Ickle Firsties: The Sequel

10 Jul

Another summer in Ottawa is slowly but surely nearing its end, and to us here at uOttawa Quidditch that means a new season, new challenges and, of course, new players! We’ve received a lot of excited communication from incoming first years eager to get started at uOttawa, so we thought we’d catch up with some of the team’s former firsties and have them share their trials, triumphs, tips and tricks with the next generation. Brooms up!

CLAIRE STECKLE

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Claire is seen here striking fear into the heart of her opponent at World Cup VI

Oakville, ON

Environmental Science (French Extended Stream)

Competitive Team Chaser

Claire’s relationship with quidditch wasn’t exactly love at first sight. In her own words, she was “dragged kicking and screaming to the first practice by a friend” (Editor’s Note: we love you too, Claire). But although she didn’t immediately take to the idea of it, she definitely took to the sport like a natural!

DOMINIQUE REA PARENT

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Dominique, top centre, at a recreational tournament against McGill Quidditch.

Mexico City, Mexico

General Arts with a minor in Film Studies

Development Team Chaser

In her own words, Dominique was “wandering lost and afraid around the tables at 101 week when suddenly, like a shining beacon of light and hope, there was the Quidditch table.” (Editor’s Note: We get that a lot. The ‘shining beacon’ effect is because our players are just too good-looking). Dominique, a self-professed Potterhead, just had to join the quidditch team!

 

MATTHEW McVEIGH

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Mat defending at World Cup VI.

Kemptville, ON

Political Science (and graduate of Police Foundations at St Lawrence and Algonquin colleges)

Competitive Team Beater

Mat was destined to join the team from the moment he moved into Brooks Residence and met his roommate, coach Chris Radojewski. If the pile of hoops, brooms and quaffles that occupied Mat’s living room for half the year wasn’t enough to convince him, he also discovered that a former high school classmate played for the team as well!

MICHAEL HOWARD

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Michael making a break for the hoops at World Cup VI.

Oakville, ON

Biomedical Science (Extended French Stream)

Competitive Team Chaser

Mike was hooked the moment a uOttawa Ambassador called him during university application season and mentioned the team as a selling point for uOttawa. He is the aforementioned friend who dragged Claire to her first practice.  Remember, folks, friends don’t let friends refuse to play quidditch.

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This sweaty happiness could be your life!

What was the biggest adjustment for you coming to university?

Claire: Knowing how to balance studying and personal life. I started out studying in my room a lot, but I was miserable, then I stared spending more time with friends, and it probably went too far the other way for a while, but it seems to have balanced itself out better now.

Dominique: It’s a tie between the weather and managing my time to be able to work and study and go to every quidditch practice I was able to attend.

Mat: My biggest adjustment was that it was my first year living on my own, and I had to study more and write more than I did in college.

Mike: Biggest adjustment was learning to manage my own schedule and the fact that no one was going to tell me what I should and shouldn’t be doing. You really find out how independent you can be in those first few weeks away from home.

 

How did uOttawa Quidditch impact your first year experience?

Claire: Quidditch had a massive impact on my first year at uOttawa. As someone who had played a lot of high school and club sports quite competitively, quidditch gave me that outlet, and managed to combine a lot of my former sports together (Basketball, softball). It kept me active, and my freshman fifteen might well have been 15 lost.

Besides the athletic aspect of it, quidditch creates a fantastic community of amazing people, which, to be perfectly honest, was kind of unexpected. I expected quidditch to be really nerdy, but it wasn’t. The sport is challenging, there are all kinds of different people (varsity athletes to musicians), and none of them are afraid to do something because someone else might think it uncool.
My closest friends that I made in first year are from quidditch. I don’t know what my university life would have been like without it.

Dominique: Seriously, without the Quidditch Team I would still be lost and afraid. Never have I seen more camaraderie, love (quove) and acceptance as I have seen with this amazing group of people. Joining the Quidditch Team is the best decision I’ve made since entering University. These guys have helped me with everything from personal problems to getting projects done. Joining this team is like joining a family (quamily).


