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U Sports – TORONTO (U Sports) – The No. 3 seed Victoria Vikes played to a 0-0 tie with the No. 2 Toronto Varsity Blues to advance to their second straight McCrae Cup final as round robin play wrapped up on Saturday afternoon at the 2016 CIS field hockey championship at Back Campus Fields.

Victoria advances to their second straight national final versus the five-time reigning champion T-Birds. The Vikes, who hold a 10-11 record in 21 national tournament gold-medal matches, have met UBC 11 times in the final, with the T-Birds holding the upper hand with an 8-3 advantage.

The tie also sets up a repeat of the 2015 national tournament medal matches, where UBC faced Victoria, topping the Vikes 3-2 in penalty strokes, with Guelph defeating Toronto, 4-2, for the bronze medal.

Fourth-year defender Lizzie Yates (Cobble Hill, B.C.) earned player of the game honours for the Vikes.

“I thought Lizzie Yates played amazing,” said Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft. “I think she was like a sponge, wherever the ball was she just seemed to be able to get her stick on it and make some really nice outlet passes to get the counter attacks going.”

First-year U of T goalie Elizabeth O’Hara of Oakville, Ont., had the crowd on their feet, making several miraculous saves to keep the game scoreless. O’Hara was named the Blues player of the game following the match.

“She played outstanding,” added Beecroft. “She’s not big so you think you have lots of net to shoot at but she just seems to find a way to get there, whether it’s her stick, her body or whatever, she had a great game today for sure.”

“At the end of the day we just didn’t generate enough attack to give us an opportunity to win the game,” said Varsity Blues head coach John DeSouza. “We had one penalty corner all day and so we were under pressure and Elizabeth was great. That’s why we brought her here. I know she was going to be reliable and be the one to help us through this thing so it’s just one of those things today.”

Toronto (1-1-1) and Guelph (0-3-0) will kick off the final day of competition in the bronze medal match on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The championship final, featuring UBC and Victoria, will follow at 3 p.m. Both medal matches will be streamed live on SportsCanada.TV.

Official championship website:

TOR: 0-0: 0
VIC: 0-0: 0
First half
No Scoring.

Second half
No Scoring.

TOR: Elizabeth O’Hara (T, 70:00, 0 GA, 1-1-1)
VIC: Larissa Piva (T, 70:00, 0 GA, 1-0-2)
Players of the game
TOR: Elizabeth O’Hara (Oakville, Ont.)
VIC: Lizzie Yates (Cobble Hill, B.C.)


Round-robin standings

                        GP       W        L          T         GF       GA      PTS
1. UBC             3          2          0          1          9          3          7
2. Victoria        3          1          0          2          5          3          5
3. Toronto        3          1          1          1          6           4         4
4. Guelph         3          0          3          0          3           13       0

NOTE: 3 points for a win and 1 point for a tie.

Thursday, Nov. 3
16:00 Game 1: Victoria 4, Guelph 2
18:30 Game 2: UBC 3, Toronto 2

Friday, Nov. 4
16:00 Game 3: UBC 1, Victoria 1
18:30 Game 4: Toronto 4, Guelph 1

Saturday, Nov. 5
12:30 Game 5: UBC 5, Guelph 0
15:00 Game 6: Toronto 0, Victoria 0

Sunday, Nov. 6
12:30 Bronze medal Match: Toronto vs Guelph (SportsCanada.TV)
15:00 Championship final: UBC vs Victoria (SportsCanada.TV)

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