Furious George grabs gold
Vancouver’s Furious George had never lost a game at the Canadian Ultimate Frisbee Championships. The three-time defending champions kept that record intact at the 25th annual tournament last weekend at Ultimate Park (UPI) and Carleton University in Ottawa.
Vernon’s Andy Collins, a member of Furious George, knew Sunday’s gold-medal game would be a big challenge, and they needed a late comeback to upend GOAT, a combo team from Toronto-Ottawa, 14-13.
“This year we would be in tough playing against GOAT, who had beaten us just two weeks early at the Colorado Cup,” said Collins. “After both teams rolled through pool play and the quarters and semis, the stage was set for a rematch of 2007 nationals finals.”
The game was tight right from the start, with GOAT taking an 8-6 lead at halftime, “which set up the most exciting finish I have ever been a part of,” said Collins.
Furious was able to bring it back to 11-11, but after two drops in the endzone, GOAT went ahead 12-11, and followed that with another break to make it 13-11.
In order to win, Furious needed three straight scores, which they delivered, getting a pair of points from their defence. Collins was able to throw for each of the three scores.
Playing in a 16-team, four-pool tourney, Furious George went undefeated in pool play, icing Team Q of Quebec 15-3, NADS of North Bay, Ont. 15-6 and Maverick of Kitchener-Waterloo 15-7.
With the bottom four teams relegated, the Vancouver crew kept rolling in the first playoff round, stuffing Blackfish of Vancouver 15-2, Grand Trunk of Toronto 15-7 and Phoenix of Ottawa 15-4 to top their group.
In the championship bracket, Furious brushed back Montreal’s Mephisto 15-9 in the quarterfinals, then grounded Maverick 15-7 in the semis to advance to the gold-medal game.
Furious advances to the World Ultimate Championships, July 7-14 in Sakai, Japan.
More than 1,500 players representing 68 teams from across Canada competed in five different divisions in Ottawa – Open (men’s), women’s, mixed, juniors (under 18), and masters (33+). The first championships were held in Canada’s capital in 1987 and consisted of 10 teams.
Ultimate Canada, the sport’s national governing body, has more than 30,000 members and it is estimated that another 25,000 people play the sport in other house leagues.
This year, Ultimate Canada has applied for official recognition from Sport Canada. This recognition will help further establish Ultimate and open up access to developmental programs and grants.