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Assante wins squash league without a game to spare

Assante was inside the winner's circle after downing Outside The Cube at the Squash Yukon Division 1 final on Tuesday at Better Bodies Whitehorse.

Assante was inside the winner’s circle after downing Outside The Cube at the Squash Yukon Division 1 final on Tuesday at Better Bodies Whitehorse.

Top-seeded Assante defeated Outside The Cube 15-14 in the points system that counts sets won, points for reffing matches and playing in uniform.

Assante finished first in the regular season, which has a history of being a jinx when it comes to the playoffs.

“We talk about the curse of first quite frequently,” said Assante captain and No. 1 player Mark Tubman. “The team that finishes first hardly ever wins the championship ... it seems.”

As the score indicates, the finals went down to the wire. In the last and deciding match, Assante’s No. 3 Gabriel Stetkiewicz needed to win in three, which he did, downing substitute player Jim Gilpin 15-9, 15-10, 15-10.

“Gab needed to win 3-0 and he won 3-0,” said Tubman. “He knew he had to win 3-0, so if you watched, he was really intense.

“If Jim won one game, it would have come down to a point count.”

Total points after the final were 166-166. So if Gilpin took a set, not only would it have sent the outcome to a points count, it would have put Outside The Cube up in points.

The first match of the night opened the door for an Assante win. Outside the Cube captain Chris Toleman won his match, but dropped the opening game to Doug Thorseth. The resulting point for Assante gave the team the edge they needed.

“Basically, I should have won 3-0,” said Toleman. “I was out of town all weekend, as you know, and didn’t play any squash. I got back and was a little rusty the first game. That’s how it goes.”

Toleman was an official at the 2013 Canadian Junior Squash Championships over the weekend in Richmond, B.C.

Tubman defeated Outside the Cube’s Phil Jackson 3-0 in what was a rematch of the 2009 Yukon Open A division final. Cube’s Taylor Love won 3-0 over Assante’s Chris Ziegler.

Assante defeated Yukon Tree Services in the semifinal in another close contest. Tubman won three straight games over Grayson Peters to clinch the spot in the final.

“In the regular season, everyone showed up and that’s key,” said Tubman. “You have to show up, get your T-shirt point ... People didn’t take too many vacations.”

In the battle for third place, Yukon Tree Services beat Pizza Hut by the lopsided score of 24-8.

Tree Services’ Peters, Kevin Daffe, Ben Gelinas and Ian Ruitenberg won their matches to clinch third.

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