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Getting His Feet Wet Or Making A Splash? Men's Futsal Finishes On Top

He may be new to the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference, but head coach Chris Parenteau have made winning the norm for Men's Futsal. With the round-robin portion of the 2017 Copa de la Paz now complete, Parenteau and the Blazers have amassed a record of 6 wins to go with 3 draws and only one defeat; good for first place and the top seed as CMU prepares to challenge for the MCAC Championship that approaches this weekend in Otterburne, Manitoba at Providence University College.

The only team who has found a way to score more goals head to head against the Blazers, happens to be CMU's Saturday semifinal opponents. On February 11th, powered by a home crowd, the Providence Pilots cruised to a 6-3 win. Last Friday night, the Blazers and Pilots met again at CMU and battled to a 5-5 draw in a match overflowing with action and controversy.

Trailing 4-2 with 8 minutes remaining, the Blazers sparked a thrilling comeback to tie and then take the lead. Goalkeeper Robbie Friesen assisted on Michael Veremu's skying header, to cut the lead to one. As time continued to tick off the game clock, Friesen converted the match-tying goal from Nick Czehryn's corner-kick with a rocket first-time effort: 4-4.

Czehryn got the home crowd out of their seat again a few minutes later after he tapped in the go-ahead goal. Playing in his final home match, the fifth-year combined on a long distance give-and-go with rookie Roy Miller. The goal was the result of Czheryn's scoop pass over two defenders. The pass was chested down by Miller who alluded a third defender, drew the commitment of the goalkeeper, and freed the on-rushing Czerhyn to convert the Blazers fifth goal.

Providence would get that goal back half a minute later, 5-5, and then find themselves with an opportunity to take all three points in the match at the final whistle, when a critical sixth foul was charged to CMU on the final play, resulting in a 10-meter penalty kick. Pilot's leading scorer Braeden Owen placed and struck the ball from the spot, hitting the target but not beating Friesen, who would be selected as Player of the Game with an assist, a goal and a stopped penalty.

Despite the struggle in their two matches against Providence, Parenteau and the Blazers have been getting results and intend to keep the wins coming this weekend when they take the court in Otterburne again. With the MCAC's top goal differential of +12, CMU finished one point better than the second-place Brandon Bobcats who will face a challenge from the third-place Red River Rebels in the other men's semfinal. The Rebels win over the defending champions on Friday night, was the story of the weekend; allowing the Rebels to leapfrog Providence into the third-seed and eliminating USB; the four-time Copa de la Paz Champions.

CMU takes the court at 4:30pm on Saturday at El Campeonato of the 2017 Copa de la Paz. With a win, the Blazers will meet the winner of #2 Brandon versus #3 Red River on Sunday afternoon at 3:30pm. The CMU Women are also in action at 3:00pm on Saturday in their semifinal. Ranked #2, they will also take on Providence who finished third in the Women's Standings.



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