Number of teams: 5
Number of bids: 4
Teams along with their seed:
- Stella A (Ottawa)
- Lotus (Toronto)
- PPF (Waterloo Region)
- Stella B (Ottawa)
- Lily (Toronto)
CUC 2015 features an expanded Women’s division with 16 teams (finally!) and due to how well Ontario has performed they have 5 bids to CUC (quick note: Québec also has 5 as they too have a strong Women’s program). You’ll notice that there are 4 bids stated at the to of this post. Capitals earn an automatic bid to CUC, as per rule 3.2.6, as they’ll be attending a tournament in the US that conflicts with Regionals.
On Saturday the teams shall play 4 games each in round robin play. The top team in the pool gets the first seed and does not have to play on Sunday. The remaining four teams head into semi-finals with the two losing teams playing in the game to go. Given the format and the potential parity amongst the teams any three of Stella A, Lotus, and PPF have a shot at the first seed.
Last year the CUC finals, in Waterloo (TD: Andrew Portwine), featured Stella vs PPF in a very exciting and close game. Both of the teams have lost a few players which has brought the overall strength of each team down. Lotus, relatively speaking, has gotten stronger and is looking to return to their former status at the top of the rankings. There isn’t that much of a difference between the three teams and part of that is due to the Capitals having many of the best players from across Ontario. That’s not to say that there aren’t excellent players on the remaining teams that could be on the Capitals. In any case, the games between these three teams are important as going 2-0 in this set virtually guarantees first place at OUC.
Between the top three seeds and Stella B and Lily is a large gap that means an inevitable showdown (the same one we have every year) in the game to go. By their nature the 4 and 5 seeds are development teams and players do graduate into Stella A or Lotus, respectively, and the A teams tend to add a few more players for CUC. Unfortunately the rules changes this year means that it really shall the end of the season for a whole team of players. That makes the rivalry all the more intense considering the close games over the past few years.
Here’s how I see things wrapping up:
- Stella A(1)
I’m not calling the outcome of the 4/5 game as it’s simply too close to call.
Games to watch on Saturday:
0830 – Fields 3a and 3b: A preview of the game to go as well as a morning matchup between Lotus(2) and PPF(3).
1015 – Field 3a: Stella A(1) vs PPF(3)
1715 – Field 3a: Stella A(1) vs Lotus(2)
Games to watch on Sunday:
1015 – Fields 6a and 6b: The 2nd place and 4th place (game to go) matches.