Already looking ahead … Queen’s

Queen's logoI’m not yet done writing about the Carleton game. And usually you have to wait until late in the week for me to start talking about the upcoming game or post a game preview. But this isn’t an ordinary week. I would think that Saturday’s game in Kingston is one to the biggest regular season games in recent Gryphon history. I mean it has been 16 seasons since Guelph has started a season 7-0 [1997]. By the way, Queen’s did the 7-0 thing in both 2008 and 2009.

I’m not the only one getting an early jump this week. Sportsnet 360 has already announced that they will broadcast this game. [When they announced their season schedule they held back on the final week, keeping their options open with a TBA designation.] They already have ads up promoting it in a number of different media. See one sample here:

2013_Sportsnet_U_-_OUA_Web_Banner_TBA_week

And, for all his talk about not looking ahead, Queen’s HC Pat Sheahan couldn’t help but talking about this week’s game in his pre-game press conference last week prior to his team’s Waterloo game.

“The goal for us is to go down there and come back at 6-1 and then prepare for our biggest week of the year.”

That, of course, would be the final game of the schedule, at home Oct. 19 against undefeated Guelph. Not only is it an emotional encounter against a team that ousted Queen’s from the playoffs last year, it’s vital in the context of this season in that, all things being equal this week, it will give the winner a first-round playoff bye and home field for the semifinals.

“We’ve known that Week 8 has been circled on everybody’s calendar (for a long time) but we have not spoken of it,” Sheahan said, emphatically. “We have not mentioned it. We are preparing for (Waterloo). We’ll deal with the following week when this one’s over.”

[Source: sportkingston blog, “Gaels anxious as they prepare to face Waterloo”]

*     *     *

Without a doubt a lot is on the line. Guelph has a chance to finish first in the OUA for the first time since … ever? IF Guelph were to go 8-0 they would likely end up tied with Western Ontario should the Mustangs, as is expected, defeat York. No University of Guelph football team has ever gone through a season undefeated. But their predecessors the OAC-VC Redmen were 8-0 in 1958.

Anyways, that is a lot of speculation. But with 1st place, a playoff bye and home-field advantage in a playoff rematch on the line it’s pretty hard to downplay the significance of this game.

Over the next five days look for a game preview post by mid-week, a Q & A with a leading expert on Queen’s football and several other posts on the upcoming game with more than the usual number of media links. This will be an exciting week. Keep in mind, regardless of the outcome at Richardson Stadium on Saturday, this game is just one battle in a larger war. The playoffs don’t even start until Oct 26.

For the viewing pleasure of Gryphons fans here are the extended highlights of last year’s Yates Cup semi-final match with the Golden Gaels:

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8 Responses to Already looking ahead … Queen’s

  1. You’re going to drive the Gaels fans nuts, Pete. Any word on Aprille, he was injured in the Waterloo game? How about Rush, word out is that he didn’t play this past Saturday?

  2. I don’t mean to spend all day commenting on this post but I just finished watching the vid from last year. The game was awesome on TV but it is because of the potential for those types of emotional roller coaster rides that fans have to make it out to the games. Loved the field level shots and the scenes with the grandstand in the background. Richardson will be hard pressed to live up to that show.

    • I agree. Alumni Stadium is a great environment when there is a good crowd. WRT Richardson I have to wonder how good the added bleacher seating will be. In my opinion its a game you need to arrive early for. I wouldn’t want to be sitting at field level in the endzone.

  3. Bob from Burlington says:

    This Gryphon/Gaels game probably pencilled in at the beginning of the season as the second most awaited game of the year(Western/Gaels Homecoming tilt was first) for us Mustang homers. In fact- this game now becomes the most important regular season game of this season as the serious implications for final standings. Two well matched teams with some recent “history”. Some of us “other team” OUA fans may travel down for the game.

    Gaels are coming off of a game against poor Waterloo in which 3 Queen’s players rushed for over 100 yards and and another was 7 or short of 100 yards for 499 net yards on the ground. This is only 102 short of what Queen’s rushed in their first 4 games against York, McMaster, Windsor and Ottawa(601 total for those 4 games). While it can be argued that the Waterloo game was a gimme game- Queen’s also rushed against Western for 299 yards and Laurier for 248 yards.

    The Guelph/Queen’s game should be outstanding! Beware of their less than efficient method to buying tickets at the door- in previous years at Richardson- only one credit card machine would work at the one and only ticket wicket- and if you got there as game starting- sometimes a big line! I think this is their first year that tickets could be purchased online in advance of the game as in past years it was old style telephone call with will call pickup.

    I expect Gryphons to be at the top of their game for this one- Good luck!

  4. Bob from Burlington says:

    So Peter- do you see these teams combining 60 points? 70 points- or a low scoring game?
    Gryphons will have to listen to Stu Lang this week- giving up nearly 500 yards to Carleton.

    Notwithstanding second string player usage- Gaels will eat them alive if Guelph keeps looking at their press clippings(here and other locations including persons commenting like myself last week) involving previous games.

    2009 game at Richardson between the two teams a gem- Labour Day- 52-49 finish. The 2010 game I also attended, was at Alumni stadium in Guelph and a bit of a yawner with Guelph winning in fairly low scoring contest.

    The main backlog once you have tickets in hand- in previous years- was on student side as security spends inordinate amount of time(not a problem for me- I have been out of university from last attendance- 25 years) checking bags. Students including my own kids(last of two at Queen’s finished in spring 2013)just don’t get there on time anyways!

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