In round one of the Cedar Loop Showdown the voters went chalk. The higher seed won each matchup, and none of them were particularly close. In round 2 of the Showdown the voters took that chalk and snapped it in half. Of the four contests, only one, Hogan vs Catfish, was a decisive win for the top seed. In the other three matchups we had two upsets and one close win for the higher seed. When the dust was settled, #2 Philips Lake had taken care of business and sent the #7 seed, the Little Madawaska River, packing. Further down the bracket, the #5 seed Petawawa River took out the #4 seed Radian Lake and the #6 seed Cedar Lake beat of #3 Clamshell by more than it should have (says the guy show can’t believe Clamshell’s awesome rope swing wasn’t enough to, ahem, swing it for the voters. It’s a rope swing people!). When the dust had settled We had Hogan, Philips, Cedar and the Petawawa moving on to the final four and a pair of semi-final matchups that are going to be … well I don’t know what they’ll be. We’ll have to see how the voting goes!
Keep reading for a rundown of the new matchups, a look at how the bracket has shaken out so far and your chance to vote for our finalists at the end!
1. Hogan Lake
2. Philips Lake
First off, I want to acknowledge that if I was better at designing brackets I wouldn’t have had it so the 1 and 2 seeds in this contest would be facing each other in the semi-finals. Unfortunately, by the time I realized how I’d set it up it would have taken at least five minutes to reorganize everything and that was five minutes too long. So, here’s your semi-final, top seed matchup!
If I’m being honest, despite my initial seedings, I think this is the proper matchup for this point in the contest. Philips seems to be the weakest of the four remaining contenders. It barely won its second round matchup over the Little Madawaska River, and as I noted in Round Two, this is a case where a specific location on the lake really drives the whole case for it to win. Hogan, on the other hand, has it all. Beautiful campsites, expansive views, sunrises, sunsets and everything in between. You could spend a week base camping from Hogan and not run out of things to do or places to explore. Not so much Philips. You might stay here a couple of nights, but after that I think boredom would set in. There just isn’t as much to see here, and that’s why I think Hogan moves on to the finals.
5. The Petawawa River
6. Cedar Lake
I was surprised by how much Cedar won by in the last round, and surprised that the Petawawa won at all. They both took down strong contenders in Radiant and Clamshell to get here, and I could make an argument for either of them to move on to the finals. Everything I said about Hogan applies to Cedar. It’s a huge lake, with tons to do and see. It doesn’t quite grab my imagination the way Hogan does, probably because it’s an access point lake with mixed use (boats, cottages etc.). That said, those factors could just as easily be a plus for others who like the accessibility. The Petawawa, on the other hand, is just plain cool. I love the rapids and waterfalls along the way, as well as the historic sites like the old rail bridge pictured above or the century old grave marker at the top of the falls that lead into Cedar. On any given day I think your chances of seeing some pretty cool wildlife are higher on the Petawawa than they are on Cedar, which is a major point in the river’s favour as far as I’m concerned. But will the voters agree? We’ll have to find out!
And now it’s time to vote! Who’s going to meet in tomorrow night’s final? Will Philips somehow squeak out another win? Will Cedar’s name recognition beat out the Petawawa’s natural appeal? Only time, and your votes, will tell. (Voting is below and on my Instagram stories).
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