The 2013 Canada Games are just about to get underway, and
we’ll be there bringing you the latest news and all the action. But first, here are our favourites to take home the gold in the 2013 Canada Games men's indoor preview.
The Games are being held in Sherbrooke, Quebec, and the host Province may have one of the most exciting
teams competing, led by none other than hometown boy, and quite possibly the
future of our National team, Nick Hoag. The youngest Hoag just finished his
time as Captain of the National B team, and even appeared in a World League
match this year against Portugal. He will undoubtedly be among the strongest
players of the tournament.
Looking past a player who may or may not have been destined
for greatness at birth, Quebec’s team will provide a solid supporting cast to
surround him. Jean-Philippe Desjardins spent the summer training with the
Junior National team and will be a presence in the middle, while libero Vincent
Thibault-Bernier wowed fans at the 2013 CIS Championships with some impressive
defense for Champions Laval. Quebec finished 2nd at last year’s
NTCC, and have returned all important pieces this year as well.
Otherwise, tournament favourites are the usual suspects. British-Columbia is coached by
Trinity-Western Head Coach Ben Josephson, which means they’re most impactful
member may not even be an athlete. With five Spartans on the roster, this team
could very well be the well oiled machine that we’ve become accustom to during
The team has notable standouts like 2012 Junior National
team members Tyler Koslowsky and UBCO’s Jim Bell, as well as 2010-2011 member
Branden Schmidt. But the team will ultimately be led by 2013 CIS 1st
All-Canadian Nick Del Bianco. Del Bianco already has a wealth of International
experience, having competed at the 2011 World Club Championships with Trinity
Western, and having represented Canada on four separate occasions on the beach
at Junior and Youth World Championships, and even grabbing a bronze medal on a
2012 NORCECA Beach Tour stop. The Spartan leftside also led the Canada West in
kills in 2013.
Gold medalists from the 2012 NTCC’s, Ontario, have some serious holes to fill due to the Junior National
team. CIS Rookie of the year Danny Demyanenko will be absent, as will three
other players eligible for Ontario’s team.
Regardless, Ontario’s depth may be there saving grace. The
Marauder duo of Jori Mantha and Dan Groenveld will most likely hold down the
leftside, will another Marauder, Austin Smith, will compete with another
National beach player, Andrew Kocur, to run the offence. Both setters bring
different styles of play, and will have to complement each other well if
Ontario is to take home the Gold. Look for Ryerson’s Rob Wojcik to put some big
numbers on the right side as well.
will be supported by a few surprise omissions from the Junior National squad,
as Brooke Sedore and Scott Brunet both competed for Canada in 2012. Sedore’s
physicality and strong serving game could push Alberta over the edge, but the
most important piece of the puzzle may be setter, and 2013 CIS All-Rookie team
member, Brett Walsh. Walsh was expected by many to be heading to Turkey for the
2013 World U21 Championships, but Alberta is definitely not complaining, as he
placed 6th in the Canada West for Assists in his freshman season.
roster is slightly younger than the other medal favourites. With the obvious
gap that Casey Schouten and Jarrid Ireland, Manitoba will have to look towards
younger players to step up in Sherbrooke. Only three players on their roster
have cemented themselves as starters on their respective CIS rosters.
The roster is bolstered by the presence of setter Josh McKay
and libero Riley Delavau, both of whom wore the red and white last summer. Offensively, Manitoba will look to middle Kenny Rooney, who just came off a great rookie season with the Bisons and was named to the CIS All-Rookie team. This tournament will give a chance for someone to step up and make a name for themselves, and carry it into the 2013 CIS season.
The other provinces who will be competing are Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, PEI, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Yukon. Amongst them, only Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan have previously finished in the top five at the Canada Games, and with the wealth of talent brought by the five biggest provinces, they'll have a tough time reaching the semi-finals.
Don't miss the Gold Medal match on TSN2 on August 8th!