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NCL Weekly Notes: March 9 to March 15, 2015

Berths for Senior Nationals determined in Markham

Two weeks after gathering in Montreal for the first crossover of the season, the Eastern MLWP teams came together again for the reverse crossover in Etobicoke and Markham on the weekend of March 13 to 15, 2015. All 13 Eastern Conference senior teams were in action over the weekend with 11 of the teams in Markham (Dollard’s and Capital Wave’s women’s teams played a two-game series in Ottawa). On the Men’s side, each team played four games over the three-day event and, by the end of Sunday, the five available spots for the Eastern teams had been clinched.

The Toronto Golden Jets clinched the first overall seed at Senior Nationals by running their undefeated streak to 14 games (12-2-0). The Jets were tested several times once again but still, no one was able to finish them off. Earlier in the week, the Mavericks had a chance against their cross-town rivals but fell just short, losing 12-11. The CAMO Roadrunners also pushed the Jets hard on Friday the 13, but fell 10-8. To some people’s surprise, Laval came closest to knocking the Jets off; Laval had a 9-7 lead entering the 4th quarter and with the score tied 11-11 and only a few seconds to play, Laval had a corner throw with a chance to win the game. The pass however went just out of the Laval players’ reach and Toronto survived with a draw. The game could be summed up as a microcosm of Laval’s season. Laval is 3-3-10 on the season but that record simply does not do the team justice. Despite those several losses, Laval actually has a +/- of +10. The Mavericks by contrast are 10-5-1 but have a +/- of 12. Laval has had a chance to win almost every game they’ve played this year but the close games have not gone their way, losing 6 games by two goals or less. A couple of breaks here or there and Laval could have truly been a dangerous sleeper at Senior Nationals but instead they will not partake and will have to settle for watching the action from home.

The winner of the Quebec division and the other bye at Senior Nationals will come down to the Tuesday, March 24 match between CAMO Roadrunners and CAMO Maitres. Both teams were 10-2-4 as of March 15 and so their final match against each other will determine 1st place in Quebec. CAMO Roadrunners own the tiebreaker so a win or a tie will give them the 2nd seed at Nationals while the Maitres will have to win outright. The Mavericks look likely to claim the 3rd seed as they only need a win against the Silver Jets to lock up the 3rd seed and a match against 6th seed Dollard. The loser of the Roadrunners vs. Maitres game will be the likely 4th seed and thus face the dangerous wildcard squad from Saskatchewan. Either way, the Men’s bracket at Senior Nationals is sure to be exciting.

On the Women’s side, CAMO Bleu and Blanc made their way to Markham as well to play 2 games each against the Golden Jets women’s team. Both CAMO teams swept the Jets and in doing so locked up the first and 2nd seeds at Senior Nationals, and the byes that go with them. Things could be shaping up for an all CAMO final. The Jets lost their chance at the bye and will now face Capital Wave in the quarterfinals. Saskatchewan will play Dollard in the other quarterfinal.

This week in the NCL

The next focus for the NCL will be in Calgary where the 3rd and final western 19U conference weekend takes place at Talisman Centre as a part of the Alberta Open from March 18 to 21. 23 games will be played between the 10 men’s and women’s western teams and the clubs will once again by jockeying for position in the race to qualify for Nationals. With one of the Western berths allocated for the host, every game really is crucial. On the Men’s side, Pacific Storm and the Calgary Torpedoes are in good shape to qualify and a strong weekend could be all they need to book there spot in the National Finals.

The women’s side has been a dogfight all year between all four teams but Saskatchewan has pulled slightly ahead of the pack heading into this weekend. If Saskatchewan can pick up 2-3 victories, they also may be booking their plane tickets to Calgary for Nationals.
Games start Thursday, March 18 t 4:40pm local time, and run through Sunday at the Talisman Centre. Please check the NCL schedule online for full details. Games will also be streamed live online at:



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