Third annual Crowchild Classic becomes a University-wide tradition
Ultimate “crosstown smackdown” takes on Flames versus Oilers dynamic
Winter semester is upon us, which means agonizing treks through the snow to our cars, layers on more layers and the contagion of the cold and flu. Luckily, it also means that the Crowchild Classic is back.
But it’s not only a hit with students, viewed by many as the year’s marquee event. The game is hosted at The Scotiabank Saddledome providing a unique opportunity for all members of the Calgary community to come together and support our local universities. The hockey game match between the Mount Royal University Cougars and University of Calgary Dinos serves as a tournament opener for 17 matches between both universities in four varsity sports: hockey, soccer, basketball and volleyball.
The Crowchild Classic will be on Jan. 15 at the Saddledome. “Rarely do you find an event that brings together students, faculty, alumni and community members the way that this game does,” says men’s hockey head coach Bert Gilling. “It is an incredible showcase for our student athletes and our university.”
The competition began in 2012, once the Mount Royal Cougars officially became a part of the Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) and Canada West Conference which coincided with MRU’s plan of growing from a college to a university in 2010 and the campuses 100 year anniversary.
The Dinos have won the first two Crowchild Classic series and are currently leading the 2014-15 season with six wins, four loses and a tie with four games left. But the Cougars are undefeated at the Saddledome, winning 3-1 in 2012-13 and then defeating the Dinos 4-3 in overtime last season. Mount Royal is in second place in the conference and is currently two points ahead of the Dinos.
The prize that inspired the name is not exactly glamorous, but then again, why should it be? It’s a city Manhole from Crowchild, one of the city’s main arteries of transportation and one that both MRU and U of C share, donated by Trojan industries.
Last year, the hockey game yielded a record-breaking 6,016 fans combined for both teams. The scores were 4-1 for the Dinos Women and then a nail-biting 4-3 for the Cougars’ Men. The fan turn-out has been growing steadily since the competitions inception, with only around 4,000 fans the year before.
You can get tickets to the competition in advance at the MRU Cougars office by the Rec Centre on campus or at the door at the ‘dome. Tickets are free with Student ID. The concession stands will be fully operational, serving food and beverages on the lower bowl level. Admission to the game and parking in the Saddledome parkade is free as well.
The women’s game starts at 5:00 p.m. and the men face off at 7:45 p.m. Cougar Fan seating is in Chrysler Club and sections 101 & 102 and fans should enter through the Chrysler Club entrance.
Cheer on your team, sport your MRU blue and have a chance to win swag, prizes and even free tuition. Heck, if that isn’t enough, check out The Reflector’s Top 10 Reasons to go to a Cougars Hockey Game this season at thereflector.ca.
For more information about the Crowchild Classic, go to the official site of the Mount Royal University Athletics, at mrucougars.com