Mat: Quidditch gave me a social group since all my other friends were either at Carleton or another school, or still living at home. It also gave me a chance to play competitive sports again, which I missed so much!

Mike: It was a huge help! Having a team with people in your year or upper years that are in similar programs is fantastic! If you need help people are there for you.

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What academic advice do you have for incoming first years?

Claire: You’re going to need to study: more than you did in high school, but not ridiculous amounts. Create a social life for yourself and have outlets. As I learned at the beginning of the year, if you coop yourself up in your room and do nothing but study, you will be miserable and your room will feel like a jail cell.

Dominique: Don’t use your laptop in class! I swore to myself that I had the strength to keep away from the wonders on the internet (I’m looking at you, Tumblr). Believe me, very few people have that kind of strength. Also, as soon as you get an assignment, get some work done on it. Even if it isn’t much, if you get close to the deadline and you haven’t worked on it, you’ll feel much better if you already started it.

Mat: Make sure you stay on top of your studying so that you don’t miss out on other things you want to do, like quidditch practice or tournaments. Also, if you’re ever having difficulty with academics, don’t be afraid to ask for help! The team is full of people in all disciplines and years, and if we don’t know the answer we’ll always know someone who does. You can quote me on that!

Mike: I can really only speak for science programs and classes, but go to class! If your class has a DGD you should definitely go to it! Those things will raise your grade by 5% minimum! And do your readings before the night before the test. (Editor’s Note: This applies to all programs and classes. Go to class! That’s why you pay ‘em the big bucks, so don’t let your money go to waste.)

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Coach Rebecca and President Erin demonstrating proper studying technique. Snuggies in public are optional but encouraged.

 

Any other words of wisdom for incoming first years?

Claire: Find the proper balance for yourself. It will take a while. I’m still perfecting it. Find a way to study enough to get marks you’re happy with, but don’t let that be your life. Find an outlet, find friends (quidditch is good for both of these). Have fun, don’t beat yourself up if you miss a DGD or two, and try not to get addicted to your snooze button. Also, be yourself. This isn’t the high school bull $#!% that doesn’t work because everyone is still catty. This is going to be the key to you being happy. You are in a school with 40, 000 other people, your kind of people will be there, you just have to find them. This isn’t high school anymore. There is no cool crowd. Find people that you are comfortable being you around and it will go really well.

Dominique: To quote the Doctor “There’s no point in being grown up if you can’t act a little childish sometimes.” And of course “Always bring a banana to a party, bananas are good!” 
I can only give this advice. Always have an open mind, take advantage of student discounts and use the SFUO services, you paid for them so might as well use them. I’m talking free food, access to a skating rink and pool here!

Mat: Make sure to keep healthy one way or another. Try a workout or two per week, and watch out for the cafeteria food. I had a meal plan my first year and I ate nothing healthy other than what my mom sent me. Let’s just say thank you, fast metabolism!

Mike: Regardless of whether or not you decide to join our club, find a club or team that you enjoy and get involved! It’s great to have a network of people who all share a common interest and can help one another out academically or in any other regard.

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Favourite part of living in Ottawa?

Claire: Apart from having met the best team ever, it would have to be the proximity of all of the interesting things to do. I’m from suburbia, so unlike Ottawa I can’t just walk to everything, and there aren’t a ton of things do. At U of O I walked to the theatre (Albert St has a great student deal), to the grocery store, went to the NAC, went out for dinners and breakfasts, visited the Byward Market, and so many other things. You’re in the nation’s capital! There is so much to do and it’s all really close.

Dominique: Skating on the canal in the winter!

Mat: How close everything is! I’m from the country, everything is at least a 10-minute drive back home, but here it’s a quick walk down the road.

Mike: You’ll feel pretty damn Canadian when you’re living here in Ottawa.

 

One thing all first years need to add to their First year Bucket List?

Claire: Join the quidditch team? But apart from that, this question is a toughy. My amazing first year experience was really a perfect storm of a whole bunch of different experiences and people. 
But if you want an actual thing to do, the light show on Parliament Hill was pretty good!

