Hockey: OUA semifinals

To briefly recap the first round: the Battle of Waterloo came down to the last 40 seconds after Waterloo won the first game 5-0, Ottawa knocked off Toronto in overtime of Game 3 (in front of the Varsity Blues' Mark Heatley's brother Dany), Western dealt with the Lions as expected (5-1 and 6-1 wins), and the McGill Tribune got their wish.

McGill vs. Queen's

Golden Gaels head coach Brett Gibson sure appreciated Ryerson's win over the bye-challenging Varsity Blues at the end of the season: "We've had a nice little break to get back from injuries. I was really only going with three lines and five defencemen, and the guys showed true character," he told the Queen's Journal.

Note that while Game 3 would be played at the Kingston Memorial Centre, Game 1 is apparently in Napanee. This should provide an excellent getaway for students used to boring old Montreal.

Ottawa vs. UQTR

59 goals against in only 28 games for the Patriotes is excellent. Sylvain Michaud played 19 of those games (or 20, if you use the UQTR stats instead of the OUA stats), stopping 380 of 420 shots (or 346 of 383) for a goals-against average of 2.12 (or 2.20).

UQTR beat Ottawa three out of four times during the season and the lone loss was in overtime in October.

Western vs. Brock

Coming from the competitive OUA West, the Mustangs might have the advantage in this series despite their lower seeding. They "outclassed" the Lions, said York coach Bill Maguire. Western won 6-0 and 5-3 over Brock during the season, though they haven't played each other since November 17.

Laurier vs. Lakehead

You can keep reading if you want, but much more detailed information on this series can be found in this release from Lakehead's Mike Aylward.

The Thunderwolves scored more goals and won more games than anyone else in the OUA. Dan Speer (14 goals, 33 assists), Brock McPherson (17, 29), and Mark Soares (22, 22) are three big reasons for Lakehead's standing at the top of the league. Aylward refers to them as the SSM line, so re-order those names appropriately.

Thunder Bay's Source reminds us that Laurier coach Kelly Nobes protested his team's February 1 game at Lakehead when "their WestJet flight slid off the runway in icy conditions" and the game was not postponed. These teams also met in the playoffs last year and the series went to the Golden Hawks, so there's certainly some history.

The travel rule in this series puts the first game at the Waterloo Rec Complex. It appears to be the only semifinal series to take advantage of this rule.
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  1. Thanks for the link to our story, Rob. Good call on Napanee: it's tough enough to get out there that we haven't even been able to cover most of the games there in person. McGill-Queen's should be an interesting matchup: it's unfortunate that it's taking place on Queen's Reading Break though, as otherwise there would certainly be some more fan support.

  2. Actually, now I'm curious: The Frontenacs aren't using the Memorial Centre that night, so why is Game 1 in Napanee?

  3. Because other teams are using the Memorial Centre.

    And you're quoting the wrong travel rule on the Lakehead series - it's always two consecutive games at Lakehead anytime the Thunderwolves are concerned in a playoff series because of the plane costs. The new rule is the only one that needs to be 'taken advantage of'.

    And CFRC's gotten rides to Napanee from the athletics department on a couple of occassions - there's no barrier to the student media covering it, but there you go.

  4. Yeah, the athletics department's told us that they don't have space for us on several occasions this year when we've tried to cover Napanee games. It's good they'll at least give you guys a ride though.