MRU women’s hockey front and centre in 2020 Crowchild Classic
By Dan Khavkin, Sports Editor
Girls, the floor is yours.
For the first time in the eight years since the creation of the Crowchild Classic, the Mount Royal Cougars and Calgary Dinos women’s hockey teams will enjoy the privilege of playing the prime-time slot set for 6:45 p.m. inside the home of the NHL’s Calgary Flames.
Last year the CrowchildClassic drew in 11,490 Dinos andCougars fans, which is about a 1,000 person increase from the year before but fell short of the all-time attendance record set in 2016 with 12,859 in attendance.
The Calgary Dinos own the all-time record of 5-2 on the women’s side and have won the last games 2-1 and 1-0. MRU hasn’t won since earning a 3-1 win in 2017.
“Both institutions recognize they want to provide equality around the board which startedthe conversation and here we aretoday,” says Cougars head coach Scott Rivett.
Dinos head coach and Hall of Fame member Danielle Goyette agrees.
“The two universities putting the game at 7 p.m. is a great idea and a good thing moving forward to give equal opportunity for both teams,” she says.
“The impact on women’s hockey is huge. We were always behind the men and I like what the University of Calgary and Mount Royal are doing to give the girls the opportunity to play in front of a full-house inside the Saddledome.”
Rivett and his team are ready to take on the change.
“Even with the big crowd building up towards the end of the game, we all start to feel the excitement and the players will feel that energy come puck-drop rather than seeing the crowd build around them late in the game,” he says.
Despite all the excitement surrounding being the headline event, the game on the ice is the primary focus.
“In all honesty, it’s still about three points. It’s simplistic but it is absolutely what the game is about.”
The event being pushed to the second time-slot also allows for both the women’s teams to prepare for the game.
In MRU’s case, a lot of players take part in semester-long practicums.
A big part of it is playing in a regular time-slot that gives the players the best opportunity to prepare and play their best.
“Often in the past we had kids scramble to get there or that they potentially might not be able to play at the event,” Rivett explains.
“As a result, it’s dictating what our lineup looks like. Other times we weren’t able to have all the players that we would want to play. Pushing the game time removes the big chunk of the conflicts from the academic perspective which is big.”
Goyette adds: “It might be a player’s first time and even only game in their life where they get to play in front of so manypeople. It’ll be a great experiencein their lifetime.”
“The girls are looking forward to having the opportunity to perform in front of the big crowd at the beginning of the game, no
question,” he notes.
Like last year, there is a chargefor admission. All proceeds from the $5 admission fee will bereturned to the two campuses for investment into student wellnessinitiatives.
And one lucky student from each institution will walk away with $5,000 toward their tuition, with plenty of other games and prizes to be given out throughout the evening.