Dominique: Play quidditch at least once, you will not regret it.
But that’s too obvious so I would say volunteer, it is the most fun you can have without a broom between your legs.

Mat: Try quidditch!

Mike: Everyone should skate on the Rideau Canal at least once in their first year! A whole bunch of students get to say they skate to work or to school. Wouldn’t you like to be one of them?

 

If you’d like to hear more from a quidditch player in your program or faculty, or if you’d like to find out about summer quidditch in your area, drop us a line through @uo_quidditch, uo.quidditch[at]gmail[dot]com or our Facebook fanpage.

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From all of us here at uOttawa Quidditch to all of you entering first year, congratulations and welcome to what will be one of the most exciting, crazy years of your life! We can’t wait to meet you!

 

uOttawa Quidditch goes to the Quidditch World Cup!

18 Apr

This past weekend, uOttawa Quidditch competed in World Cup VI, the International Quidditch Association’s annual international quidditch championships. Held in Kissimmee, Florida, World Cup saw 80 of the world’s best teams face off against each other in a week of tough competition and camaraderie.

uOttawa came into the tournament an underdog, one of the few Canadian teams in attendance as a result of most schools (including uOttawa) writing final exams during the time of the World Cup. Reaching the World Cup was a difficult road: first the team had to work hard to qualify at the Canadian Regional Championships last November in Kingston, where they placed second. Then, the team had to defer dozens of exams and study months in advance so that they would be able to spend the weekend in Florida. Thirdly, the team invested in an online fundraiser, was given generous support by the University of Ottawa through the SFUO clubs fund, the Office of Allan Rock, and the School Spirit Council. Without these generous funds in addition to their own money, uOttawa Quidditch would never have been able to attend the World Cup.

uOttawa Quidditch sings the Canadian national anthem at the opening ceremonies. Credit: Isabella Gong

uOttawa Quidditch sings the Canadian national anthem at the opening ceremonies. Credit: Isabella Gong

While in Florida, several members of the team participated in a media scrum the Friday morning before World Cup – we invite you to peruse our updated Media section for pictures and news articles about the event.

Although the team lost our first game of pool play 70*-50 on Saturday in a snitch snatch to the NAU Narwhals, we came back with a solid win against the Boston Riot. Before our game against Marquette, the winners of the Midwestern Regional Championships, we passed around a flask of maple syrup. The taste of the homeland propelled us to a 110*-50 win over Marquette. Our final game of pool play came against Florida State University in an intense evening match where we were ultimately victorious 140*-80.

We started bracket play against Southwest Regional Champs Baylor University. In a frustrating-but-fun game, we ultimately lost 80-30* and were eliminated from the tournament. Baylor is an incredibly talented team and went on to lose to UCLA in the semifinals. You can see the full bracket and champions here.

Adam Robillard catches the snitch to propel uOttawa to victory over the Boston Riot. Credit: Emily Oliver Photography

Adam Robillard catches the snitch to propel uOttawa to victory over the Boston Riot. Credit: Emily Oliver Photography

Despite our exit in the Round of 32, uOttawa is proud of our showing the World Cup, particularly since 50% of our competitive team is either in their first year of university or their first year of playing quidditch. This bodes well for future competitions, as we will only continue to improve. We were honoured to represent Canada and the University of Ottawa on the world stage, and look forward to competing more broadly next year.

uOttawa Quidditch Executive Elections: Elections Actually

24 Mar

elections

Well folks, the results are in! This afternoon uOttawa Quidditch held its Annual General Meeting and elections for the 2013-2014 Executive Elections. We were incredibly fortunate to have 15 wonderful candidates running; a blessing and a curse to have so many leaders eager to contribute to the growth of the team.

