The Masters division this season has some new faces, and some reconfigured old ones as everyone tries, futilely, to close the gap on GLUM.
GLUM (Ottawa) is the top seed, and deservedly so with only having suffered one loss in CUC Masters play ever. However, that loss was in the 2007 gold medal game to determine the Team Canada representative at WUGC 2008 in Vancouver. I’m sure that loss still eats at GLUM, who will be looking to avenge that loss next year in Ottawa, and become Canada’s WUGC 2012 Masters team.
GLUM did suffer some losses this season however, as Dave Janssen and Simon Teather both returned to Open play (both with Phoenix), Pete Knowles retired, Derek Sigurdson startiedFuel, and Ian Brooks took the summer off after WUCC.
GLUM still has stalwart defenders Chee Chan and Owen Lumley, big time receivers Seton Stiebert and Glenn Walker, and handlers Andy Morrisey and Eric Budgell. GLUM may have opened the door for other Masters teams to close the gap on them, but that only means they might give up 7 points in a game this year.
FIGJAM (Calgary) is the 2 time reigning silver medalist, and coming off a disappointing 13th place finish at WUCC, are looking to end their season on a high note and bring a gold medal back to Calgary. With new additions from Invcitus to the roster (David Burdziak, Jason Sayonovang, Pete Woods and Ty Trapp), FIGJAM may have beefed up their team enough to pull off the upset.
I was initially going to label Quantum (Quebec City) as my Masters dark horse team, but it appears the horse is out of the barn with the seeding they received at CUC. The seeding is well deserved after playing famed Death or Glory (Boston) tough twice at Masters Easterns (Boston), losing 15-12 in pool play and 15-11 in the finals.
Quantum is in their 1st year of existence, although the core of the team was formed from last year’s Good Ol’ Boys (GOB) entry from Montreal. They have done a nice job adding players from Quebec City, Trois-rivieres and Gaspesie. Quantum certainly has made excellent use of their 3 out of region exemptions as well, bringing in players from Edmunston, New Brunswick, Seattle, Washington, and even a player from Japan!
Flood (Winnipeg) is the 4th seed for the second year in a row. They have suffered heartbreaking defeats at the hands of Fossil the past 2 seasons, but with Fossil not qualifying this year, that won’t be a concern. Flood would like to return to the medal rounds this year, but it will be difficult with a deeper Masters division this year.
Scotch (Halifax) returns after skipping CUC a year ago, and should be quite pleased if they are able to hold seed.
Fuel (Toronto) is a new/old Masters team. Captains Derek Sigurdson (formerly of GLUM), Mike ‘Jeans’ Good and Henry Woo have taken a core group of Fossil players (’08 bronze medalists), and added such players as former Grand Trunk members Mike Lane and Matt Coombe to try and close the gap on GLUM.
The holdover Fossil players include Jake Regala, the tallest short man in the game today. Yes, he just kick blocked your high release backhand. And yes, they have so many photo nerds on the team, that they have a great shot of it. Fuel also has one of the aforementioned photo nerds, Jim Hui, who kicked off day two last year with Callahans on the opening point of Fossil’s 1st 2 games (vs FIGJAM and GOB).
With strikers Drew Hope and Trevor Zimmer ready and willing to chase down hucks all day, Fuel believes they have the offence to go toe to toe with GLUM. With abundant leadership in addition to Fuel’s 3 captain, they also have former Masters captains Danny Jose (Fossil) and Greg Schmidt (Mature Audiences Only) to steady the team through the rough patches, Fuel believes they have all the pieces in place to return to the medal stand.
Nothing Sexier than Old Montrealers (NSOM) is a brand new Masters team from Montreal, who placed 5th at JazzFest. With former Mephisto players Fadi Hobeila and Etienne Fournier, NSOM has a nice foundation to build from. A litany of injuries, always a surprise in the Masters division, has tempered expectations for NSOM, but they are still hopeful of a semi final appearance.
Bad Daddy Ultimate (BDU) is Ottawa’s ‘B’ Masters team who are hoping to improve upon last year’s standing. In Ottawa, there is always an abundance of Masters talent to choose from, so BDU’s fortunes will be tied to how well they recruit for Nationals.
All that said this is still GLUM’s tournament to lose. For them to not win the gold would be a shocking upset. With FIGJAM taking full advantage of Invictus’ absence from CUC this year, I think another silver medal is in the offing, with Quantum taking bronze. Fuel rounds out the semi finalists.