halifax to improve CUC chances every year, they need to change that recruiting mix.

Halifax's finest have to beat Bloody Gary to stay in the power pools on day 2.

Open Division- The Past
2003- Montreal

GOAT and Furious meet in the finals. Furious spanks GOAT in the finals by a score of 17-6.

At the height of their UPA dominance, Furious is a dominant team with dominant players. The final featured two excellent teams, but Furious seemed to surprise the GOAT offense and force

No other teams challenged the top two teams. Furious was the champ, and no one was close.

2007- Toronto

Four years have past, and the top two teams in the country are still standing at the finals.

GOAT had great hopes as the host squad, entering the final with many positive results leading up to the tournament. Defeating Furious in Vancouver at the Flowerbowl 2007 final. They were a revamped team, featuring many young players who would lead the team for years, and John Hassell was entering his prime as the star of the team, someone recognized as one of the best players in the world.

Whether intentional or not, GOAT adapted and learned from the 2003 finals. They adopted the multi team integrated program (First introduced by David Brook in Ottawa) and used Grand Trunk and Roy to harvest players that were younger, faster, and taller. University programs in their regions also developed players, as GOAT players got involved. This made them more competitive at UPA events and leveled the playing field with Furious.

Furious did not adopt the B team system quite as quickly, but they still had many advantages. Vancouver still had generational talents Andrew Lugsdin, Aaron Cruickshank, and Mike Grant. They also had a solid university program and a juniors program piping out talent. Vancouver also drew players from other cities for real life reasons (work, quality of life in the city, etc).

The much anticipated final was a wet affair. Advantage Vancouver. Although the teams were much more evenly matched this time around, Vancouver proved to be the better team on the day, in the conditions given, and emerged as champions again.

Overall, the division saw improvement in terms of overall depth. Mephisto, Invictus, and General Strike were able to give Furious and GOAT tough matches.

Friday, August 13, 2010

TDDM Twitter Feed


Great first day at cuc 2010.

Follow Tommy douglas on twitter @tddreamchine

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

CUC 2010 Preview


After a weekend battling the flu, I regret not being able to provide a division by division preview of the CUC.

Fortunetly, a contributor from www.iamultimate.com has done a preview. Inmitation is the highest form of flattery when sincere, and the breakdown by the author is similar to mine. I encourage you to go over to the site and give it a read.

Friday, July 23, 2010

U-23 World Championship Update


Quick update on our young stars:
  • Canada is 5-1 in womens play after a 17-12 loss to Japan. The team squandered a 2-0 lead and was unable to come back. Canada's next game is against Ireland (2-4 record) before heading to the playoffs.
  • Canada's mens squad is an impressive 6-0 and has enjoyed balanced scoring throughout the roster. Their next match is a quarterfinal match up with Switzerland.

The mens team can be followed via the following link


The womens team can be followed via the following link:


2010 Ontario Open Regionals


Ontario Open Regionals are upon us this weekend. Waterloo is the host, and KW's WODS organization will do a fine job I am sure.

As an Ultimate Canada board member and someone that works in the sport events business world, I see regionals as a very important thing for our sport. We should have regionals for every region, making it an important part of our Championship series. It's good for competition, and it's very alluring for businesss and cities/areas that want to bring ultimate to their communities. It should be a tournament and an event people want to be part of and see. Right now, we seem to be headed in a good direction with regionals. Notably, the maritime regionals had its best turnout on record this month. (PEI Ultimate readers, send me a Magnum PEI jersey!!) :)

My only hope is we can time regionals away from key tournaments (like No Borders, JazzFest, Team Canada tournaments) that take place in July each year. Perhaps setting up regionals in June might seem early to some but gives time for teams to properly prepare and regroup for August nationals.

Open Regionals- Preview

According the online schedule, we have the following teams:
  • Phoenix (Ottawa)
  • Moondoggies (Toronto/Various)
  • Maverick (KW)
  • Too Bad (Toronto)
  • Grand Trunk (Toronto)
  • Firebird (Ottawa)
  • ROY (Toronto)
7 teams and 6 spots to nationals!!!

This might be the best group of seven teams at an Ontario regionals yet. Realistically, all teams could make the top 10 at nationals, but sadly one team won't get that chance.

from Ottawa finished 2nd at CUC last year and just finished a trip to Worlds and a 2nd place finish at No Borders (despite missing many players during that weekend. The team is flat out strong this year, at the CUC and UPA/USA level. Injuries and absences might affect their performance this weekend, but the goal is simply to qualify and that should be an easy task.

Moondoggies from Toronto will most likely feature young, up and coming GOAT players with strong college/open players from the Vancouver/southwestern Ontario region. (If it is the same team that won No Borders last year). The CUC conflict with the Emerald City Classic might change the roster a bit.

Maverick from KW are having a great season. They finished 9th at CUT, 5th at No Surf, and won JazzFest. Like Phoenix and Moondoggies, they must qualify for nationals, gain intel on their opponents and avoid injuries at this home tournament.

Too Bad is always a tough team to gauge due to the fluidity of the roster. I must have stated that 900 times since I started this blog. If they are going to have strong ex UWO players like Rene Frye and Mike White to run down big hucks, they should figure to grab a spot to nationals.

Grand Trunk from Toronto continues to build towards nationals. 2009 CUC was a bit of a dissapointment for the squad, as they didn't fully capitalize on the evident talent they possessed. Their 2010 team looks very impressive again. Regionals should be a perfect gelling excercise.

Firebird of Ottawa is back after a one year hiatus, and they look like a young, strong club. Featuring a number of ex Phoenix players, the 'Bird had a very strong No Borders and should be a tough matchup with a full roster this weekend. Particular strong play recently has come from Colin Froats and Matt Godkey.

ROY of Toronto had a very strong Jazzfest and impressed many at No Borders this past weekend. Coaches Nate Brown and Brad Amson have done a good job of getting results out of a young athletic bunch.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

World U-23 Championships- Team Canada Links


The World U-23 championships take place this week in Florence, Italy.

Canada has both a mens and womens team entered.

The mens team can be followed via the following link


The womens team can be followed via the following link:


Will Canada Win?

Given that the US will not be attending the tournament, the questions to you the reader is simple:
  • Will Canada win in Open and Womens respectively?
  • If so, who will lead both squads
  • Who will be Canada's best rivals with the Yankees absent?
Look forward to your analysis