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Cougars help set yet another CIS attendance record

Crowchild Classic 2016 Tuition Winner 
Courtney Zwarich earned $5,000 towards her tuition by prevailing at Peer Pong during the second intermission of the men's match ~ Photo by Michal Waissmann 

Mount Royal University helped set a new Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) hockey attendance record Thursday night.

12,859 fans packed the Scotiabank Saddledome to witness the Cougars battle the University of Calgary Dinos in the fourth installment of the Crowchild Classic.

The evening opened with the women's sides facing off. The female Dinos took the first match with a 3-2 victory. The Dinos (5-10-2-4) earned their first win against the Cougars (7-10-3-1) this season. The match was tied at two heading into the third period before Dino Rylee Smith found the back of the net at the 4:37 mark to close the match.

The second game of the evening saw the Dinos again emerge victorious. The Dinos (8-9-4) gained a precious two points in the league following an overtime victory. The Cougars picked up one point in the loss. The men in blue now sit with a 13-5-3 record for the season. After 21 games Mount Royal sits in second place of the Canada West Conference with 29 points, going 8-2 in their last 10 contests.

The game remained scoreless after the first period with the University of Calgary notching the go ahead goal early in the second period.

Crowchild Classic 2016 Crowd 
A CIS record 12,859 fans attended this year's Crowchild Classic  ~ Photo by Michal Waissmann 

Following the second period, four students, two from each institution, took to the ice for some intermission entertainment. The foursome competed in two-on-two Peer Pong for the right to win free tuition. Courtney Zwarich of Mount Royal proved to be the most talented Peer Pong player of the bunch and the lucky participant landed herself $5,000 worth of free tuition.

The Cougars tied the game in the third period when Matt Bellerive scored the equalizer with less than seven minutes remaining in the third stanza.

After forcing overtime, the score remained tied at one after the first four-on-four sequence. The teams again took to the ice for a second five-minute overtime clash, this time going three-on-three. Early in the second overtime, Mount Royal was victimized with a four minute penalty, thus making the Cougars short handed.

The Dinos capitalized with the man advantage when Max Ross scored on the power play 3:21 in. For complete box scores and recaps visit mrucougars.com

Both the men's and women's sides will get a chance at redemption Jan. 22. The women take on the Dinos at Flames Community Arena - puck drop is set for 7 p.m. - while the men head north on Crowchild Trail to Father David Bauer Arena, where the puck drop is also scheduled for 7 p.m.

Jan. 22, 2016 — Jonathan Anderson