Crowchild Classic game at the ‘dome set for Jan. 27
Josh Werle, Sports Editor
The “Crowchild Classic” U SPORTS hockey event at the ‘Dome is back after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Crowchild Classic — a term used to describe any matchup where the University of Calgary (U of C) and Mount Royal University (MRU) are pitted against each other in a sports contest — is always a game to mark on your calendar for students and fans of the two Calgary post-secondary institutions. Although the U of C and MRU go head-to-head in hockey, volleyball, basketball and soccer under the U SPORTS banner throughout the season, this yearly event is one that fans look forward to attending.
A tradition since 2013, the Crowchild Classic game at the Scotiabank Saddledome has been a staple of the U SPORTS hockey season.
Both the men’s and women’s hockey teams from MRU and U of C get a chance to play in front of thousands of fans in attendance. In 2013, the attendance was 4,275 fans. This has grown to more than 10,000 fans in attendance each year from 2016-2020. In total, 76,207 fans have gone to the ‘Dome to watch these teams square off throughout the years.
Although the stakes are always heightened for all teams when competing at the ‘Dome, the games this year are of vital importance.
In 2020, the decision was made to have the women’s teams be the main event on even years, while the men would be the main event on the odd years. This means that the first game of the 2023 Crowchild Classic at the Saddledome belongs to the women’s squads. The MRU Cougars women’s hockey team currently sits in third of the U SPORTS Canada West division with a record of 14-5-3.
With 31 total points, the Cougars are two spots ahead of their Crowchild Classic rivals, and only five points away from first in their division. The team that wins the game at the ‘Dome this year could use that momentum to make a final push towards the top with only five games remaining in the regular season after the conclusion of the Crowchild Classic event.
The MRU Cougars men’s hockey team currently have a record of 16-3-3 this season, and are sitting at 35 total points. This places them in second place of the U SPORTS Canada West division, trailing only the U of C Dinos. Not only do the Cougars have a chance to close the gap between their divisional rivals, but they also have the opportunity to snap a 17-game winning streak that the Dinos currently hold.
Out of all the men’s hockey teams across the U SPORTS divisions, MRU currently ranks fourth in the overall rankings. The Dinos are currently first, and would be considered the best team in the country. If the Cougars were to defeat them in their game at the ‘Dome this year, it would be hard to imagine a scenario where they don’t receive the designation of number one.