The Huskies respond with all the usual suspects ready to go, a deep and talented roster, and that characteristic Huskies swagger. The Huskies are built for the playoffs and feature size and skill at every position. After a January slide that saw the champs reeling with five straight losses, the Huskies finished the regular season with five straight wins including a 3-1 drubbing of the top ranked Varsity Reds at the Forum. Veterans Andrew Hotham (37 pts) and Cam Fergus (32 pts) are leading the way while Chris Mackinnon and Kyle Wharton have proven to be outstanding additions.
Expect this series to be full of drama, intrigue, physicality, speed….and to go the distance.
Mount Allison (9-13) at Moncton (15-7)
UNB (14-4, 40 pts) at St.FX (12-6, 34 pts)
UPEI (0-18) at Cape Breton (14-4, 36 pts)
With a first round bye in his sights, don’t expect Fabian Mackenzie to take it easy on the Panthers tonight in Sydney. Even with a guaranteed four point win tonight, if X beats UNB in Antigonish, the Capers will have to beat UNB tomorrow night to secure a pass to Semi Final Saturday at AUS Championships. The Panthers have the unfortunate chore of finishing their season on the road playing two teams battling for byes, but Carly Clarke’s troops have shown remarkable progress this season and appear on the verge of becoming competitive again after Clarke overhauled the program two years ago.
UNB (8-10, 20 pts) at CBU (17-1, 46 pts)
The Capers finish the season with a weekend set of pivotal home games ripe with playoff implications…..for their opponents. As for the champs they have first place in the AUS wrapped up and can use the weekend to fine tune for semi final Saturday at the Metro Centre on March 5th. As for UNB, an upset in Sydney would give them four points in the standings and their first playoff game in the Brent Baker era. The Reds can still make the playoffs even with a pair of weekend losses if one of the following happens; UPEI loses both their games at X and CBU or SMU loses to Dal or Acadia drops one game to MUN. However UNB would definitely want to finish fourth or fifth and avoid a first round match up with the X-Men.
For the story of this game basically see above and substitute X for CBU and UPEI for UNB. The X-Men are locked in as the third seed at AUS Championships and are basically trying to work on chemistry and getting healthy. The Panthers are desperate for a win tonight versus the X-Men or tomorrow night at Cape Breton. Amongst other scenarios, if Acadia sweeps the last place Seahawks in Wolfville, and UPEI loses both their games, the Panthers will be out of the playoffs. Basically if the Panthers can pull off a shocker tonight or tomorrow, their in. If they don’t, they’ll have to cheer for Memorial to pull of a shocker at Acadia.
Here are the standings and tiebreakers for the AUS as we approach final weekend.
1. Cape Breton (clinched bye)
2. Dalhousie (clinched bye)
3. Saint Francis Xavier (clinched third place)
4. UNB 20 pts ( at CBU (4) at X (4) )
5. SMU 20 pts (at Dal )
6. UPEI 18 pts (at CBU (4) at X (4) )
7. Acadia 14 pts ( 2 games vs MUN (8) )
8. MUN (out of playoffs)
UNB has tiebreaker on SMU
UPEI has tiebreaker on Acadia
4. Acadia – 22 pts
5. UNB -20 pts.
6. SMU – 20 pts.
7. UPEI – 18 pts (out of playoffs)
That would make Friday’s matchups at AUS Championships the following;
#4 Acadia vs # 5UNB
#3 St FX vs #6 SMU
The X-Men vs Joey Haywood could be alot of fun! But don’t count out a resilient group of Panthers from winning a game this weekend, and remember the Axemen are 1-10 in their last 11 and could easily lose a game at home to Memorial.
It will be interesting drama to say the least.