Sunday, April 3, 2016

Gee-Gees Capture National Championship over McGill

By Serena Cheong

Quidditch Canada has crowned its new national champion in Kingston, Ontario this past weekend. After a hard-fought championship matchup, the UOttawa Gee-Gees are the 2016 Canadian National Champions. McGill Quidditch, for the second straight year, comes just short of capturing the national title, while Universite de Montreal (UdeM) rounds up the podium with a bronze medal finish.

Gee-Gees seeker Nick McKnight catches the snitch against McGill to give his team the championship | Photo credit: Suraj Singh
The championship game came down a matchup between the reigning Eastern Regional champions (UOttawa Gee-Gees) and last year’s holder of that same title (McGill). As expected, it was a tight game. Although the Gee-Gees always led in quaffle points, McGill clawed its way back into snitch range. With the snitch on the pitch, McGill successfully got back into snitch range by scoring twice in a row to bring the score to 70-40, and some back-and-forth play made it 80-50. With the national championship on the line, Gee-Gees seeker Nick McKnight ended the game with a clutch snitch catch to win it for Ottawa 110*-50

The Gee-Gees continued their dominant season, avenging their only loss of the season, against the Waterloo Ridgebacks back in November, with a 80*-50 semifinal win to take them to the title game. McGill secured a place in the championship by beating its rival, the No. 2 seed UdeM.

Day One consisted of pool play amongst the 15 teams that made it out to Kingston, which included just two Western Canadian teams (Calgary Mudbloods and the Alberta Clippers). Although the closest games were found in Pool 3 (UdeM, Guelph, Alberta, UTSC, and Canada’s Finest), the thrilling overtime game in Pool 1 between McGill and Waterloo was most likely the game of the day with McGill winning 140*^-100 on a pair of snitch catches.

Rankings after Pool Play:

  1. UOttawa Gee-Gees
  2. UdeM
  3. McGill Quidditch
  4. Waterloo Ridgebacks Quidditch
  5. Valhalla Quidditch
  6. Guelph Quidditch
  7. Queen’s University Quidditch
  8. Alberta Clippers
  9. Carleton University Quidditch
  10. University of Toronto Centaurs
  11. Calgary Mudbloods
  12. Canada’s Finest Quidditch Club
  13. UTSC Quidditch
  14. Royal City Quidditch
  15. York Quidditch

Bracket play on Day Two started with an overtime win by Carleton, snatching the win from the the Alberta Clippers by a score of 140*^-130, after the Clippers were up 20 quaffle points in OT. Both Western Canadian teams would bow out in the play-in bracket, as the Calgary Mudbloods would also lose their game to Guelph by a snitch catch (100*-50). Although the semifinal matchups consisted of the top four seeds entering bracket play (McGill vs. UdeM, UOttawa Gee-Gees vs. Waterloo), there were also a few SWIM games in the quarterfinals. McGill mustered out a 90*-60 win against Guelph, and UdeM made a clutch snitch catch to knock off Queens 90*-40.

Gee-Gees and Waterloo after a hard-fought semifinal game. | Photo Courtesy of Quidditch Canada
Following its defeats in the semifinals, UdeM took the bronze medal on a snitch grab, 70*-60, to grab the final podium spot over Waterloo.  

The Gee-Gees, fresh from their national championship win. | Photo Courtesy of UOttawa Quidditch
For a country that only saw seven teams compete in its previous national championship (one that was wrought in controversy due to its location and said late announcement of its location), Quidditch Canada rebounded with a well-organized, and tightly run 2016 national championship. Although only two teams from Western Canada could make the cross-country trip over to Kingston, the West showed it was not to be underestimated and that it was a force to be reckoned with. With no announcement of where next season’s national championship will be, one can only hope to see a greater mix of East and West playing in Canada’s marquee tournament, so that a truer representation of Canadian quidditch can be seen on its national stage.

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