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Weekly notes (Dec. 7-14, 2015)
Another year of Major League Water Polo (MLWP) is underway, and many fans may be feeling a case of déjà vu. Once again, it appears the Toronto Golden Jets men and the CAMO women are the early favourites to capture gold at Senior Nationals.
Last weekend in Toronto, the 15 MLWP teams in the eastern conference gathered at the University of Toronto to begin their treks towards the 2016 Senior Nationals in Montreal next April. Unlike the 16U and 19U age categories, not every team automatically qualifies for the playoffs in Water Polo Canada’s senior competition. Only five of the seven women’s teams, and five of the eight men’s teams in the eastern conference will qualify for Senior Nationals, so each and every game is crucial. Dig yourself an early hole in the standings and there might not be enough time to get out.
The Toronto Golden Jets won’t have to worry about that on the men’s side, as they went 4-0 over the weekend to catapult themselves to first place in the conference. It’s a familiar position for the Jets, who have dominated the men’s competition over the last few years and have an unbeaten streak that carries all the way back to 2012. Many felt the CAMO Roadrunners had the best chance of knocking the Jets off their perch this past weekend, but on this occasion it was not to be. One thing you absolutely can’t do against the Jets is fall behind early, and a few minutes into the 2nd quarter, CAMO was already facing a 6-1 deficit. The Roadrunners made a game attempt to pull even, getting as close as 8-6 in the 3rd quarter, but they would get no closer thanks to the dominance of Rudy Despaigne-Sauquet. The Jets new hole player made himself at home in front of the net and once he had position it was nearly impossible to move him out again. Despaigne-Sauquet would tally 7 goals, including 6 of the Jets last 10 in what would end as a 16-10 Toronto victory. Any team hoping to end the Jets long unbeaten streak will have to come up with a game plan to help neutralize this newest Jets weapon.
The early front runners in both the 16U girls’ and 19U women’s eastern conference are both undefeated CAMO squads, and that trend has continued to MLWP where CAMO White has placed themselves as the early favourite. CAMO White only played two games in Toronto, but two convincing victories were enough to separate them from the very muddled field behind them. A 21-4 victory over Hammer, followed by a 12-4 win over the Golden Jets demonstrated CAMO White’s strength in all three parts of the game (offense, defense, and goaltending). It is no doubt going to take a full 28 minute effort to beat CAMO White this season as it’s hard to imagine this team giving a game away.
The race behind CAMO White should be exciting all year as Hammer, CAMO Blue, Capital Wave, and the Toronto Golden Jets all showed themselves to be evenly matched. The Golden Jets beat CAMO Blue, CAMO Blue beat Capital Wave, Capital Wave beat Golden Jets, Hammer tied to Capital Wave, and round and round we go.
All in all it should no doubt be another exciting year of Major League Water Polo
This week in the NCL
It’s the final week of competition in the NCL before the holiday break. There are 12 games on the docket, taking place in Gatineau and Montreal. The Mavericks 16U girls and the Golden Horseshoe 19U women are taking a holiday road trip that will see them play Friday night in Gatineau against Capital Wave before heading north to take on the three Montreal area clubs over the rest of the weekend. The best place to head for water polo action this weekend is DDO on Saturday as there will be a quadruple header starting at 4:20pm.
Please see the NCL schedule for exact times and locations.


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