Top headlines of 2011
Todd Colin Vaughan
The year of 2011 was a groundbreaking year for Cougar Athletics. Not only did teams perform beyond expectations, but Mount Royal University also gained notoriety as a premier destination for post-secondary athletes. The year featured several moments, both good and not-so-good, that will be remembered in the annals of Mount Royal sports history.
Entry into CIS
Sports fans and athletes were greeted with a nice surprise during 2011.
On May 5, the university made a further step towards joining the big boys of Canadian athletics when they were welcomed into the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) league.
Starting in fall 2012, the Cougars will be up against much stiffer competition in the best university league in Canada.
This will also create a new rivalry between both of Calgary’s universities when Mount Royal athletes regularly meet University of Calgary athletes.
Former Mount Royal president David Marshall said it’s a huge step towards the school becoming the best undergraduate institution in Canada and that “it provides a tremendous opportunity and another option for student-athletes who are looking to stay in the city and compete at the CIS level.”
Simply put, Mount Royal can now attract more top-tier talent to compete at the highest level.
The school will remain on probation for the first three years and will then be re-evaluated. But, with the way the Cougars are dominating the ACAC in basically all categories, it’s not hard to say the CIS and Mount Royal are in for a long-term relationship.
Hockey title stripped
As reported by The Reflector, the Mount Royal Cougar men’s hockey team were stripped of their ACAC title after backup goaltender Steve Houghton was deemed ineligible to play.
Houghton did not play in the series.
The story also made national news and the decision to strip the title was famously criticized by well-known hockey analyst Bob McKenzie from TSN.
The game was set to be re-played, but MRU players threatened to boycott the game.
School officials also appealed to the ACAC on the grounds that an official at the game was aware of the additional goaltender.
On March 31, a tribunal ruled in favour of the Mount Royal hockey team and the men walked away from the event with their heads held high.
The Cougars ended SAIT’s four-year ACAC title streak and took home the top prize.
What’s this number, you ask? It’s the combined record of Cougars Athletics teams in conference play during the fall semester of 2011.
For the record, that’s 54 games over .500. This number is a key statistic showing the excellent condition the program’s in.
Students attending Cougars games are way more likely to see their school win, which is a mighty impressive feat with the school about to join the best university sports league in Canada. Mount Royal may be able to see a winning record right away.