The Queen’s Cup: OUA hockey
By Ian Denomme
For the third consecutive year, the top teams in Ontario university
hockey will do battle at Western for men’s hockey supremacy.
The Queen’s Cup, the Ontario University Athletics men’s
hockey championship, starts tonight at Thompson Arena, where
the Western Mustangs take on the Toronto Varsity Blues.
“The people of London are going to be treated to four
great games,” said Western head coach Clarke Singer. “The
quality of hockey is the best it’s been in 10 years.”
After last weekend’s overtime loss to the Lakehead Thunderwolves,
the Mustangs earned a birth in the championship as the host,
and will be looking to prove they belong.
Western finished the regular season atop the OUA Far West
Division before falling to Lakehead. Despite their successful
regular season, Singer says he is not completely satisfied
“The most important thing is to be successful in the
playoffs. We are happy with where we are now, but not happy
with the result against Lakehead. We are fortunate to get another
opportunity. It would have been devastating if it had ended
our season,” he says.
The Blues come into the tournament as the lowest seed and
won the Mid East Division despite having a below-.500 record.
However, neither Western, nor Toronto, are concerned with the
In the only regular season meeting between the two teams,
Toronto held a 7-3 lead after two periods only to see the Mustangs
storm back for a 9-8 overtime win.
“It’s a different game and a different season,” says
Toronto head coach Darren Lowe. “Hopefully we learned
from it, but we won’t be thinking about it [tonight].”
Western is led by a number of OUA West All-Stars and has a
strong mix of veteran players and rookies. Team captain Justin
Davis and leading goal scorer Jeff Martin will be key factors
for Western in the tournament, Singer explains.
Western has a strong defensive core, led by second team All-Star
Abe Herbst, and in goal they will need the continued strong
play of Mike D’Alessandro.
“When it comes down to this, you need your goalies to
play well. I think the team with the best goalie will be the
team that wins,” Singer says.
This year will also see a new champion crowned. Five-time
defending champion Université du Québec à Trois-Rivière
was eliminated by Ottawa in the Far East Divisional championship.
This marks the 102nd edition of the Queen’s Cup, though
it has only been presented 93 times due to stoppages during
the two World Wars. Western has been at the tournament 12 times,
but won only in 1995.
Mike Shewan was a two time OUA All-Star and a member of the
1995 championship team, and says the win was the highlight
of his five years at Western.
“It was great. We beat [the University of] Guelph in
overtime that year and it was the first win ever for Western,
so I take a lot of pride in that. Any time you win a championship
it’s special,” he says.
QUEEN’S CUP SCHEDULE
Friday — Tournament Entry Game:
Western vs. Toronto,
Thompson Arena. 7:35 p.m..
Saturday — West Division Championship:
Lakehead vs. York.
Thomspon Arena, 4:05 p.m.;
East Division Championship:
Ottawa vs. Entry Game Winner,
Thompson Arena, 7:35 p.m..
Sunday — OUA Championship:
West Division Winner vs.
East Division Winner
Thompson Arena, 7:05 p.m..