Ultimate Canada Magazine – August 28

Open Division [Presented by Explore Edmonton]

The 2019 Open Division saw 16 teams from seven provinces. All teams were competing for two things – a gold medal, and the opportunity to select the team to represent Canada at the 2020 World Ultimate and Guts Championships in the Netherlands. Although the division saw the same number of teams as 2018, the competition was fiercer. Furious George seeded first out of the BC, and GOAT seeded first out of Ontario, both did not attend CUC in 2018. Phoenix, CUC 2018 Gold medalist entered 2019 seeded second out of Ontario.

Day One was cold and gusty with windspeeds around 30km/hour. As expected, Furious George, GOAT, General Strike and Phoenix all finished the day undefeated with a 3-0 record.

Mike Pineau (Regiment #61) 9 pool play of the 2019 Canadian Ultimate Championships. ©2019 Jeff Bell Photo.

Moving into Day Two, the wind and intensity of the competition only grew stronger. The wind reached speeds of 60km/hour. Because of this, only four out of 18 games made it to 15 points that day; General Strike 15-4 over AFC , Furious George 15-3 over Quake, GOAT 15-1 over Phoenix. Later in the afternoon, a rainstorm rolled in just in time for the crossover games. The only thing cancelled by the weather was the livestream, which had to end suddenly partway through the Furious George and General Strike game. Houndd and Quake both earned a spot in the quarter-finals after pushing Grand Trunk and Regiment out of the top 8.

The AFC and Phoenix quarter-final was a rematch of the 2018 Gold medal game. AFC won on universe point with a goal by #50 Sean Fortosky, assisted by #33 Nigel Lendsay, sending them into the semi-finals against Furious George. The other quarter-final games saw greater point differentials amongst the matchups. GOAT and General Strike secured their spot in the second semi-final game.

Surprisingly, both semi-final games concluded with the same score, 15-6, sending Furious George and GOAT into the Gold medal game, and AFC and General Strike into the Bronze medal game. General Strike went on to claim the Bronze medal.

Brendan Wong (Furious George #98) pursued by Mark Lloyd (GOAT #89) during the Open final at the 2019 Canadian Ultimate Championships. ©2019 Jeff Bell Photo.

The Open Division Gold medal game kicked off Day four at 10 am, and although the temperature hovered around 10 degrees, the winds were calm. This is the first time since 2015 that the two teams have met at CUC. Since 1997, the two teams have now met a total of five times in the CUC final. GOAT started the game strong with #89 Mark Lloyd forcing the first turnover of the game on a layout d. GOAT pulled away with a 5-2 lead 21 minutes into the game. Furious George took the next three goals to tie the game at 5s. It was very clear that both teams wanted Gold and were going to put up a fight.

#89 Mark Lloyd put the disc high up in the air to #18 Toly Vasilyev who was deep in the endzone, causing a break for GOAT bringing the game to half at 8-7. Furious George started the half on offense. The teams went on to alternate points until GOAT’s #11 Jonathan Edwards scored making the game 11-9. #8 Morgan Hibert and #9 Brayden Gee scored the next two goals for Furious George just two and a half minutes apart. The game was now tied up at 11-11.

Just shy of 88 minutes, GOAT pulled away with a 14-12 lead after a goal by #7 Michael MacKenzie, assisted by his brother, #13 Iain MacKenzie. Furious George did not let up. They went on to take the next two goals, take the game to universe point. #77 Hugh Knapp puts the disc up and sends it into traffic to #6 Andre Gailits who makes the catch just shy of the goal line. Gailits flipped it Gee in the endzone, to end the game. Furious George is your 2019 Open Division Champions. Watch the Gold medal game here.

Ty Barbieri on winning Gold and being named MVP “Sunday was a total blur and the most serial moments of my life. I remember going to my first ever CUC in 2011 in Victoria as a junior (the first year I ever played Ultimate), and watching the Open finals when Furious George made a crazy comeback against General Strike to win and watching Kevin Underhill receive the MVP toaster. I remember thinking to myself one day I want to win that trophy and be a national champion, and on Sunday morning that dream came true. None of this could have happened without my amazing team, teammates, and coaches.”

Furious George, winners at the 2019 Canadian Ultimate Championships. ©2019 Jeff Bell Photo.

Gold: Furious George (BC)
Silver: GOAT (ON)
Bronze: General Strike (MB)
Spirit: Berta Flatball Club (AB)
MVP: Ty Barbieri

Open Master Division [Presented by Discraft]

The Open Master Division saw the same number of teams competing for Gold as they did in 2018, however, four of the six of the teams were different. 2019 welcomed West Edmonton Maulers (BC), Carbon (AB), Endgame (AB), and Still (ON). Queen City Kings (PR) returned after finishing third in 2018, as well as Viper (ON), who finished 6th.

The initial seeding of CUC had Still seeded first, followed by Queen City Kings, and Carbon. Moving in the afternoon on Day Two, Still proved their top seed placement by going 5-0. Carbon trailed right behind with a 4-1 record. Both teams earned a direct ticket into semi-finals!

Dan Ellenberger (Still #32) skies during pool play of the 2019 Canadian Ultimate Championships. ©2019 Jeff Bell Photo.

Teams were reranked Friday afternoon after pool play was complete. Endgame moved up from the sixth seed to fourth and was set to play against West Edmonton Maulers. 16 minutes into the game, the score was tied up at 2s. The two teams alternated points for the remainder of the game. The game ended with a goal by #13 Andrew Pickup, assisted by #12 Sean Philipps, with Endgame taking the win with a final score of 9-8. Next up, semi-finals against the top-seeded team, Still.

The other pre-semi saw Queen City Kings and Viper. Queen City Kings dominated both halves only allowing Viper to score five times. Queen City Kings took the game in 84 minutes, with a final score of 15-4, and earning a spot into the semi-finals against Carbon.

Many predicted that Still and Carbon would meet each other in the Gold medal game. However, Queen City Kings gave Carbon a run for their money. Queen City Kings pulled ahead with the first goal 11 minutes into the game scored by #96 JF Sirois, assisted by #35 Pierre-Yves Lavertu. It was evident that both teams put every last effort into the game, however, Queen City Kings came out on top and won 12-10.

Pierre-Yves Lavertu (Queen City Kings #35) catches a goal in the Open Masters final during championship bracket play at the 2019 Canadian Ultimate Championships. ©2019 Jeff Bell Photo.

The Gold medal game was later that afternoon. Facing off in windy conditions, Still took on Queen City Kings. 26 minutes into the game Still pulls away with a 5-3 lead after a long backhand toss up the line to #2 Mathew Berg, from # Jan Gorski. With seven more men on their bench, Still dominated the remainder of the game. Scoring three of Still’s 15 points, Brian O’Callaghan was named the final MVP. Still has not only won Gold but also the opportunity to form the core of the team heading to WMUC in 2020 to represent Canada. Watch the Gold medal game here.

Initially seeded sixth, Viper, demonstrated great spirit throughout nationals and took home the 2019 Spirit title.

Still, winners in the Master Open division finals at the 2019 Canadian Ultimate Championships. ©2019 Jeff Bell Photo.

Gold – Still (ON)
Silver – Queen City Kings (PR)
Bronze – Carbon (AB)
Spirit – Viper (ON)
MVP – Brian O’Callaghan