MWBA - Maritime Womens Basketball Association

Wild Finish Awaits MWBA

The Maritime Women’s Basketball Association does not have a crystal ball in the basement of its head office.

Which means no one can predict the MWBA’s playoff future.

That means – much to the delight of players and fans alike – it’s going to have be sorted out on the floor.

Just like the schedule-maker drew it up last winter when all seven MWBA teams signed off.

Away we go.

With the league housing those seven teams, the playoff formula has changed, one that creates greater meaning on the regular season and one that has passed expectations for doing more than expected.

Since the MWBA was launched in 2022 with six original teams, all franchises attended a three-day playoff championship to determine the Legacy Cup champions.

Now, the Pro*Line Stadium Legacy Cup has a major facelift with the league’s Final Quartet unfolding June 22 to 23 at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

With four teams based in New Brunswick and three in Nova Scotia, there are different off-ramps to get to Halifax.

All of them are difficult challenges.

Getting there is not going to be easy.

We’ll try and set the scenario for you, starting in New Brunswick where the standings are – for lack of a better word – a dramatic mess.

New Brunswick

As the league prepares for its final week of the regular season, all four NB teams can actually earn top seed and host a playoff game Tuesday, June 18. The second-place finisher will host the other sudden-death outing.

First place will host fourth place and second and third seedings will lock horns.

Winners go directly to the Pro*Line Legacy Cup.

Entering this week, Fredericton Freeze (4-4) travels to Moncton to meet the Mystics (3-5) in a 7 p.m. game at Harrison Trimble High School.

On Friday, Moncton will hit the highway to visit Port City Fog (4-4) in a 7 p.m. outing at University of New Brunswick at Saint John.

Port City has its road turn Saturday, visiting Miramichi Her-Icanes (3-5) at Miramichi Valley High School at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, Fredericton hosts Miramichi at 1 p.m. at Lady Beaverbrook Gymnasium.

NB Teams Go 2-0 This Week Scenarios

Each NB team has the potential of two wins, meaning all four squads could host a playoff game as top seed.

Remarkable, really.

Fredericton: If the Freeze goes 2-0, it hosts a playoff game as neither Moncton or Miramichi could tie in wins, regardless of Port City results. If Fog also wins twice, Freeze would be NB 1 as it would hold a tie-breaker over Port City by point differential in head-to-head play.

Port City: The Fog would host a playoff game if it goes 2-0 as Moncton or Miramichi could not tie regardless of Fredericton results. Fog would be NB No. 1 if Freeze loses at least one game and would be NB 2 if Fredericton wins twice.

Miramichi: Should the Her-Icanes go 2-0, it would host a playoff game regardless of other results. If Freeze and Fog go 1-1, all three teams would be tied with 5-5 records. Miramichi would be 3-1 in head-to-head, Port City 2-2 and Freeze 1-3. Her-Icanes would be NB 1, Fog NB 2 and Freeze third seed.

Moncton: The Mystics need help from Miramichi to host a post-season game. If Moncton and ‘Canes go 2-0, both teams would be 5-5. Moncton would be second seed and Miramichi top seed virtue of 1-0 head-to-head mark (1-0 Her-Icanes, unbalanced schedule). Should Miramichi go 0-2, there would be a three-way tie at 5-5 with Mystics, Freeze and Fog and Moncton becomes No. 1 seed based on 3-1 head-to-head record. Freeze would be No. 2 at 2-2 and Fog third seed via 1-3 head-to-head mark.

NB Teams Go 0-2 This Week Scenarios

Fredericton: Should the Freeze go 0-2 and Fog goes 1-1 (if it beats Moncton), head-to-head point differential between Port City and Miramichi would determine top two seeds and playoff hosts.

Port City: Should Fog go 0-2, Freeze finishes 1-1 and beats Moncton, the ‘Canes nab top spot and Fredericton sits NB 2 by virtue of Miramichi beating Freeze 2-0 in season series.

Miramichi: An 0-2 mark creates the potential for a three-way tie with Fredericton, Port City and Moncton should Moncton go 2-0.  The Mystics become No. 1 seed via 3-1 head-to-head record, Freeze 2-2 and second seed and Fog 1-3 via head-to-head scenario.  Should Miramichi go 0-2, and Moncton wins against either Fog or Freeze, Moncton and the team it defeats would come to a head to head points differential for hosting a playoff game.

Moncton: If the Mystics don’t win out, they will be travelling for a first-round matchup.

NB Teams Go 1-1 This Week Scenario

If all teams go 1-1, the current seedings hold with Freeze (5-5), Fog (5-5) –  Fredericton holds head -to-head edge – Miramichi and Moncton finish 4-6.

Nova Scotia

It’s a little simpler in the Bluenose Province in terms of who is going to finish where.

Halifax Thunder (8-0) has clinched first place overall in the league and will enter Pro*Line Stadium Legacy Cup playoffs as the province’s top seed, regardless of what unfolds in its next two games.

Lake City 56ers of Dartmouth/Cole Harbour will finish second, entering the final week with a 6-3 mark. Halifax Hornets will finish third, as they take a 1-8 mark into their final game this weekend.

The 56ers visit Thunder on Thursday in a 7 p.m. outing at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. Thunder visits the Hornets for a 3 p.m. outing Sunday at Mount St. Vincent University.

With three teams involved in Nova Scotia, the push for two teams to get to championship weekend is a bit different.

The Hornets will visit Thunder on Tuesday, June 18. The winner of that game goes directly to final weekend.

The loser gets a repechage – if you use a rowing term – and gets a second chance by playing Lake City in a sudden-death game Thursday, June 20.

Clear as mud?

It has been an incredibly competitive season in the MWBA as it celebrates Year III.

The picture will definitely become a little clearer in New Brunswick after Thursday night’s game in Moncton, but this scene-setter shows just how many scenarios could and can become reality.

Fran Harris Photo