The Ontario Ultimate Championships happened this past weekend in Kingston, ON and it was a great time! We came into the tournament excited to show the province what we were made of, and thrilled to have almost our entire roster both at the tournament and healthy for the first time since TUF. We were also pumped to be wearing our shiny new uniforms with fancy designs by Lisa Hunter. We looked sharp, and were confident we’d have a good weekend.
Crash was seeded 5th at the tournament, and with 21 teams in the tournament this meant we were in pool D along with 5 other teams: Local 613(4), LegenDairy(12), Hustle(13), Bulldogs (20), and MMV (21). This meant we’d be playing 5 games to 11 on Saturday to decide where we’d finish in our pool. And this was important, where we finished in the pool mattered a lot to where we’d have a chance to finish on Sunday. Only teams that finished 1st, 2nd, or 3rd would be able to qualify for Nationals, and only teams that finished 1st would have a chance to win. To help clarify, one of our players (thanks Cam!) made a handy, easy-to-read chart, of the Sunday bracket.
Games started Saturday morning at 9am for us against Bulldogs. We got things rolling with an 11-4 victory and had success playing deep into our roster. Our goals for Saturday were to win our pool and maintain as much energy as possible for the big games coming later in the day and on Sunday. Next, we played LegenDairy and got another 11-4 victory. We then moved fields and played Hustle on the showcase field. Obviously, we were inspired by the livestream of the game (thanks to our 61 fans who watched!) and we rolled to an 11-0 victory. Then we had a bye before our last two games of the day.
After the bye, we played MMV and got off to a quick start, rolling out to a 10-1 lead before things started to fall apart. We gave up four in a row as they started to connect on their hucks and we made some uncharacteristic errors. We finally ended the game at 11-5 to set up our final contest of the day against Local613.
We were back on the showcase field for our game against Local613, so here’s a link to the Youtube video if you want to watch the game. This was a big game as it would decide who would win Pool D and have a shot at the championship, and who would be forced into the lower brackets. We came out firing, with a big effort on defense and stoic determination to score on offense. The game wasn’t always pretty, but thanks to some heroic efforts from Neil Thomas against Andrew Carroll and the fact that we seemed a little better rested than them we pulled out a tight 10-7 victory.
This was also a nice bit of redemption for us as we’d lost to Local613 in the semis at Comedy a few weeks ago. Good to get back on the winning track!
The win meant we finished first in Pool D and would play in the semi-finals on Sunday morning against Backdraft. Needless to say, we were pretty pumped!
On Sunday morning the weather turned from beautiful to bad. With high winds, rain, and a lack of sunshine that made it a great day for playing some ultimate! Unfortunately, the livestream of the games was shut down by the bad weather but even without our internet audience we were still ready to play some ultimate. We were especially excited to play because Amanda DeVries had shown up to join our team for Sunday morning and that was a nice, not completely expected, bonus!
Unfortunately, our game against Backdraft started very badly. We played D on the first point and they scored…then we gave up a break…then another break…and a third break… It was 4-0 and things were not looking good for Crash. But then Heather arrived after missing Saturday due to her sister’s wedding. She scored the 5th point of the game making the score 4-1 and then got a couple breaks to bring the game back into reach at 4-3. It was a starting point and we were looking to build on it. Backdraft scored a couple more points and took half (it was a timed half), but we were energized and looking great on defense.
After half we went on a run and tied the game at 6-6. Then we played a really, really, long point. Both teams had multiple chances to score, timeouts were called, and everyone on the field was looking exhausted. We pulled that one out and never looked back. Final score was 10-7 and we’d scored 10 of the last 13 points in the game and won the second half 6-1. It was a struggle, but we’d qualified for nationals and made it to the championship game!
In the final, we played against Raft from Ottawa. We came out hot and never looked back! We took half 8-2 in the windy conditions and won the game 10-3 to finish off our run through the tournament! Emily made a sweet grab in the end zone to close out the game and we celebrated!
Congratulations to the other 4 teams which qualified for Nationals this weekend! We’re looking forward to seeing you all at Nationals in Waterloo!
Here are the final standings for the weekend. We’re also very proud of how well Thunder played and are pumped for their 12th place finish after being in a very tough pool on Saturday! Well done!
2. Local613 3. Raft
5. Max Power
7. The Tribe
8. Quick & Dirty
17-21. (Not listed on Ultimate Canada website)
We’re thrilled that we’ve met one of our goals for the season, and we’re proud of how we accomplished it through hard work and depth throughout the roster! It’s been an awesome season so far and we’re only looking forward to build on this success at Nationals in a month!
See you in Waterloo!
Thanks to Ed Kung for taking most of these photos!