The Super Championship weekend, let's get this inked in right off the hop, is a winner for CIS.
And, and I swear this occurred to me before the St. Thomas Tommies -- shunted to the No. 8 seed so the Calgary Hayley's Comet Has Gones could play the prime-time Friday quarter-final, lost to No. 1 Guelph.
Why not try to have the women's hockey and hoops championships as close together as possible, and aim to have the men's basketball Final 8 and men's hockey University Cups in cities that are safe driving distance, for the diehards or alumni that might have a school make both?
The SCW is a great idea; this Shelbyville Idea is a next step. The regionalists will howl, but everyone will get a turn, and this gets out in front of the coming day when some of these tournaments are going to get too extensive for one school to bid. In fact, that day is already here?
The SCW should not be walked back. You need to be seen, and as it stands, wall-to-walling it with the eight semifinals and four finals in hockey and hoops makes sense.
What of having an atmosphere? 'Having a national conversation about CIS, it might make sense to somewhat tether these tentpole tournaments.
The female teams might have a better forum for their talent and effort if the hockey and hoops tournaments were staged in close proximity. More work for the host(s), but more CIS-fluent people descending on one spot for 4-5 days, more of a cluster occurs.
They would probably come up with better ideas than this off-the-cuff stuff. Does it sound like I am spending a second consecutive weekend blogging at a university with a combo basketball/hockey facility?
The same could work for the University Cup and men's Final 8, although in that case, it just be more workable to get schools within a two-hour drive of one another hosting. There are, and will soon, be a lot more OHL-size arenas that can be converted for basketball.
Just a thought. Suppose St. Thomas and UNB — if only, if only, there was a power couple, say a V-Reds man and a Tommies woman, who are passionate about sports and Fredericton could get 'em around the table — had partnered. UNB hosting the W-Final 8, then they put in a bid for women's hockey, with STU as the host team. It would involve that whole Freddy Beach community, and win-win-win, make reparations for UNB dropping its women's varsity a few years ago.
Results so far
- Gold/silver: Montréal 8, UBC 0 — The more established program was ready and UBC was a little out of its depth. The mere fact that the Thunderbirds were there is great.
- Bronze: Saint Mary's 3, Guelph 1 — Make it two CIS bronze medals for women's Huskies teams in the same day, and two in hockey for a total of three.
So what happened? Saint Mary's Nicole Blanche got the icebreaker 1:49 into the game, and SMU got to play from ahead the whole afternoon.
That's French-language school, West Coast school and East Coast school on the podium. Great to see for a CIS league that is still shy of its 20th anniversary.
- UBC 2 Guelph 1 (OTS) / Montreal 3 Saint Mary's 2 — Very, very few sports seem to get a final four of conference champs, or even one with all four involved. Each was a close game. Focus there!
- Saint Mary's Huskies 1 Western Mustangs 0 — The karma just keeps on coming, does it not? Former UNB player Sylvia Bryson wins her case to have the women's hockey Varsity Reds reinstated. Then Saint Mary's, once pulled back from the chopping block, has won AUS and took out the defending champs. The Huskies' Rebecca Clark's 26-save shutout including facing down a 44-second two-woman power play in the third.
Might we retire the "goalie stood tall with [X number of] saves" cliché? Even Darren Pang stood tall. By definition, this is the only way to stand, although there is no end of ways to stop a shot.
- Montréal Carabins 4 Calgary Dinos 0 — The same two cities that played in the Clarkson Cup last weekend.
- Guelph 3, St. Thomas Tommies 0 — It is truly lamentable that STU got Lamenta'd, as Guelph goalie Valerie Lamenta had an 18-save shutout.
- UBC Thunderbirds 4, McGill Martlets 2 (eng) — We like a 'bird' team from a school that faced Montreal in football last fall in the semi. Now, if you haven't read the story from two weeks back about UBC's 40-year-old goalie, Danielle Dube, please do, and share it on social media.