Wild Card Spot – by C. Scott Holland

Just how close is it going to be for that magical fourth spot? Might end up being a bit closer than most people had expected.

While the Waterloo Siskins seem to have the inside track, it is not a given. However with only one clear winner emerging thus far – Caledonia – and the West  Conference taking a dramatic turn, that fourth position which has been given the past couple of seasons to simplify the Sutherland Cup playoffs has its share of candidates.

Of the three losing teams in the conference finals, the one with the best winning percentage grabs that entry.

So currently with Caledonia being undefeated at 12-0. The St. Catharines Falcons who bowed out are sitting with a .533 percentage (8 wins of 15 gp).

In the West, should  London lose on Sat. they will drop to a .647 and if the Nats lose again on Sun. they will fall to a .611 mark.

A Sat. loss by the  Leamington Flyers will leave them with a .625 percentage but a Sat. win and then a loss on Sun. would give them a .647 mark.

Where the entire wild card scenario gets interesting is the Mid-West series between Stratford and Waterloo. The winner obviously moves on but the loser has the most realistic shot at the wild card position. If Stratford loses on Fri. night at home they will have a .733 percentage. If the Cullions fail to win again in game 6, they will drop to a .688 and if the manage to lose in game 7 they would carry a .643 percentage.

Meanwhile the sixth-place  Waterloo Siskins have been rolling along in the playoffs and should they lose game 5 on Fri. would have a .643 mark. If they gain a victory but fall in game 6 they would have a .667 and if the make it to game 7 and lose they would be at .688.

The variations are many but no matter how one looks at it, one of those losing teams is going to get a second life and while Fate can be cruel, it is also in the hands of the individual teams.

Only time will tell who gets in and who doesn’t it.

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