This past weekend saw the conclusion of the WWCFL regular season, and featured a big provincial showdown between the Regina Riot & Saskatoon Valkyries. It was the first game the Riot have hosted at new Mosaic Stadium since it opened last year, and it would determine who finished first in the Prairie Conference standings and receive a bye to the Cross-Conference Finals on June 17th.
The Riot, who won the first meeting between these two teams earlier this year, would strike first once again. Quarterback Aimee Kowalski was able to find her sister Alex Kowalski wide open for a score with 3:59 remaining in the first quarter. The Valkyries would tie the score up late in the second quarter, but the Riot would answer back quickly thanks to a huge catch and run from wide receiver Rachelle Smith.
During halftime, Ovarian Cancer Canada held a special tribute for ovarian cancer survivors in attendance at the game. It has become an annual tradition of the Regina Riot’s Teal Game, which sees the team wear teal accents to their regular uniform in support of ovarian cancer awareness. This year marked the fourth year in a row that the Riot have hosted the teal game. Ovarian Cancer Canada received 100% of the profits from the game’s 50/50 draw.
Things stayed close through much of the second half, with the Riot defense managing to make big plays whenever the Valkyries came close to scoring. However, the Riot had trouble shifting field position, and eventually were forced to concede a safety to Saskatoon. Regina was able to extend their lead by another Kowalski-to-Kowalski touchdown on the last play of the third quarter, making the score 21 – 9 heading into the final quarter.
Saskatoon continued to prevent Regina from extending their lead throughout the fourth, and eventually were able to score a touchdown themselves to make it a one score game with 2:27 remaining. The Valkyries defense would provide their team with another stop and get the ball back one more time with a chance to win the game, but Riot rookie defensive back Katheryn Neigum was able to make the game sealing interception. The Riot would win by a final score of 21 – 16, clinching the first undefeated regular season in team history.
“We played a good game and are happy with the win. It’s always makes us very proud when we are able to win wearing teal.” said Head Coach Olivier Eddie following the game. “That said, Saskatoon prepared some challenging things for us to deal with. We will need to be better prepared if we face them again in the postseason.”
That won’t be a possibility until the WWCFL Championship, which is being hosted in Regina on June 24th. In the meantime, Regina waits on the winners of next week’s Western Conference playoff matchups to find out who their next opponent will be.
“Finishing the regular season undefeated was one of our team goals” explained Eddie. “We will make the best out of our next week of practice and get ready for the Cross-Conference Finals.”
Regina will host the Cross-Conference Finals on June 17th at Mosaic Stadium. Kickoff will be at 2pm. Tickets are available online or at the door.