8 games on Thursday dot U-Sport men’s Holiday calendar

All three Holiday tournaments are in full swing today as the Shoveller and Olga Hrycak tournaments kick off in Halifax and Montreal while 50th Wesmen Classic continues with the championship semi-finals.  Here is today’s schedule in chronological order:

Noon ET/ 1 PM AT  #3 Ottawa (11-1) vs. UPEI (2-9)… Panthers welcome back 6’2″ Lorenzo Parker after his devastating knee injury sustained during last spring’s AUS tournament.  Expect one of the more exciting individual match-ups of the Holidays as reigning Defensive POY 6’3″ Caleb Agada is likely to check dynamic 6’2″ Tyler Scott of UPEI.  6’8″ Ottawa native Dut Dut is likely to have his hands full up front against Ottawa’s imposing front line of 6’9″ Jean Pierre-Charles and 6’7″ Brody Maracle.

2 PM ET/ 3 PM AT St. FX (8-8) vs. Acadia (5-8)…  This game features a match-up between arguably the top two players in the first half of the AUS season in X’s 6’8″ Kevin Bercy, who averages a double/double and 6’9″ lefty Erik Nissen of Acadia who leads the AUS in both scoring and rebounding.  Axemen spread the floor and fill the skies with threes while St. FX guards are more likely to break you down off the dribble and X-Men are at their best when they can attack with their vaunted press.  X has already defeated the Axemen twice earlier this season including once at Acadia’s Stu Aberdeen Memorial tournament in Wolfville.

5 PM ET / 6 PM AT Queen’s (7-6) vs. Saint Mary’s (10-4)… Gaels come off a strong finish to their first half of the OUA season while Huskies hope to have their talented 6’8″ center Osman Barrie back in action after the impact front court player missed much of the first half.  Queen’s struggled shooting the 3 ball in the first half while SMU was led by a resurgent 5’10” Marquis Clayton.

6 PM ET Guelph (6-5) vs. Memorial (7-7) at UQAM’s Olga Hrycak tournament… Seahawks have been the surprise of the AUS, sitting atop the standings in Atlantic Canada despite an injury-plagued start to the season from 6’9″ Vasilije Curcic.  These teams met earlier this season in Guelph with the Gryphs dominating the second half, pulling away to win by 25.

7 PM ET / 8 PM AT  Mount Royal (5-9) at #8 Dalhousie (12-4)… Tigers have hardly scheduled a patsy in the first round of their tournament as Canada West’s Cougars have plenty of talent, led by reigning CCAA POY 6’4″ Josh Ross (19.6 ppg) and Canada West All-Star 6’8″ Brett Layton (14.9 ppg).  MRU lost by just 4 at home to cross-town rival and U-Sport #4 Calgary Dinos and are 4-4 in Canada West league play.  Dalhousie remains one of the deepest teams in the country and may welcome back spark-plug 6’2″ wing Cedric Sanogo who missed the first half of the season due to injury.

7 PM ET / 6 PM CT  Victoria (8-9) vs. #6 Alberta (16-2)… First semi-final at the 50th Wesmen Classic in which two traditional Canada West powers meet for the only time this season (barring a post-season meeting).  Expect 6’7″ Mamadou Gueye to check Vikes star 6’9″ forward Grant Sitton in a meeting between two of the more accomplished coaches in the country in Alberta’s Barnaby Craddock and Vic’s Craig Beaucamp.

8 PM ET UNBC (5-9) at UQAM (7-6)… It could be raining 3’s in Montreal as Timberwolves average about 30 threes taken per game while athletic Citadins may ratchet up the pressure.  UNBC was 4-6 in the first half of CW play with losses at home to Alberta (2x), at Thompson Rivers (2x) and at Winnipeg (2x).  6’2″ Greishe Clerjuste has taken the reigns as UQAM’s go-to guy offensively.

9 PM ET / 8 PM CT  Manitoba (7-9) at Winnipeg (12-4)… Bisons swept Wesmen earlier in December and defeated Winnipeg in the semi-finals of last season’s Wesmen Classic.  Wesmen struggled for much of yesterday’s first round win over Algoma before turning it up defensively early in the fourth and getting some easy run outs.  Expect a large, loud crowd at the Duckworth Center tonight.



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