Starring Kiera Knightley and Colin Firth as the SECS

Starring Kiera Knightley and Colin Firth as the SECS

The SECS (Sexy Elections CommissionerS), outgoing exec members Chris Radojewski and Clare Hutchinson, are proud to announce the 2013-2014 exec:

Presidents: Tegan Bridge and Erin McCrady

VP Athletics (Coaches): Rebecca Alley and Adam Robillard

VP Social: Carina Hetherton

VP Finance: Marc Jan

VP Communications: Marisa Sauret

Hogwarts Head Boy: Chris Radojewski (Fozzie Bear was the winner of the popular vote, but unfortunately had not paid his membership fee and so was disqualified)

As a treat for you all, under the cut is Marisa Sauret’s campaign speech, which I’m sure you’ll agree is very entertaining.

Continue reading

Help uOttawa Quidditch get to the World Cup!

13 Mar

uOttawa Quidditch is on our way to the World Cup in Kissimmee, Florida! We’re excited to be part of the premiere sporting event of the year, the pinnacle of our sport’s athletic competition. We will be competing against 79 other Division I teams from across the world, including teams from the USA, Italy, France, Mexico, and our very own Canada (Fleming College and the University of Toronto, although they did not originally qualify, are sending teams as part of the regional allocation process).

We’re incredibly excited to have the opportunity to represent uOttawa, the Ottawa quidditch community, and Canada. Because the World Cup falls during our final examination period, we’ve been hard at work deferring our exams and making sure our assignments and take-homes are squared away before we travel to Florida to play quidditch in the heat (no slush! It’s a quidditch miracle!).

We became known for our pre-game dance and cheer at WCV. Can you say reprise?

We became known for our pre-game dance and cheer at WCV. Can you say reprise?

However, World Cup poses significant challenges for our team even outside of the examination challenge. We have 21 competitive players, a coach, a Canadian Regional Director, and some lovely fans to take all the way to Florida, and unfortunately our dogsled won’t get us that far. To that end, we’ve been running an online fundraising campaign to help augment our on-campus fundraising, and we’ve been incredibly pleased and grateful by the support we’ve received so far. We would appreciate any support you’re able to give – we’ve received donations of $1 and $5, and donations of $214 and $250, and a full range of donations in between.

We’re not asking for your charity – we’ve got a full slate of awesome perks, prizes, and rewards you can claim for your donation. Whether it’s a signed t-shirt or sexy calendar you’d like, or a personalized quidcapella serenade or TARDIS tote bag, we can provide! Feel free to check out our perks and pick out that sparkly Snitch ornament, cozy hoodie, swag poster, or mix cd that best suits your tastes.

Here, we’ll tell you why:

2013 Executive Elections

13 Mar

It’s that time of year again! uOttawa Quidditch will vote on March 24th for the club’s 2013-2014 leadership. We are fortunate to have competition for most of the positions, a sign of a healthy and decentralized leadership. The candidates are:

President (2 positions)

  • Tegan Bridge
  • Erin McCrady

VP Athletics/Coach (2 positions)

  • Rebecca Alley
  • Adam Robillard
  • Matthew Bunn

VP Social (1 position)

  • Carina Hetherton
  • Candace Blake
  • Tom Corlett

VP Finance (1 position)

  • Katie Sharpe
  • Claire Steckle
  • Mathew McVeigh
  • Marc Jan
  • Vanessa Sevilla

VP Communications (1 position)

  • Marilyn Tourangeau
  • Marisa Sauret

Voting will be held on March 24th at an as-yet-to-be-determined location. You may only vote if you have paid your $20 membership fee. If you are unable to attend on March 24th and would like to cast your vote, you may do so by proxy but you must A) choose someone who will be present to proxy for you and inform them, and B) inform the Special Elections Commissioners Spectacular Clare Hutchinson and/or Chris Radojewski that you will be proxying. If you choose to proxy vote, you will be provided with written statements from the candidates in order to make your decision with the same amount of information those present will receive.

Best of luck! Any questions about the elections or the candidates can be directed to the Elections Commissioners.

