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News Article

03.28.2018
Dollard Black and CAMO crowned National Champions in Montreal

CAMO and Dollard Black won the respective women’s and men’s championships at the 2018 Senior Nationals in Montréal, Québec this past weekend. The three-day competition showcased the best water polo players in the country as fourteen teams vied for the 2018 National Champions titles.

The women’s teams were up for action first on Friday night, fourth seed Golden Wave measured themselves against fifth seed Mavericks for a place in the semi-final. Mavericks managed to keep the game within reach in the first two quarters, but Golden Wave took a six-goal lead at the start of the third quarter and would go on to record a 14-7 win to move on to the semi-finals.

In the second quarter-final, Dollard had difficulty adjusting to their opponent’s style of play at the beginning of the game, Team Saskatchewan were ahead 5-1 at the half. A third-quarter push from Dollard helped them come back into the game and they were able to take the lead for the first time in the fourth quarter. Sask was able to tie the score twice just to see Dollard score and confirm a spot in the semi-finals.

In the men’s division, the first two quarter-finals were scheduled on Friday night. #1 Dollard Black faced #8 Laval Tritons in the first quarter-final. Dollard Black had won the two regular-season matchups against Laval and the quarter-final went mostly as planned, as Dollard Black recorded a 15-10 win to move on to the next phase.

In the final game on Friday night, #4 Toronto Golden Jets faced #5 Saskatchewan for the first time this season. Both teams had to adjust in the first quarter, but the Golden Jets took a comfortable lead in the second quarter, scoring five unanswered goals to put the score at 7-2. Despite their effort, the Sask players were unable to overcome this early deficit and the Golden Jets recorded a 9-5 win.

The last two quarter-finals took place Saturday morning, the #7 Ottawa United Titans Black and #2 Mavericks were up first. It was difficult to play the prediction game in this tournament since only a few points separated the teams in the Eastern Conference. The Ottawa United Titans look determined in their first quarter-final against Mavs. After taking a 4-0 lead in the first quarter, Ottawa barely looked back and went on to win the game 6-3.

The first place in the Western Conference, #3 Calgary Torpedoes were facing the local team, #6 CAMO, in the last quarter-final. It was a very close battle for most of the game and the teams were tied 3-3 at halftime. Torpedoes pulled away halfway through the third quarter, scoring three consecutive goals to take an 8-5 lead. The Calgary team managed to neutralize CAMO’s attacks and punch their ticket for the semi-final.

The women’s semi-finals were scheduled for Saturday afternoon and both matches offered great action. The first semi-final featured the two local teams as Dollard and CAMO battled for a place in the 2018 final. It was a close one from start to finish, CAMO’s Captain, Yasmine Rachid, gave her team a 3-1 lead in the second quarter. Dollard answered back and fought hard to keep the game within reach. A solid defence and great performance by their goalkeeper, Clara Vulpisi, helped CAMO punch their ticket for the National Championship game.

In the second semi-final, first seed Alberta Black seemed to have a clear objective in mind as they took a 6-2 lead in the second quarter. Golden Wave continued to fight and turned to Shae Fournier for an attempt at the comeback. Fournier scored three consecutive goals to put the score at 6-7. Unfortunately, for the Wave, Alberta’s Shelby Taylor had quite the game at the other side of the pool when she netted her sixth and seventh goal to guarantee her team a spot in the Gold Medal game.

Saturday afternoon, the first semi-final pitted #1 Dollard Black and defending champions, Toronto Golden Jets. Led by Justin Boyd and Patrick Ahmarani, Dollard Black took a 5-1 lead in the second quarter. The Golden Jets came together in the third quarter coming close to tying things up, but Dollard kept their earlier pace and recorded a 9-6 victory to win their way to the National Championship game.

The second semi-final on the men’s side featured the Ottawa Titans and Calgary Torpedoes. Titans started the game as they had all weekend, netting 4 consecutive goals in the first half. Torpedoes answered back at the beginning of the third quarter, but Ottawa’s goalkeeper, Boris Frlic kept a cool head under fire and made some great saves to help his team qualify for the Gold medal game.

The third and final day of the tournament started with the three classification games on Sunday morning. Mavericks men’s team finished their weekend with a comfortable win against Laval. The two other games were much closer and CAMO and Sask battled for fifth place in the men’s division. CAMO finished their weekend on a high note, recording an 8-7 win against a tough Saskatchewan team. It was another close game in the women’s consolation game, neither of the teams were able to pull away. In the end, Mavericks came out on top after a shootout against Saskatchewan.

