Five (or Four) to Ponder: QUFL showdown and hoops on the U of A hardwood

Every week, or close to it, Five to Ponder will highlight five (or four) upcoming games that might be worth your attention.

1. Please, Please Let This Game Be Competitive
Football: Laval at Montreal, Saturday, 1:00pm ET

I have a bad record when it comes to picking exciting football games in advance. (See Western 46, Laurier 1; Montreal 29, Concordia 8; Laval 45, Saint Mary's 7).

But come on. It's Laval and Montreal. This is always No. 1 on the list.

A win by the Carabins in this game basically ensures them a home playoff date, and if they win everything after that (including the QUFL semifinal), then they probably host Laval in the conference final. A tall order, but it begins tomorrow.

2. Foreshadowing Our Preview
Women's basketball: Victoria vs. Windsor (in Edmonton), Saturday, 1:00pm MT

There's a very good chance that both of these teams will be the top 5 in our season preview. And of course the Lancers, who return nearly everyone, are the closest thing CIS has to a reigning women's basketball champion, finishing second at nationals as well as in RPI. The Vikes (8th last year in RPI) return four of their top five, and will surely be set up well for a 2010-11 season without the Clan in their division.

(The tipoff time might be off; I'm having difficulty finding any information on the schedule for this tournament hosted by the U of A. But the Vikes' site says noon, which I'll assume is Pacific time.)

Other teams participating in this tournament include Alberta and Western.

3. The Sprint To 3-2
Football: Acadia at Mount Allison, Saturday, 2:00pm AT

Someone will be above .500 in the AUS after this weekend. The generic point spreads gave Mount A a slight advantage, but some long-term injuries to key players (Gary Ross for one) might make that even more slight.

4. A Day For Aggrieved Globe and Mail Columnists
Women's hockey: Calgary at Regina, Friday, 7:00pm CT

As mentioned before, if the Globe (and others) had any consistency, they would bang the drum loudly over Hayley Wickenheiser's exercise in men-against-boys women-against-girls with the University of Calgary. But it's by the rules--and it's certainly not like she's chasing championships, if she chose the Dinos, who were 23rd out of 29 in RPI in their first Canada West season and didn't even make the playoffs. Nonetheless, one has to be a little bit interested in how Wickenheiser will do in her first CIS game.

Calgary could also be introducing a new goaltender in one of these games; with the departure of Katie Urness, they have three on the roster: newcomer and WWHL vet Amanda Tapp (who is, wait for it, 29! Someone call Damien Cox!), rookie Kiersten Giesbrecht, and the returning Jennifer Mallard.
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