OTTAWA, Ont. - The Queen’s Gaels and Western Mustangs kicked off the 2017 OUA Men’s Water Polo Championships with hard-fought wins over the Ottawa Gee-Gees and McMaster Marauders, respectively, on Friday night at Alumni Hall.
Queen’s 17, Ottawa 6
The Gaels were relentless in the opener of the 2017 Championship against the Gryphons, dominating from the first period on. Led by powerful captain Alexander Cox-Twardowski’s four first-half goals, Queen’s got out to an intimidating 11-3 lead at the half.
It was a closer second half, but the Gaels easily secured the 17-6 win. Connor Crowe joined Cox-Twardowski in playing a crucial role in the win. He found the back of the net six times, leading the Gaels’ potent offence.
With the win, Queen’s advances to the semifinals against the second-seeded Carleton Ravens at 3:40 p.m. on Saturday. Ottawa will meet McMaster in the fifth place game at 6:20 p.m.
Western 15, McMaster 12
Unlike the first quarterfinal match, this one was tightly contested. The Marauders edged out their lower-seeded opponents 7-5 at the half after a nail-biting first two periods.
The equal, back-and-forth play continued into the second half and neither was able to take command until late. Western’s persistence and composure were on display in the fourth period as they clawed their way to a late lead that proved to be sufficient for a 15-12 victory.
With the win, Western moves on to battle the top-seeded Toronto Varsity Blues in the second semifinal at 5 p.m. on Saturday. McMaster will meet Ottawa in the fifth place game at 6:20 p.m.