Burlington, Ont. – With just one week left to play in the regular season, a total of 16 different scenarios could still take shape ahead of the Yates Cup playoffs. Ontario University Athletics (OUA) has determined the following possible scenarios depending on the outcomes from the Week 9 schedule, taking place on Saturday, October 21.
Heading into this final weekend of play in the regular season, there are eight teams that have a chance to keep their Yates Cup hopes alive, while the remaining three (York Lions, Windsor Lancers, and Toronto Varsity Blues) have all been eliminated from postseason contention.
The final weekend will ultimately dictate which six teams advance, with the schedule providing some intriguing matchups for the regular season finale. The No. 1 Western Mustangs (7-0), who have already clinched the top spot in the conference, will host the Laurier Golden Hawks (4-3) in a rematch of the previous two Yates Cup finals. Currently at No. 2 in the OUA, and having already clinched a postseason berth, the Ottawa Gee-Gees (5-2) are traveling to Kingston for a matchup with the Queen's Gaels (3-4), while the McMaster Marauders (4-3) head to Windsor, wrapping up their campaign against the Lancers. A pair of 4-3 teams will do battle in a game with considerable implications, meanwhile, as the Waterloo Warriors and Guelph Gryphons will face off to close out their seasons. The Carleton Ravens, the third and final team to have clinched a postseason berth thus far, wrapped up their campaign this past weekend with a win against York to finish with a 5-3 record.
Some of the potential outcomes from the weekend's schedule of play are as follows:
- Ottawa has already earned their postseason berth, but they'll be looking to secure the bye against Queen's. A win against the Tricolour will see them do just that, but a loss could drop them to either 4th or 5th. Should Ottawa lose, all but two scenarios have the winner of the Waterloo-Guelph game catapulting them in the standings, while a McMaster win would also position the Marauders ahead of the Gee-Gees heading into the playoffs.
- Carleton will have to sit and watch their playoff positioning get determined. While they have already clinched a spot in the postseason, like many other teams, there is a wide range of possible finishes, ranging from 2nd to 6th. Wins from McMaster, Laurier, Waterloo, and Queen's will see Carleton fall to the final playoff spot, but wins from Western, Waterloo, and Queen's will see them climb to a first-round bye.
- A win from the Warriors against Guelph will see the black and gold get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2003. A win combined with corresponding wins from Western, McMaster, and Queen's would even see Waterloo (currently at No. 4) jump to the No. 2 seed and earn the bye. A Waterloo loss, however, coupled with wins by Western, Queen's, and Windsor would see the Warriors miss the playoffs, as would a Warriors loss combined with victories by McMaster, Laurier, and Ottawa or McMaster, Laurier, and Queen's.
- McMaster, who enters the final week as the fifth-seed, looks primed to make it back to the postseason with their young squad, as only one scenario brings their season to an end on Saturday. Should the Marauders lose to Windsor, while Ottawa, Laurier, and Guelph earn wins, McMaster will be on the sidelines come next weekend, but any other result will make Mac postseason-bound as anything from the 2nd to 6th seed.
- Just like their opponents on Saturday, the Guelph Gryphons are faced with a win-and-you're-in scenario. A loss, however, doesn't guarantee their fate, as two such scenarios would remain wherein they claim the final postseason spot. If Guelph loses to Waterloo, but Western and Ottawa win, the Gryphons will earn the 6th seed, regardless of the McMaster/Windsor result. Any other combination with a Guelph loss means they'll miss out at a chance to go after Yates Cup glory this year.
- Laurier is currently on the outside looking in, but that can all change come Saturday. The purple and gold will be in tough in their Yates Cup rematch, but a victory against Western not only guarantees them a spot in the playoffs, but also sparks three scenarios that can get them ranked as high as 2nd. A loss to the Mustangs means they'll need to look elsewhere for help. In that case, wins from Waterloo and Queen's, among others, would be their last hope, putting them as the 6th seed, but a loss from either of those squads will leave Laurier on the outskirts this season.
- Currently in the 8th spot, the Queen's Gaels can still earn a spot in this year's postseason. Should they defeat the Gee-Gees, along with wins from Western, Guelph, and Windsor, the Tricolour would earn the 6th seed. Any other combination, regardless of whether or not the Gaels defeat Ottawa on Saturday, would result in Queen's missing the postseason.
To arrive at the previously mentioned results, the OUA Tie Breaking Procedures have been utilized.
With the regular season wrapping up on Saturday, fans will surely want to stay locked in to see which of the above scenarios takes shape and which squads punch their ticket to the postseason. All the action will air live on oua.tv on Saturday at 1:00pm and will also be available on the oua.tv app on Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, and Roku.