Ives Pond

25 Feb

On January 25th, the University of Ottawa Quidditch Team travelled to Buffalo, NY to compete in the Ives Pond Invitational at the Buffalo Flurrious Winter Festival. We spent all day on the 26th competing against teams in the Northeast in the snow. In the morning, we faced rivals SUNY Geneseo and narrowly lost 50*-20 on a snitch snatch. We then faced the Steel City Quidditch Club from Pittsburgh, losing narrowly . We won 80-30* against Syracuse to round out pool play.

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Beater Mat McVeigh

In bracket play, we faced SUNY Geneseo again in the quarter-finals, this time finding the momentum to win 130*-20. We proceeded to the semi-finals, where we would have faced our erstwhile companions from Carleton University Quidditch, but by that point the tournament had run out of the light and had to cease competition. The winner of that game would have gone on to face the winner of the other semi-final of the University of Rochester vs QC Pittsburgh.

Despite some bus troubles on the return trip, it was a successful tournament and another notch in our belt on the road to World Cup! It was great to see friends from other tournaments and teams again, and a fun day of competition was had by all.

Pictures from the event can be found at the link in this post by the IQA.

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Members of uOttawa Quidditch and Carleton Quidditch

Looking for something fun to do this weekend?

18 Jan

This Saturday, uOttawa Quidditch will host Carleton, Algonquin, and Rochester Institute of Technology in a series of official and unofficial games. We’ll be playing at Lees park (next to the Lees apartment buildings) from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The schedule is as follows:

10-10:30: Preliminaries
10:30-11:10 Game 1: uOttawa vs. Carleton (Official)
11:10- 11:50 Game 2: RIT vs. Algonquin (Unofficial)
12-12:40 Game 3: Carleton vs. Algonquin (Unofficial)
12:40-1:20 Game 4: uOttawa vs. RIT (Unofficial)
1:30-2:10 Game 5: uOttawa vs. Algonquin (Unofficial)
2:10-2:50 Game 6: RIT vs. Carleton (Official)

The Facebook event is here.

Come out and support your favourite teams!

2013 uOttawa Sexy Quidkid Calendar

3 Dec

Want to send uOttawa Quidditch to Florida to compete in World Cup VI? Irresistibly attracted to the members of uOttawa Quidditch and unsure how to get more of them in your life? Find your walls depressingly bare and your knowledge of important dates lacking?

Drink up that felix felicis, folks – it’s your lucky day!

This week, uOttawa Quidditch is releasing a 2013 calendar featuring some of your favourite quidkids. We’ll be releasing more promotional photos (ones not included in the calendar, so don’t fret if you’ve already seen a bunch – there’s loads more where those come from!) this week, so keep your eyes peeled.

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Oh, and the best part? They’re only $10 ;)

Email uo.quidditch@gmail.com to reserve a copy, stay tuned for our tabling times on-campus, or contact us when we announce they’re ready to go to have a copy mailed to you! If you’re far away, don’t fret – we’ll have them for cross-continent in-person sale in a few places:

  • Snow Cup in Utah, January 5th (out of Mama Clare’s backpack)
  • Vancouver, BC – Holiday break (out of Rebeccamom’s suitcase)
  • Calgary, AB – Holiday break (out of the satchel of Emperor Cam)

You can pick them up there, on campus at uOttawa, or ask a friend who’ll be in any of those places to get you one, or we’ll happily mail one to you!

Calendar Promo - Clare

 

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uOttawa places second in the Canadian Cup, secures World Cup bid

15 Nov

This past weekend, uOttawa Quidditch travelled to Kingston to compete in the second inaugural Canadian Cup, which this year doubled as the Canadian Regional Championships, a chance for Canadian teams to compete for one of 3 bids to represent Canada and their schools at World Cup VI. The University of Ottawa’s team placed second, losing to McGill University (returning champions of last year’s Canadian Cup).

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We did it, kids!

We went down the night before, getting a surprise phone call from our alumni keeper Colin in Japan that we passed around the bus (everything we dooooooooo we do it for youuuuuuuu) and surprising one very frazzled East Side Marios waitress who was A) the only server there, and B) clearly not expecting 35+ people to turn up at 9:30pm. To the East Side management: she deserves a raise.

