AUDL Canada Cup 2021: Montreal wins inaugural Canada Cup in thrilling fashion


The Royal punctuated their 6-2 season with a victory over the Toronto Rush.

The Montreal Royal won the first Canada Cup. (Photo: AUDL)

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Montreal hosted the very first AUDL Canada Cup on Thursday and the first-ever championship game ended in an exciting way. A controversial late-game stall call was the catalyst for a Montreal break that ultimately decided the game. The Royal closed the game by leading 19-18 to be crowned Canada Cup champions.

This confrontation on paper strongly favored the Montreal team, which had not yet lost against Toronto all year and arrived with the best record at 6-2. Toronto had to advance to the final with a 3-5 record, beating Ottawa twice late in the season to get there. The Rush haven’t had their full staff at any game this season, and this Championship competition was no different. Thomson McKnight, Isaiah Masek-Kelly, Geoff Powell and Jaret Meron did not dress for the team in red.

The Royal had the advantage of the loud Montreal crowd firmly behind them, and this played a role in their success. Montreal had all of its main performers active for this competition and was hoping to cap off a stellar season.

Montreal head coach Jon Hayduk said his club had clear points of interest. “With the incredible crowds and the pressure of a playoff game, managing our emotions and attention was a clear priority. Beyond making sure we stayed true to our own abilities and identities, keeping Harris was essential. away from the disc as much as possible to help the defenders on the ground, ”said Hayduk.

The lights of the championship game weren’t too bright for both teams at the start. Both offenses went well. The Montreal offensive line has remained fairly stable this year, with only one major change being the insertion of Nabil Chaouch in the second half of the season.

Montreal took advantage of Toronto’s first turn-over by scoring straight away. Felix Leonard found Julian Sénéchal for a 4-3 lead. The Royal’s defensive line was the story of this contest, generating just five break opportunities, but they took advantage of four for an 80% break percentage. Toronto, on the other hand, struggled to take advantage of multiple break opportunities and was unable to generate a break in the first quarter.

Chaouch continued his ascent on the Montreal offense, scoring his fourth goal of the game to give Montreal a 7-5 lead early in the second quarter. Another missed break opportunity in Toronto allowed Montreal to leave unscathed. Kevin Quinlan threw big shots the entire game and his shot at Jakob Brissette saved Montreal from allowing a break.

On Toronto’s fourth chance on a break occasion, they were able to take advantage of a Montreal overturn. Cam Harris threw a scoober at JJ Edwards for his fourth assist and the 11-11 draw. At halftime, the Royal held a lead of a break and both teams managed to keep it close.

Unfortunately, a one hour lightning delay ensued and both teams left the field. This was no stranger to Toronto, where they faced a delay of over two hours on August 28 before sending Ottawa.

Christophe Tremblay-Joncas has had a solid season for the Royal, leading his defensive line as a powerful shooter for them and as a key defender in depth. He got the upper hand on the first point of the half, getting a block and making two big saving catches before the Montreal offensive line kicked in to get the break and the 13-11 lead. Montreal also made some key adjustments in the game, putting athlete Tremblay-Joncas on Mike MacKenzie to prevent Cutter Rush from getting massive winners throughout the game.

The rain played a big part in the third quarter, as the frame ended with just four points overall. At one point, Montreal had two crashes and Toronto was able to get their second break in a row. It was their third chance at the time and Cam Harris continued his magnificent effort of the weekend with his fifth assist of the game. With those two breaks, Toronto had their first lead of the game and some much-needed momentum as they took on both the elements and the Montreal crowd. The botched weather game continued until the end of the quarter as neither team was able to score to end it. The Rush had their first lead of the game and led 14-13.

Toronto continued their break party in the fourth quarter with an important early game score. Jason Huynh put enough pressure on Jakob Brissette to generate the turnover, then he dialed a hammer to Jacky Hau for the score. As they have been doing all year, Montreal’s D-line continued to shine as they scored quickly on the offense and generated a break just after Felix Leonard threw his second assist from the match to Ywan Cohonner.

What was evident was the influence of the crowd as their cheers continued to grow louder towards the end of this match. A controversial play ensued when Rush’s Luc Comiré was called in for a stall, which was disputed by his trainer, Adrian Yearwood. The umpires stuck with their decision and Montreal managed to come back up as Quinlan found Miguel Goderre on a massive lap for the 18-17 lead.

Wilkie Lewis of Toronto put in a breathtaking play saving a knocked down huck with a massive disposition to tie the game at 18-18. Montreal player of the game Quinlan had his “shot” moment from Michael Jordan, throwing a high camber cross hammer at Malik Auger-Semmar for the 19-18 lead. The Rush had 1:28 to go, but a pitch at Comire was too far, resulting in Toronto’s 15th overall in the game. From there, Montreal rocked the record as Toronto tried to get a block with massive offers all over the place. The end of the game was marred by an attempt to block MacKenzie which resulted in the downfall of several players. The defensive effort was not enough to recover the disc and Montreal came away with the victory.

Montreal closed a historic season for them where they swept Toronto and beat them five times. Quinlan had three assists, including the winning one, while Chaouch had six goals.

“The victory was huge. It was a validation of what we did and the influx of young people that we had. Using our depth has been helpful, ”Quinlan said. “Toronto are players and have a culture of winning. We knew this game was going to be different and difficult. We knew we could run with our depth and do what we’ve been doing all season.

Hayduk expressed his enthusiasm for the future of the Royal. “I can’t wait to continue building this program. As a rookie coach in AUDL there was a steep learning curve, and it will be great to have the opportunity to have a full season with the knowledge and lessons learned, ”he said. he declares.

Toronto has played well up to this point and relied on veterans like Andrew Carroll and Harris to make it happen. In that game, Harris had five assists and JJ Edwards was Toronto’s top cutter tonight, scoring five goals.

Coach Yearwood was proud of his team’s efforts. “I was excited that we were on an upward trajectory. From the first to the last game, it was the same guys but a totally different team. Every week we got better and made adjustments. It really showed on the pitch with the way we retooled and worked with what we had, ”he said. “I was super proud of everyone. We could have integrated it after three games, but we didn’t.

The match was hotly contested with multiple leader changes in the second half. It was clear that neither club was holding back as they claimed to be the best team in Canada.

Quinlan knows this is just the start for Montreal as they hope to continue their ascent. “I don’t think we’re happy with what we are. We know we still have things to improve.

It should be interesting to see what happens next year in the AUDL as both teams look to return to the Eastern Division. The future looks bright for the ultimate Canadian, as evidenced by this shortened season.

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