by Ittaana Krow and Yara Kodershah
The 48 hour countdown to regionals has begun, and our Communications and Gameplay departments are back once again with another tournament preview leading up to #QCER17. Our previews – informed by rankings, team history, and game film – will give you a snapshot of what to expect from the fourteen teams competing this weekend in Oshawa, Ontario for the Eastern Regional Championship title.
Today we bring you a look at the three teams knocking on the door of top tier status. These three teams are looking for a win to take them over the hump and secure their place on the podium.
Valfreyja Quidditch (Win-Loss: 5-5)
Valfreyja Quidditch is the newest addition to Quidditch Canada’s league level teams, and is an affiliate of the Valhalla Community program – the longest running community program in Canada and the only league level community program in the Eastern Region. Valfreyja’s roster is a healthy mix of rookie players, seasoned veterans, and a handful of players that have come out of retirement to join the ranks.
As a new team still in the process of figuring out a style of play that suits their personnel, Valfreyja has a tendency to fall victim to easy quaffle turnovers that other teams have taken advantage of. Despite that, of their five losses, they have been able to hold teams to lower scores before snitch on pitch in 40% of their games. Coming out of retirement, keeper and seeker Simon Marsello has shown that he can catch any snitch that graces the field with its presence. If Valfreyja can keep the score close for the first 18 minutes, then it’s anybody’s game.
Players to watch: Simon Marsello (#91) and Tyler “Stevie” Vindua (#69)
University of Ottawa Quidditch (Win-Loss: 4-2)
Utilizing the same system that enabled them to win gold in the 2016 National Championship, and secure their Eastern title in the following 2016-17 season, the University of Ottawa hosts a team that can mitigate the loss of stronger players from seasons past by finding new recruits to fill those same roles, keeping them in the running from year to year. Their roster from top to bottom may not have the physical size of other top tier teams, but what they lack in size they make up for in speed.
Chasers Brandon Dinshaw (who unfortunately won’t be making an appearance at Regionals) and Karen Douglas, alongside former beater-now-keeper Raphael Roy-Laurore have utilized fast break opportunities more so than in the past seasons. Their beater rotation consists mostly of rookies and second-year players, led by 2016 Team Canada Beater Martin “Shaggy” Chiasson. The beating core’s performance this weekend will make all the difference in ensuring UOttawa’s has an opportunity to defend their Eastern Regional Championship title.
Players to watch: Martin Chiasson (#42) and Karen Douglas (#11)
Queen’s Quidditch Club (Win-Loss: 5-3)
Going into their seventh season, Queen’s has been a mainstay in Canadian quidditch since its inception in 2011. This rendition of the Queen’s program features many fourth year players who will graduate next year, making this season the prime time for a title run. Unfortunately, the season has gotten off to a rocky start, with many injuries plaguing several of their key players; namely keeper Matthew Askett, beater Eric Irwin, and chasers John Nicholson and Hailey Yhap. The reintegration of John Nicholson – who has not made a tournament appearance this season – into Queen’s chaser rotation leading up to regionals will be key to the success of the team.
Queen’s has had dominate wins this season against lower ranked teams, but have yet to earn a breakthrough win against a top tier team, keeping in mind that they have not yet matched up against this season’s University of Ottawa, McGill University, or University of Montréal’s quidditch clubs. To secure a deep bracket run, Queen’s may need to fall back on old tricks: hit hard, make strong drives to the hoop, take advantage of each possession… and did we mention hit hard?
Players to watch: Kyle Ross (#15) and Sam McCaul (#77)
The Favourites: Quidditch Canada Eastern Regional Preview will be released on Friday, November 10, 2017 at 2:00pm Eastern Time.
Ittaana Krow is the Gameplay Director at Quidditch Canada and Head Coach of Valhalla Community Quidditch, and Yara Kodershah is the Communications Director and Head Manager of Valhalla Community Quidditch. The opinions in this piece are of the writers, and not of Quidditch Canada. The Eastern Regional Championship is coming to Oshawa, Ontario, this weekend on November 11-12. RSVP to the Facebook Event here.