The seedings are in and it’s not pretty for the Lakehead Thunderwolves, who check in at No. 4 in the Cavendish University Cup rankings.
The Wolves will have to outlast the No. 1-ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears and the No. 5-ranked University of Quebec at Trois Rivieres Patriotes if they want to bring home a national championship in front of the home fans at Fort William Gardens.
Alberta compiled a 23-4-1 record in Canada West play, downing Manitoba last weekend to win the league championship in three games.
UQTR finished 23-3-2 in the OUA regular season and held the No. 3 ranking in the nation heading into the playoffs, where they lost to eventual Queen’s Cup champion McGill.
The Patriotes earned a second life though, when Lakehead advanced to the OUA final, and fought their way in with a frantic come-from-behind win over Western last Saturday in the bronze-medal game.
McGill, Saint Mary’s and Manitoba will comprise the other pool at the Cavendish Cup.
Lakehead has lost its last four match-ups against the Golden Bears, including a 2-1 defeat at last year’s Cavendish Cup and a 3-2 loss in the national final in 2006. Overall the Wolves are 1-4-1 against the Golden Bears.
LU has not played UQTR since 2004 and sport a 3-5-0 record against the Patriotes all-time. They met in the 2003 University Cup in Fredericton, with UQTR coming out on top 2-1.
The Wolves open the tournament on Friday night against the loser of Thursday night's UQTR-Alberta tilt.