Lions vs Wolverines



Date Time League Season Home Away Court
July 30, 2023 11:00 am Canadian National Pickleball League 2023 Lions Wolverines 1


The Sleeman Centre
Sleeman Centre, 50, Woolwich Street, Downtown Guelph, Guelph, Southwestern Ontario, Ontario, N1H 3T9, Canada


Wolverines Rout Lions in Four-Game Match

Wolverines Women Dominate Lions in First Game

As a women’s doubles duo, Vicky Strandlund and Angie Walker of the West Coast Wolverines couldn’t have played a better game. The two used crafty dinking play and kept the Montreal Lions Kim Layton and Grace Thomas from mounting much of an offence in a convincing 15-11 victory.

Strandlund and Walker trailed only once and never allowed Layton and Thomas to string together multiple point-winning shots more than once. Walker set the tone for the game when she scorched a shot early, forcing Montreal to take a timeout down 3-1. Now, the Lions did take advantage of a couple of Wolverines miscues before side change, including Wolverines’ Walker getting called for putting a foot in the kitchen to give Montreal a short-lived 7-6 lead. The Wolverines rallied, with Strandlund blazing a return and then combining with Walker to dink their way to a point to go into the break, up 8-7.

The point of the match came with the Wolverines ahead 9-7, when a great offensive rally by Strandlund and Walker forced the Lions to put one into the net. From there, the Wolverines duo played it cagey, winning multiple points by keeping the Lions on their heels and having to be more reactive, than proactive. Walker hit an absolute scream down the line to get the Wolverines to a freeze at 14-11 and then the Lions sent another shot into the net to hand the Wolverines the win.

Wolverines Men Win Thriller over Montreal

This key game went right down to the wire, and unfortunately for the Montreal Lions men’s doubles team of Cam Rich and Eric Gagnon, that wire tripped them up on serve. Seemingly in control and up 14-11, they battled back and forth with Wolverines’ Joel Pelletier and Haddow Thul, only to see that lead evaporate and lead to a disheartening 15-14 loss.

Before side change, the two squads put on a great show, with Pelletier and Rich grabbing accolades for some great flicks and forehand/backhand smashes to win their teams points. Interestingly, the Lions never trailed before the break leading 8-7.

Rich and Gagnon kept up the great play in the second half, this time Gagnon showing his mettle with a monster backhand and a superb flick to put Montreal up 11-8. Pelletier and Thul, though, didn’t wilt, scoring quick points on adept dinking and offensive prowess to get within one down 12-11. The Lions rallied well too, with a great rally getting them to freeze and a commanding 14-11 margin.

But, like their namesake, the Wolverines did not back down. They scored a big point and then broke Montreal’s sever before a deft Thul return got them within one at 14-13. Then, Montreal’s Rich put one out to tie it up 14-14, forcing the Lions to take a timeout and regroup. From there, neither team could score on serve for four straight nail-biting plays. It ended, quietly, when Montreal was long on a serve return.

Wolverines Triumph Convincingly in Mixed Doubles

In game terms, this was the Haddow Thul and Vicky Strandlund show. The Wolverines mixed doubles duo absolutely owned the Montreal Lions pair Grace Thomas and Eric Gagnon en route to a match-winning 15-9 victory.

Strandlund displayed her considerable diving ability, when, with her team down 3-2, she dove without concern for her body at a Dura ball, sending it back to the Lions, who couldn’t return it. After that, it was pretty much all Wolverines, as they attacked with elan and showed immense dinking skills to go up 8-4 by side change.

Thomas and Gagnon couldn’t close the gap after a rest, despite a great forehand sizzler from Thomas that made the score 9-6 for the Wolverines. Thul and Strandlund would score twice before the Lions had to call a timeout. A little later, the Lions were forced to call yet another timeout, this time after Strandlund set up Thul beautifully to put the Wolverines on top 13-7.

The timeout helped for two plays, as Gagnon ripped a backhand winner and the two dinked well to trim the score to 13-9. However, Thul and Strandlund were just too much for Montreal, scoring two unanswered to seal the win.

Lions Stop Streak in Final Game

In a game where they could have mailed it in, the Wolverines mixed doubles team of Angie Walker and Joe Pelletier put up a heck of a fight, but in the end the Lions team of Kim Layton and Cam Rich salvaged a little mojo for their squad in a 15-14 thriller.

Walker got the Dura ball going, so to speak, when she nailed overhand and backhand smashes to put the Wolverines up 2-1 and later Pelletier smoked a signature backhand of his own to increase the lead to 5-2. To their credit, Layton and Rich battled back, squaring it up at 5-5 before the Wolverines put together a mini-streak to go up 8-6 at side change.

The lead did not change hands after a rest, as Rich and Layton found the Selkirk net twice to trail 10-8 before taking a timeout. Both teams had great defensive plays to move the score to 11-9 Wolverines, but the Lions couldn’t equalize with another net shot after Layton smacked a winner to get the score to 12-10. In the next two-point sequence, Rich sailed a great forehand to get within one, before the Lions found net yet again to trail 13-11.

Again, as in earlier in the contest, the Lions rallied back well, evening the score at 13-13, forcing the Wolverines to call time. As it should have been, the two squads fought to freeze at 14-14 and then proceeded to break serve three more times before Rich ended things with a bang, giving the Lions a much-deserved win




Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Cam Rich00141511514Kim Layton
Kim Layton00111511514Cam Rich
Eric Gagnon0014150915Grace Thomas
Grace Thomas0011150915Eric Gagnon

General Manager: Jay Devilliers


Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Haddow Thul0115141159Vicky Strandlund
Joel Pelletier01151401415Angie Walker
Vicky Strandlund1115111159Haddow Thul
Angie Walker01151101415Joel Pelletier

General Manager: Steve Deakin