The Owen Sound Quantum Properties NorthStars will play this weekend after all.
The Ontario Lacrosse Association decided on Wednesday evening to uphold an appeal by the Oakville Titans, who'd had a win stripped away from them for using an illegal player during a game last month.
With the win and the two points restored to the Titans, they jump back over Owen Sound into second place in the standings. It also means they get the first-round playoff bye that the NorthStars assumed they'd locked up.
Instead, the NorthStars now get a best-of-three quarter-final series against the Sarnia Beavers.
Game 1 is Friday at 8:30 PM at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre.
The NorthStars had known since Monday, when they were notified of Oakville's appeal, that this might be the outcome.
They practised on Wednesday night and they had a good attitude about the OLA's ruling, feeling they might as well keep playing rather than have the weekend off because they've built up quite a bit of momentum recently.
Owen Sound won six of its final seven regular season games, including two contests less than 24 hours apart last weekend.
In spite of that, assistant coach Brian Jones believes the NorthStars deserve to be in third place behind the Titans, because only the technicality of the earlier OLA decision had given them second spot in the first place.
Coincidentally, Owen Sound's only loss in its last seven games came at the hands of the Titans. If the NorthStars had won that game - and they did hold an early 3-0 lead - they'd have not only finished ahead of Oakville, they'd have ended up in first place.
Game 2 of the quarter-final is tomorrow at 6 PM in Sarnia. Game 3, if necessary, will be played on Sunday at 4 PM at the Bayshore.
The two teams split their regular season meetings, with the Beavers winning 9-7 on June 15 in Sarnia and Owen Sound winning 16-5 last Wednesday at home.
Jones says the latter score was probably not a good indication of how the playoff series will turn out, noting that the Beavers have a good team when they have a full lineup, which they did not have last week.
If the NorthStars win the series, they'll meet Oakville in the semifinals.
Norwood and Brooklin will clash in the other quarter-final.