U SPORTS Weekend Watch Mar. 3-5

(Photo: Valerie Wutti)
(Photo: Valerie Wutti)

By Christian Ryan, U SPORTS Communications


Men’s Basketball


Mar. 3-4: OUA Wilson Cup Final Four


The 2017 OUA Wilson Cup Final Four boasts the top four teams in the country, with the Brock Badgers, Carleton Ravens, Ottawa Gee-Gees, and Ryerson Rams en route to Carleton University to fight for the Wilson Cup. Last year’s winners, the Rams, will take on the Gee-Gees on Friday night for a chance to compete to repeat. For the remaining berth, the Badgers take on the Ravens, winners of the last six consecutive national titls, in their own nest. Friday holds the Final Four, but Saturday will crown a champion.


Of the remaining teams, the Rams boast the highest scorer in Adika Peter-McNeilly, who is having a career year with 364 points in the regular season. However, with the last game between the Rams and the Gee-Gees being a close affair – 94-88 overtime win by the Rams  - Ottawa will turn to high scoring duo Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles and Caleb Agada.


Senior forward Dani Elgadi will look to use his towering presence and scoring prowess to take out the country’s top team. However, the Ravens have dominated U SPORTS basketball for a long time, and Connor Wood will look to continue that reputation for excellence straight through to the U SPORTS ArcelorMittal Dofasco Final 8 in Halifax, N.S.


The OUA Wilson Cup Final Four matchups and the Wilson Cup Final will be live streamed at OUA.tv.


Women’s Basketball


Mar. 3-4: Canada West Final Four


The best of U SPORTS Women’s Basketball are in Saskatchewan to fight for the Canada West title at the Final Four. The Regina Cougars, Alberta Pandas, and the Winnipeg Wesmen, will be hosted by the defending Bronze Baby national champions, the Saskatchewan Huskies.


Fifth year guard Katie Polischuk would lead her Cougars throughout the season, both in the locker room and on the scoreboard. Her scoring expertise and experience will be put to the test in order to take the conference title and nationals berth. The Wesmen are on a deep playoff run not seen by the team in some time, on the back of Canada West’s top scorer, fourth-year guard Antoinette Miller. She will look to take the Wesman all the way to the nationals in Victoria.


While the Huskies ride on the home crowd advantage and defending title, Alberta has some history of their own to lean on. The two teams are 1-1 against each other this season, promising a tight battle for a berth the final. Leading one side, Alberta’s Maddie Rogers sets the example of determination for her team, playing the most minutes and placing herself among the conference’s most effective players. On the other side, with many of their title-winning players graduating, the Huskies turn to their second-years Sabine Dukate and Megan Ahlstrom


Canada West live streaming information: http://www.canadawest.org/cwest/2015-16/canadawest.tv


Men’s Hockey


Mar. 3-5: Canada West Final (Best of 3) - Alberta Golden Bears vs. Saskatchewan Huskies


The history of the Alberta Golden Bears and Saskatchewan Huskies’ hold on the Canada West hockey title is set to continue this weekend. With the two teams facing off in the finals, the rivalry that has built upon two decades of dominance will continue in the 2017 conference championship. The two teams will continue their dynasty before the eyes of hockey fans turn to Fredericton, N.B. for the Cavendish University Cup.


The Golden Bears roster boasts three 25-plus point scorers in Jamie Crooks, Tyson Baillie, and Jayden Hart. The scoring power allowed them to advance after sweeping the Calgary Dinos in two close games in this year’s edition of the Battle of Alberta. Now with control of the province secure, the Golden Bears look to take control of Canada West away from Saskatchewan.


As defending champions and with a staggering 21-5-2 record in the regular season, the Huskies look to retain their title and carry it with them to the University Cup. With standout forward Logan McVeigh putting up 31 points this season, Saskatchewan’s offence is bolstered by his output and that of Michael Sofillas and Jesse Forsberg. This high-scoring trio look to out-muscle Alberta this weekend.


Canada West live streaming information: http://www.canadawest.org/cwest/2015-16/canadawest.tv


Women’s Hockey


Mar. 2-5: RSEQ Final (Best of 3) - Concordia Stingers vs. McGill Martlets


While the final kicked off Thursday night, the weekend will crown a champion. Game 1 saw the hard-charging McGill Martlets take early control of the series. However, the underdog Concordia Stingers will come into the remainder of the series with a fire lit under them from the early loss. After falling 4-0 in the opening contest, Concordia will look to tighten things up in the best-of-three series, and force a game three on Sunday.


McGill’s Olivia Atkinson scored two goals, while Gabrielle Davidson and Melodie Daoust each found the back of the net in Game. With the 19-save shutout registered by Tricia Deguire, the Martlets hope to continue their proficiency in putting the puck in Concordia’s net, and keeping it out of their own. A victory in the next game would seal the RSEQ title.

Although taking a hard shutout loss, the Stingers have one major component to focus on: the goaltending of Katherine Purchase, who despite allow all four goals, stopped 28 of 32 shots. If Purchase can keep up this efficiency and the Stingers defence can keep McGill’s shot-count down, look for a Game 3 to be forced. With phenom Audrey Belzile at the helm of the team’s scoring, all the Stingers need is another chance to impress.


Women’s Volleyball


Mar. 3-4: AUS Women’s Volleyball Championship


As the top-seeded Dalhousie Tigers take on the fourth seeded Moncton Aigles Bleues, the second and third-seeded Memorial Sea-Hawks and Saint Mary’s Huskies also face off to decide the championship matchup in Halifax. The Tigers will be looking to capture their fifth consecutive title.


Boasting a 19-1 record and an experienced roster, Dalhousie is poised to maintain their dominance over the conference. The Tigers will look to Courtney Baker, one of the top scorers in the conference, as well as some of the team’s more senior players, to take on the highly defensive Moncton team. The Aigles Bleues maintain one of the strongest defensive units in the conference, with the likes of Christelle Bertin racking up 331 digs in the regular season while still putting up the second most points in the conference.


The other semifinal is anyone’s game, with the Huskies and Sea-Hawks duking it out for a path to the finals. With a bona-fide all-star lineup including Erin Smith, the Huskies hope home-court advantage provides a path to the final and a trip to Ryerson for the U SPORTS Women’s Volleyball Championship Presented by Jason Rinaldi. Memorial looks to spoil their chances, as the only team to defeat Dalhousie in the regular season is lead by the 2017 AUS Women’s Volleyball MVP Jill Snow. With her two consecutive MVP awards, her skill and leadership will be key to Memorial’s success this weekend.


Catch all the action from the semis to the finals at AUStv.ca.