Friday, 27 November 2009

Big Night in OUA Interlocking Play

Several tremendous matchups tonight in the OUA, highlighted by #1 Carleton visiting #9 Lakehead as the lone remaining undefeated teams in Ontario square off in Thunder Bay. A nice battle at the post should ensue as 6'6" sophomore Yoosrie Salhia is likely to matchup with fifth-year 6'8" All-Canadian candidate Kevin McCleery in a battle of athleticism and explosiveness vs. finesse and strength. Carleton's ability to hold 5'9" Greg Carter in check, likely matching up with 6'0" Willy Manigat, in a battle of Ottawa-bred guards, should go a long way in determining the outcome. Unfortunately, there is no coverage of this great game anywhere that I know of.

In Hamilton, Ottawa Gee-Gees (4-2) visit McMaster (5-1). The Marauders expect to have 6'7" freshman forward Ryan Christie back in the lineup after a three game absence, which will aid Mac's defensive paint area presence and rebounding. A nice matchup between a pair of All-Canadian candidates 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe of Ottawa and the Marauders 6'6" Keenan Jeppessen, should be a treat for Hamilton fans. Again, no known live media coverage of this event other than Dale Stevens' very strong and consistent tweets on Twitter.

In downtown Toronto, Western Mustangs (4-2) face the improving Ryerson Rams (3-3) in Kerr Hall. 6'7" Boris Bakovic continues to take the necessary steps to bring the Rams to contender status with his scoring, rebounding and leadership. The Mustangs fifth-year wing/forward 6'6" Andy Wedemire finally appears to be coming into his own as the offensive leader at Western, supported by slick third year guard Ryan Barbeau, who is strong enough to drive into traffic and create but can also knock down 3's - Barbeau has allowed the 'Stangs to hardly skip a beat at the point most nights after 6'1" Matt Curtis graduated after last season. This game is available on Ryerson webcast . #10 U of T Varsity Blues host Windsor Lancers with Toronto welcoming back 6'2" fifth-year senior Rob Paris from the suspended list. Expect Windsor to push the tempo defensively, pressing up on the ball and taking away the passing lanes in an attempt to create offense out of their "d" and, more importantly, try to take the Blues out of their patterned offensive sets. Toronto's ability to guard the ball and convert in transition will be important. This game may be available on SSN Canada .

Fans in the Kitchener-Waterloo area get a look at a pair of improving OUA East teams this weekend as York (1-5) visits Laurier (1-5) tonight in a game available on HAWKCAST LIVE!. Both teams have lost their share of tough games in the early season and both love to play up tempo. The Lions have been using a zone defense more frequently lately and the Hawks have several sharpshooters in 6'2" Jesse MacDonald, 6'5" Kale Harrison and recently emerging 6'6" freshman Max Allin who love to jack it when open. York's diminutive guard David Tyndale will battle with fellow sophomore point Travis Berry. Across town at the Waterloo PAC, the Warriors, licking their wounds from a pair of losses in Ottawa last weekend including a pasting at the hands of Carleton Ravens, return home to face Laurentian. The Warriors had a difficult time stopping Carleton last weekend as the Ravens were able to play from inside/out and knock shots down. Waterloo lost the services of 6'3" Ben Frisby, who had 19 first-half points against the Ravens, for the latter part of the game with what looked like a severe ankle injury; no word on whether Frisby, who may be Waterloo's most consistent overall offensive player, will be ready to go this weekend. The Vees rely on strong outside shooting from the Pasquale brothers (Manny and Isiah) and are defending with much more purpose however if 6'6" Matas Trilis, a hard-working fifth-year post, can be impactful at both ends, he could be a difference maker working against 6'9" fellow fifth-year post Matt Hayes.

In Kingston tonight, Guelph Gryphons, who have simply been snake-bitten down the stretch of most games this season, get a chance for redemption on the road, facing Queen's Gaels in the Bartlett Gym. Guelph's young front line will be tested as All-Canadian candidate 6'6" Mitch Leger, with his added strength and ability to play either inside or out, looks to lead the way. Gryphs 6'4" fifth-year wing Jay Mott can keep Guelph in games with his shot-making and Guelph is still looking for the type of production 6'4" Jonathan Moscatelli gave them early in his career. 6'2" Mike Patrella should engage in a nice battle with 6'2" fifth-year guard Baris Ondul of the Gaels. Brock also meets RMC Paladins tonight in Kingston.

Also a pair of games on Saturday afternoon,

3:00 pm Laurentian vs. Laurier: Vees Head Coach Shawn Swords played five seasons at Laurentian under current Laurier Head Coach Peter Campbell and on Swords current Laurentian roster is 6'5" wing Jamie Campbell, who happens to be Peter's son. Both teams need this victory and expect a wide-open affair. Also at 3:00 pm Guelph is at RMC.

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