Yates Cup rematch on SN360

Photo: OUA Communications

Photo: OUA Communications

This preview of Saturday’s game is worth reading. From OUA Communications:

HAMILTON, Ont. – Last year’s Yates Cup final pitted the 8-0 McMaster Marauders against the 7-1 Guelph Gryphons. The two teams had one loss between them through 18 games (including the playoffs) heading into that cold November afternoon in Hamilton where McMaster beat Guelph handedly, 30-13. This season the unthinkable has happened; the No. 9 Marauders are a .500 team with more losses than their past two seasons combined while the Gryphons are undefeated heading into the Yates Cup rematch. Guelph will be looking for revenge at their Homecoming and McMaster will be looking to right the ship on Sportsnet 360, as the two teams play at Alumni Stadium at 1 p.m., presented by Pioneer Energy.
At 2-2, McMaster has a lot on the line heading into Saturday’s nationally televised game. A loss drops the reigning two-time Yates Cup champions below .500 for the second time this season and will be the first three-loss season since 2008. Having already lost to No. 2 Western and No. 3 Queen’s, their status as the OUA’s top team is in jeopardy. Does a loss to No. 6 Guelph relegate McMaster out of the OUA elite?
“A loss means a best case (scenario) of 5-3, which is the middle of the pack and a long shot – a wild card – for the Yates Cup,” McMaster’s head coach Stefan Ptaszek said. “(That’s) not where we perceived ourselves and we’ll have to look in the mirror because that’s where we are if we lose.”
A win propels Mac to 3-2 and an easier October (vs. Waterloo, Laurier and Carleton) gives the Marauders a legitimate shot at a 6-2 finish.
The story out of Guelph is quite different. The Gryphons are undefeated through three games, but have their own questions to answer. Without a win over an established OUA power, they aren’t garnering the respect reserved for Queen’s, Western or even McMaster. Add in the fact that the Gryphs have lost six straight to the Maruaders dating back to the 2007 playoffs. Mac is Guelph’s white whale and a win is long overdue.
“As a head coach they are the only team I haven’t beaten,” Guelph head coach Stu Lang said.
Aside from personal satisfaction, a win helps Guelph towards a home playoff game and establishing themselves as a top team. A loss fuels the league speculation that Guelph’s record is the product of an easy schedule. On top of that, Saturday is Guelph’s Homecoming and upwards of 13,000 fans are expected.
Given the implications, there’s no lack of intrigue from either side.

Read the full story here.

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