A battle of perennial Baggataway Cup contenders was the marquee matchup in the opening weekend of CUFLA action, while an upstart program leading the defending champions at half time provided a further injection of excitement.
Five Badgers scored two or more goals to lead Brock to a 16-13 over Western despite a trio of Mustangs putting up 10 goals among them on Saturday. The teams were tied 8-8 at half time but the Badgers managed to win both the third and fourth quarters to take the season opener for both teams.
Brandon Staal (3 goals, 2 assists) and Brandon Slade (2g, 3a) led the Badger attack. Cody Ward scored 4 goals for Western, Ryan McRory and Ryan Myles had 3 each.
Brock went ahead 12-11 after three quarters then steadily pulled away in the fourth, scoring goals in the second, 11th, 17th and 19th minutes. Western closed the gap with a pair of goals in the final 55 seconds but simply didn't have time to come all the way back.
Western did bounce back to win their first game of the season on Sunday, dumping the Toronto Varsity Blues 20-11.
McGill made the long trek to face Nipissing in a weekend doubleheader and the reigning champs had all they could handle for the first 40 minutes of Saturday's game. Nipissing took the lead in the first quarter on a goal by Barrie Lakeshores Jr A player Nick Chaykowsky and that was it for the first 20 minutes.
Liam MacDonald responded midway through the second quarter for a Redmen team that graduated a boatload of players and faces a substantial challenge hoping to repeat with a talented but young roster. The Lakers answer was a goal by Doug Utting that gave them a 2-1 lead going into halftime.
Nipissing went 5-7 last year, just their second in CUFLA. For the Lakers to be ahead of McGill at the half marked a huge step for fledgling program. It showed that their development is on track, especially on the defensive side where Kyle Weatherall led the way and was selected as Nipissing's player of the game by McGill.
The Redmen took control of the weekend from that point, though. They came back to win 8-3 Saturday and took a 17-7 decision in the Sunday rematch.
One of the early-season favourites to challenge for this year's Baggataway Cup championship, the Trent Excalibur, also faced a challenge in their opener. The Carleton Ravens jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first nine minutes Saturday and led 4-2 just over five minutes into the second quarter. From there on out, though, Trent kicked it into high gear at both ends of the field. They outscored the Ravens 8-1 in the final 48 minutes to take a 10-5 win.
Full results of Week 1
Guelph 13, Toronto 10
Laurentian 10, Laurier 6
Brock 16, Western 13
Trent 10, Carleton 5
McGill 8, Nipissing 3
Ottawa 6, Queen's 4
McGill 17, Nipissing 7
Trent 14, Bishop's 8
Guelph 12, Laurier 8
Laurentian 11, McMaster 9
Western 20, Toronto 11
Box scores can be found on the CUFLA web site. ?