Canada Water Polo

Toronto Golden Jets and Saskatchewan win Canadian National Championship

Toronto Golden Jets
Photo: facebook.com/waterpolocanada

Senior National Finals of Canadian Championship took place from March 31-April 2 in Markham, Ontario. Saskatchewan water polo players won the women’s title, while the Toronto Golden Jets triumphed at men’s championship.

QUARTER-FINALS

On Friday, March 31, women’s competition started. The top-seeded CAMO and runner-up Toronto Golden Jets advanced directly to the semi-finals and had no matches scheduled for the first day of the finals. In the quarter-finals, No.3 Saskatchewan held off the No.6 Ottawa Titans, 25-2, and later No.4 Capital Wave water polo players recorded a victory over No.5 Mavericks. Therefore, the Ottawa Titans and the Mavericks faced each other in two consolation matches – on April 1 and April 2. The Mavericks won both of them (9-17, 4-19) to take the 5th position. The Ottawa Titans ended 6th.

Men began their pursuit of the trophy on Saturday, April 1, when four quarter-finals were played. The top-ranked Toronto Golden Jets and second placed CAMO easily rolled past their rivals. Golden Jets proved too strong for the No.8 Hammer who managed to net only one goal, 12-1. CAMO water polo players also collected a nice 12-6 victory over Toronto Silver Jets. In a derby between the fourth and fifth ranked teams, Pacific Storm was led by the top scorer Soleimani to the triumph with 12-5 over the Ottawa United water polo players, among whom was the Lapins, the MVP of the regular season, who netted three.

The most exciting clash of the men’s quarter-final was No.3 Saskatchewan vs. No.6 Mavericks, who were the hosting water polo team. After a quite balanced first quarter (1-2), the Mavericks netted four goals in the second quarter and went on a break with a three-goal advantage (3-6). The hosts increased their lead in the next quarter to four (4-8), which appeared to be insurmountable for the Saskatchewan water polo squad. Although they stepped up their game and returned four goals, the hosting team netted three to keep the sufficient advantage of three goals. Saskatchewan even brought down the deficit to two during the last period, but eventually, the Mavericks won (8-11).

The defeated men’s water polo teams also played the consolation matches on April 1. Saskatchewan defeated the Silver Jets (15-3) and Ottawa United won against Hammer (13-5). On April 2, winners of the consolation games played for the 5th place, while the losers met in a game to determine the 7th and 8th position. Hammer triumphed over the Silver Jets and finished 7th, whereas the Saskatchewan water polo players won the 5th place after their victory over the Ottawa United.

SEMI-FINALS

Top-ranked CAMO was defeated by the Capital Wave squad, whose brilliant performance in the first quarter contributed to the huge shock. In the first quarter, they netted four, allowing CAMO to score only one goal. They had a nice two-goal lead at halftime (3-5), which they even increased in the third period and kept it by the end of the match for the final 6-9.

The second women’s semi-final game was even more interesting and also ended with a surprise, because the runner-up Golden Jets lost to Saskatchewan, 5-7. This match saw quite a roller-coaster when it comes to result. The Golden Jets started well and took the lead in the first period (3-1), but Saskatchewan water polo players dominated the second quarter during which they scored four goals leaving the GJ scoreless. In the third quarter, they netted one more unanswered goal for a three-goal advantage (3-6). The runner-up did not manage to overcome this deficit in the last period and lost 5-7.

The first semi-final clash of men’s teams saw the Mavericks record another great win against CAMO (4-8). Despite the tied second half, the winner was decided when the hosting team scored three goals in both first and second quarter allowing the rival to score only one respectively.

The Golden Jets justified their role of favorites and held off the Pacific Storm, 10-5, in the second men’s semi-final match. They particularly dominated the last quarter scoring five goals.

BRONZE MEDAL

The women’s team that was top-ranked at the end of the regular season, CAMO, recovered from the defeat in the semi-final and managed to win the consoling bronze medal by defeating the Golden Jets (13-8) on April 2. Powerful offensive play during the first half earned them eight goals and a five-goal advantage at halftime, which was impossible to overcome for the Golden Jets who finished 4th.

Men’s CAMO squad was not so lucky in their bronze medal match which ended with their narrow loss to Pacific Storm (11-2) after the penalty shootout. Pacific Storm water polo players went on a break with a one-goal lead but received four consecutive goals in the third quarter which gave CAMO a three-goal advantage. However, the Storm responded netting three to tie the result (7-7). The winner could only be decided after the penalties since the last eight minutes ended in a draw. Goalkeeper Reiher was the hero who earned his team a bronze medal.

GOLD MEDAL

Women’s Capital Wave and Saskatchewan water polo teams clashed in the finals. Saskatchewan scored five goals in the first quarter setting the bar high for its rival who only netted one during the first eight minutes. This advantage was kept for the rest of the game thanks to the goals by Leckness and Van Dyke, and the magnificent defense by McDowell, and as well as the Jensen’s saves. Women’s Saskatchewan squad won the gold medal (12-7) and it was a dream come true after last year’s defeat in the final by CAMO.

The final battle between men’s Mavericks and Golden Jets squads saw only a few goals. The hosting water polo team scored two unanswered goals in the first quarter which gave the audience a reason to celebrate. After 3-1 at halftime, the Golden Jets stepped up their game and left the Mavericks scoreless in the second half. Not only did they manage to equalize, but also overcame the deficit and won the gold medal (3-4). After the last year’s loss in the finals, the Golden Jets celebrated their 3rd championship in four years

2017 Senior National Finals

Results (Men)

Quarter-Finals, April 1:
CAMO vs. Toronto Silver Jets (12-6)
Saskatchewan vs. Mavericks (8-11)
Toronto Golden Jets vs. Hammer (12-1)
Pacific Storm vs. Ottawa United (12-5)

Consolation, April 1:
Toronto Silver Jets vs. Saskatchewan (3-15)
Hammer vs. Ottawa United (5-13)

Semi-Finals, April 1:
CAMO vs. Mavericks (4-8)
Toronto Golden Jets vs. Pacific Storm (10-5)

Consolation 7/8, April 2:
Toronto Silver Jets vs. Hammer (6-10)

Consolation 5/6, April 2:
Saskatchewan vs. Ottawa United (8-5)

Bronze Medal, April 2:
CAMO vs. Pacific Storm (4-8)

Gold Medal, April 2:
Mavericks vs. Toronto Golden Jets (3-4)

Final Rankings (Men)

1- Toronto Golden Jets
2- Mavericks
3- Pacific Storm
4- CAMO
5- Saskatchewan
6- Ottawa United
7- Hammer
8- Toronto Silver Jets

Results (Women)

Quarter-Finals, March 31:
Saskatchewan vs. Ottawa Titans (25-2)
Capital Wave vs. Mavericks (13-10)

Consolation, April 1:
Ottawa Titans vs. Mavericks (9-17)

Semi-Finals, April 1:
CAMO vs. Capital Wave (6-9)
Toronto Golden Jets vs. Saskatchewan (5-7)

Consolation, April 2:
Ottawa Titans vs. Mavericks (4-19)

Bronze Medal, April 2:
CAMO vs. Toronto Golden Jets (13-8)

Gold Medal, April 2:
Capital Wave vs. Saskatchewan (7-12)

Final Rankings (Women)

1- Saskatchewan
2- Capital Wave
3- CAMO
4- Toronto Golden Jets
5- Mavericks
6- Ottawa Titans

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