A pair of old OUA West rivalries renew this evening as Western and Windsor face off at the St. Denis Center while McMaster hosts Laurier Golden Hawks. Some will recall that back in the day of two divisions, OUA West teams played each other exclusively after the Holidays with games typically on Wednesday evening and Saturday afternoon or evening. Talk of returning to a two-division format continues as officials grapple with on-going challenges associated with scheduling, playoff format, continuing historical rivalries and other issues in the new age of a 17-team OUA.
Laurier (9-11, 5-6) at McMaster (12-5, 4-5)… Marauders wore down late in their difficult match-up at Laurentian in Sudbury and continue to look for other offensive weapons beyond 6’7″ Connor Gilmore and 6’5″ Rohan Boney – 6’1″ David McCulloch‘s play has leveled out recently and some believe the major minutes he has logged at the most important position on the floor are beginning to take their toll on this very talented guard. 6’1″ Tevaun Kokko had a tremendous offensive weekend including 17 first-half points against Carleton and their vaunted “d” – we shall see if Mac decides to use McCulloch or possibly Chris Thompson to check Kokko. Golden Hawks may be a bit deeper than this Marauder group but McMaster has the two best players in this game in Gilmore and Boney. Laurier has a quick two-day turnaround after tonight’s game, opening up Guelph’s new gymnasium on Friday night; Mac is in Guelph the following night.
Western (4-13, 2-8) at Windsor (11-5, 6-4)… Long-time rivals play the first of a home-and-home set tonight in Windsor with the Lancers roster back at full-strength with the return last weekend of 6’3″ Mitch Farrell. While Farrell can occasionally make some head-scratching decisions with his shot selection, his talent cannot be questioned and he has carried Windsor offensively in several important games throughout his career – there is no doubt he is an impact player. 6’1″ Omar Shiddo almost brought the Mustangs back against Queen’s this past weekend with a virtuoso performance knocking down 3’s and Western put away York the following night as this very young team goes through the necessary growing pains involved in pushing back to the higher levels of the OUA. These teams will meet again on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Hall in London.