Wolverines vs Lions



Date Time League Season Home Away Court
September 2, 2023 11:00 am Canadian National Pickleball League 2023 Wolverines Lions 2


Edmonton Expo Centre
Edmonton Expo Centre, 7515, 118 Avenue NW, Edmonton Northlands, Greater Highlands, Edmonton, Alberta, T5B 0J2, Canada


Wolverines Roll to 4-0 Sweep of Lions

Battle of Top Picks Goes to Wolverines in Women’s Doubles Game

After being on the wrong end of a 3-1 match loss in the Eastern Split, the Montreal Lions looked to no. 2 overall pick Kim Layton and 15th overall Grace Thomas to get this Western Split Match off to a roaring start. Facing them on the other side was no. 1 pick Angie Walker and 32nd pick Vicky Strandlund. And, lo and behold, Strandlund stole the show in the West Coast Wolverines 15-13 triumph.

The Wolverines, who were 5-2 in the Eastern Split, started this first game tentatively, but got things going in a hurry. Strandlund, who would be player of the match, ripped an overhand winner to tie the game at 2-2, and two players later showed outstanding defensive play along with Walker and dropping a key lob shot to tie it again at 3-3.

The two teams jousted back and forth for a while after, with Thomas adding some pizzazz with a blazing cross to tie it 6-6. But Strandlund continued her outstanding play, returning hard shots from Layton and Thomas and with Walker backing her up they took a 9-6 lead and forced a Lions timeout.

After the break they upped the score to 10-6 when Strandlund launched another fabulous lob, followed by a Walker smash. The Lions, however, stormed right back, trimming the lead to 10-9 and forcing a Wolverines’ timeout. It helped, as Walker and Strandlund dominated play to push the advantage to 14-11. Layton, true to form, got her team back in it with back-to-back forehand winners, but Walker and Strandlund would win out when Thomas hit a net return.

Wolverines Stifle Furious Lions Comeback Attempt to Win Men’s Doubles Tilt

This titanic battle of seasoned veterans would go right down to the wire. The Wolverines pair of Haddow Thul and Joel Pelletier had to hang on tightly in the end, narrowly escaping with a key 15-14 win over the Lions Cam Rich and Eric Gagnon.

It was the Lions who began slowly in this one, with Gagnon handing the Wolverines an easy point on a foot fault and then following that up with a side out and a long return. He would atone a little later, slapping a perfect ATP to make the score 4-2 Wolverines. Yet, Thul would take the steam out of that winner, smoking two backhand crosses to force a Lions timeout at 6-2.

After the break, the Lions dinked well for a point, but surrendered a Pelletier point on a forehand cross and in no time the score was 9-6 after Pelletier smacked a nice forehand flick. Thul then hit a cross of his own after some good Wolverines defense and Pelletier contributed backhand flick to take an 11-6 lead and force a Lions timeout.

After the break, the play continued to favor the Wolverines, who swiftly got the contest to 14-8 and likely an easy win at freeze. Or so they thought. Gagnon started the comeback with another laser-like ATP and Rich contributed two backhand winners and a sharp Erne that hit Thul to tie it all up at 14-14. It stayed that way for three more plays, and Montreal would fail in the comeback when Rich hit a return long.

Wolverines Claim Match with Thrilling Come-From-Behind Win in Mixed Doubles

It seems the Wolverines and Lions like to take big bites out of each other. In another tightly contested tilt, the Wolverines mixed doubles duo of Joel Pelletier and Angie Walker had to overcome a late deficit to defeat the Lions pair of Kim Layton and Cam Rich and in the process winning the match.

Rich got the Lions off to a good start, firing a backhand and then an overhand winner for a 2-0 lead. That was subsequently erased when Walker and Pelletier combined on solid defense and kitchen play to tie it up 3-3. The Wolverines then rallied to take a 5-3 lead, only to see the Lions combine first on a Layton lob and Rich forehand for a point to knot it up at 5-5.

Pelletier and Walker then showed their shooting acumen, first with a Pelletier forehand winner and then Walker making a superb lob that eluded the Lions for a 7-5 cushion. The never-say-die Lions, though, would score the next four points on great team defense and some Rich smashes to force a Wolverines timeout at 9-7 Lions.

The Wolverines and Lions then flip-flopped the lead, with both sides combining great defense with timely shots to see the score tied 12-12. The Lions, needing a win, came out gunning with Rich sending a great set-up shot to take the lead. Then Layton and Walker traded side outs to put the Lions ahead 14-13 and staring victory in the face. But the Wolverines held fast for three plays then won a point on serve and later won it after four more freeze holds when Rich went side out on a return.

Wolverines Put Cap on Convincing Sweep of Lions

While the previous games were hard-fought victories for the Wolverines, this one, while far from a no-doubter, wasn’t quite as difficult. The Wolverines mixed doubles team of Haddow Thul and Player of the Match Vicky Strandlund overcame an early charge by Lions duo Eric Gagnon and Grace Thomas to finish the 4-0 sweep with a 15-10 victory.

The first few exchanges were punctuated by unforced errors on both sides, and it wasn’t until the eighth point that Gagnon put some drama into the contest when he fired an overhand to tie it up 4-4. The Lions then took their one and only lead when Strandlund made a rare error. Then she and Thul took over, playing great combined defense and going ahead 9-5 when a blistering Erne off the paddle of Thul plunked Thomas.

Gagnon and Thomas did make it interesting after that shot, scoring four of the next five points, courtesy of some sneaky set up shots by Thomas, to trail just 10-9. However, the wind went out of the Lions sails thereafter, as the Wolverines pushed the pace with defense and shot making by Thul. He hit two marvelous forehand flicks for points and the Wolverines won it when Thomas returned a Dura ball into the Selkirk net.




Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Angie Walker01151311514Joel Pelletier
Haddow Thul01151411510Vicky Strandlund
Joel Pelletier01151411514Angie Walker
Vicky Strandlund11151311510Haddow Thul

General Manager: Steve Deakin


Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Cam Rich00141501415Kim Layton
Eric Gagnon00141501015Grace Thomas
Grace Thomas00131501015Eric Gagnon
Kim Layton00131501415Cam Rich

General Manager: Jay Devilliers

Past Meetings

1 - 3
The Sleeman Centre

Lions vs Wolverines

Home: Lions
Away: Wolverines
Court: 1