The bronze medal games were just as exciting, the women’s match pitted Dollard and Golden Wave. Golden Wave dominated the first half of the game and they were up 6-3 after three quarters. Dollard stepped up their game in the final quarter, but it was too little, too late for the West Island team. Golden Wave managed to protect their lead and win bronze at the 2018 Senior Nationals.

On the men’s side, Calgary Torpedoes played their style in the first part of the game and they were up by two at halftime. Golden Jets had the opportunity to come back in the third quarter when Torpedoes were forced to play down a player for four minutes. Calgary’s goalkeeper, Aleksa Stanic, guided his defence and made key saves to keep his team in front. At the other side of the pool, Jared McElroy made sure Calgary answered every attack from the opposing team, scoring seven of the eleven Calgary goals and helping his team capture the bronze medal.

The fans were treated to a great show in both finals. The women’s final featured the local favourites, CAMO, against the first seeded team, Alberta Black. Once again, CAMO was off to a great start taking an early lead in the second quarter. Alberta Black scored twice at the beginning of the third quarter to put the score at 3-4 with plenty of time left in the game. The intensity of the game rose as both teams exchanged exclusions in the third. Marina Radu tallied one to give CAMO a little breathing space heading into the fourth quarter. Despite their efforts, the Alberta Black players were not able to pass their opponent’s defence, and if they did, CAMO’s goalkeeper and 2018 Senior Nationals Most Valuable Player, Clara Vulpisi made the saves. Floranne Carroll confirmed CAMO’s win in the last minutes of the game and the Montreal club had reclaimed National Champions’ title in front of their fans.

The 2018 Senior National Championship weekend concluded with the Men’s Final, and #1 Dollard Back and #7 Ottawa Titans put on quite the show for the local fans. Dollard Black were designated as serious contenders heading into the gold medal game, but with their great performances over the weekend, Ottawa Titans certainly had what it took to upset the top team. Once again, the Ottawa Titans had a great start and they were up by two at half-time. Dollard Black regrouped in the third quarter, led by Justin Boyd, they readjusted their defensive strategy and came back into the game. With less than three minutes to play, Dollard was up by one goal (9-8) as Titans attempted to come back into the game. It came out to the last second for Ottawa when Jonathan Ruse tallied one to revive the hope of the Ottawa fans who had made the trip to Montreal. The ambience was electric in the building as the gold medal and the National Championship title would be decided in a shootout. The first three shooters of each team converted their chances and a save by Dollard’s Goalkeeper, Chris Jackson, against the fourth Ottawa shooter, put all the pressure on the opposite side. Patrick Ahmarani capitalized on his chance and Dollard was up 13-12 with one shooter left for Ottawa. Bogdan Djerkovic kept his team alive by converting his shot, putting the score at 13-13. The last shooter from Dollard had the opportunity to win the game but hit the post. The dream was still alive for the Ottawa Titans. However, Chris Jackson had another plan in mind when he stopped Ottawa’s sixth shooter. Dollard had another chance to capture the championship title, and who else than Justin Boyd to seal the deal for his team. The 2018 Senior Nationals MVP converted his shot and Dollard Black had done it, they were the 2018 Senior National Champions!

The weekend was filled with action at the Claude-Robillard Complex, and Water Polo Canada would like to thank its amazing partners, the City of Montreal, the Quebec Government and Tourism Montreal, for their support in hosting this event. WPC would also like to thank CAMO and its volunteers for their help throughout the weekend.

Final Rankings

Women

  1. CAMO
  2. Alberta Black
  3. Golden Wave
  4. Dollard
  5. Mavericks
  6. Saskatchewan

Men

  1. Dollard Black
  2. Ottawa United Titans Black
  3. Calgary Torpedoes
  4. Toronto Golden Jets
  5. CAMO
  6. Saskatchewan
  7. Mavericks
  8. Laval Tritons

Individual Awards

Women

Top Goal Scorer, Regular Season & Most Valuable Defensive Player: Shae Fournier, Golden Wave

Most Valuable Player, Regular Season: Shelby Taylor, Alberta Black

Most Valuable Goalie: Serena Bredin, Alberta Black

Most Valuable Coach: John Csikos, Alberta Black

Most Valuable Player, Senior Nationals: Clara Vulpisi, CAMO

Men

Most Valuable Defensive Player: Jared McElroy, Calgary Torpedoes

Most Valuable Coach: Andras Szeri, Ottawa United Titans Black

Most Valuable Goalie: Chris Jackson, Dollard Black

Top goal scorer, Most Valuable Player Regular Season & Senior Nationals: Justin Boyd, Dollard Black

 
 
 
 

 


 
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