As the sun sets in Edmonton the CUC 2016 adult divisions pass the halfway mark and into playoffs. The Women’s division has already had the first round of eliminations and start semis in the morning. The Open division starts quarterfinals and crossovers in the early morning. Finally, the Masters divisions shall complete pool play on Saturday morning before heading into semi finals and finals later in the day. With all of this action there are a few key games to watch.
In the Women’s division the first semifinal features Sneaky House Hippos (BC,1) vs Flurry (AB,7), the local team, in what may turn out to be a closer game than expected. Hippos had a tight quarter final against Korra (PR,9) which may point to something being off. However, it may have simply been a single bobble in which case the hometown team, Flurry, has a great challenge ahead of them. The other semi features Zephyr (BC,4) vs Fusion (MB,2) in what is setting up to be a great matchup. Both teams are closely matched and have been playing well. The winners of each semi shall play in the finals on Sunday. Aside from the action in the 1-8 bracket there is a bit of excitement in the 9-12 bracket. A glimmer of hope remains for BC to grab an extra strength bid if Mystik (QC,11) defeat Storm (QC,6) and then Wendigo (BC,12) beats Mystik. The probability of this happening is currently very low but the close game between Mystik and Storm, a 9-12 loss, leaves a chance at the bid on the table. At the present it looks like Québec shall have that extra strength bid for CUC 2017 in Ottawa.
The Open division starts quarterfinals first thing in the morning with 2 of the 4 games promising close scores. Whiskeyjacks (5,AB) play Blackfish (4,BC) in a game that shall likely see plenty of action, disappointingly, for the Observers. While Whiskeyjacks have an average spirit score Blackfish, not surprisingly, have the lowest spirit score currently. But hey, if they win who cares right? In any case the 2 teams shall likely have a close game and Blackfish currently has the edge. The other exciting semifinal shall feature the local Alberta Flatball Club (AB,6) and Mio Grape (BC,1). AFC has been playing well and has been improving through the tournament. Mio Grape has also played well but their loss to Grand Trunk (ON,3) and closer than expected games against Magma (QC,7) and Whiskeyjacks puts them on shaky ground. This is the morning game to watch.
Grand Trunk, who play Critical Mass (MB,11), and General Strike (MB,2), who play Magma, are expected to make it through safely to semifinals. At this point the tournament becomes too close to call but these two teams would be considered the favorites for the finals. In any case it shall be an exciting and interesting Saturday for the Open division. By the way, General Strike leads with a spirit score average of 14.33.
In the Masters Women’s division the last set of round robin games shall lack any excitement whatsoever. The top 2 teams shall face the bottom 2 teams, 3 shall play 4, and 5 shall play 6. The outcomes of the 3/4 and 5/6 games shall not result in any movement between the brackets unless either of the 7/8 teams beat the 1/2 teams which is unlikely. This means that we’re going to see Eclipse (ON,1), Throwback (AB,2), X-Squad (QC,3), and DYNA (AB,6) in the playoffs. Eclipse has beaten the other three teams and is the likely pick for finals while Throwback beaten X-Squad, 10-7, and DYNA, 14-9, it should be a close matchup. This puts the morning pressure on X-Squad and DYNA in their final pool play matchup with the loser facing Eclipse and the winner facing Throwback. The winners of the semis shall play in the finals at the end of the day on Saturday.
The Masters Open division still has one set of games to play before they too start semifinals. Each of those games has the potential to move teams between brackets creating a bit of a headache for the organizers. In fact it’s almost certain that there shall be movement between the brackets which should highlight the importance of this final round to the teams. The key game is NSOM (QC,1) vs Mangina (PR,7) where a win by Mangina would put them into 2nd seed. NSOM would then, potentially, be in a 3 way tie with Carbon (AB,8) and Intrepid (MB,3) for the last 2 spots in the 1-4 bracket. That makes for an exciting morning in the Masters Open division. Grizzle (BC,2) looks to have a lock into the semis and is looking like the most likely team to make the finals. As for who else joins them? Your guess is as good as my guess. The finals shall also take place on Saturday afternoon.