The day began with wins over McMaster (200*-10), Fleming College (140*-20), and Guelph (270*-30) to emerge out of pool play as the #1 seed, with a point differential of 550+. The team then proceeded to the semi-finals against Queen’s. Although Queen’s participated in last year’s Canadian Cup in Ottawa, this year’s team was almost entirely a new squad. The game began with multiple penalties on both sides, and looked to be a rough game. uOttawa (our own squad quite new, with 48% of our competitive team either in their first year of university or their first year playing quidditch) settled down and powered through to finish 70*-10, securing our spot in the finals: in the second half of the game, Queen’s rarely advanced past midpitch.

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Michelle Ferguson, Tiniest Badass

The final game against McGill University was relatively short due to a fast snitch-snatch by Plunger, McGill’s experienced seeker, and ended 90*-10 for McGill. Our entire team would like to congratulate McGill not only on their win, but on their good sportsmanship and a game played both physically and fairly. We look forward to playing them again, and are excited at the possibility of travelling to Florida with them (a decision that the team will be attempting to solidify in the coming weeks; World Cup VI is scheduled for April 13-14 during uOttawa’s exam schedules, but our team is pursuing a number of strategies in order to attend).

Joining uOttawa and McGill in the top 3 are our good friends at Carleton University Quidditch, who not only gave McGill a run for their money in their semi-final game (90-90* at the end of regular time, and 140^-90* at the end of overtime) but played as tense a consolation match as we’ve ever seen, winning 50^-40* over Queen’s in overtime. (There may have been a giant glomped circle of ourselves and Carleton chanting “Ottawa! Ottawa” at the end of the game. We’ll never tell.)

All in all, the Canadian Cup was a fantastic experience – a well-run tournament that ran on time with a bevy of dedicated snitches and referees and saw some fantastic hospitality from Queen’s in the form of bands and fling dancers. Our team came into its own after months of hard practicing, and was well-supported by our legions of travelling fans (we might be biased, but we think they’re the best).

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Among our fans’ many excellent qualities: making personalized signs.

Although the entire team and horde of fans performed excellently this weekend, we’d like to mention a few stand-out players: newcomer Nick McKnight was both a Chasing force to be reckoned with and a stellar new seeker, catching 4/5 snitches on-pitch (run back to the pitch by our darling Kera Lanouette) on Sunday. Another newcomer, Brian Wong, scored a fantastic set of goals in a row against Guelph, and brought undeniable energy to the pitch. Chaser Cam Buie put forward a fantastic effort both offensively and defensively, our beaters were as on-point as we’ve ever seen them (we literally can’t pick a beater to spotlight: they are all incredibly strong), and Keeper Jamie Lafrance, well. Jamie Lafrance:

We’re looking forward to the coming regional championships to see who we’ll be cuddling up to at the World Cup in April – best of luck to all teams, and may you be both fantastic athletes and good sports.

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Pre-finals beater huddle. (Photo credit to Erin Mulholland.)

The Canadian Cup

8 Nov

This weekend, uOttawa Quidditch heads to Kingston for the Eastern Canadian Regional Championships! We’ll be facing off against 12 other teams (including our Ottawa compatriots Carleton University Quidditch and Algonquin College Quidditch) from across Quebec and Southern Ontario for one of 3 spots to represent Canada at the World Cup this coming April!

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Legit.

The event is being held at Tindall Field on the Queen’s University campus on Sunday, November 11th. The opening ceremonies will begin at 9:15, the first game at 10am, and games through the day until the championship final at 5pm. The day will include a Remembrance Day ceremony. Our first game is against McMaster at 10am.

Last year, uOttawa Quidditch placed third at the inaugural Canadian Cup, and this year we look to win it all. Head out to Kingston to support us and to see a fantastic day of athletic competition! More information is available at the facebook event.

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uOttawa Chaser Steven Kimball vs Queen’s in last year’s Canadian Cup.

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