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Crosstown smack down culminates at ‘Dome

Crowchild Classic 2016 - Faceoff
Mayor Naheed Nenshi drops the puck for the 2015 Crowchild Classic opening game in 2015. Nenshi will be on hand to repeat the tradition in 2016. ~ Photo provided by Adrian Shellard

Cougars aim for first Crowchild Classic victory Established in 2012, the Crowchild Classic highlights sporting competition between Mount Royal University and their crosstown rival, the University of Calgary.

Crowchild Classic 2016 - Skaters 
The 2015 Crowchild Classic set attendance records. ~ Photo provided by Adrian Shellard 

The so-called ultimate crosstown smack down features combined matches from the each university’s four sports teams (men’s and women’s hockey, basketball, volleyball and soccer) in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Canada West Conference. The overall winner is determined at the end of February by the results of the head-to-head clashes between the two universities.

With eight contests in the books throughout the 2015/2016 schedule Mount Royal currently holds a 4-2-2 lead in the aggregate standings. Since its inception, Mount Royal has yet to win the overall head to head series.

The pinnacle of the series will be played Jan. 21 when the men’s and women’s Cougars’ hockey teams take to the Scotiabank Saddledome ice for a doubleheader against the University of Calgary Dinos. Last season’s match up saw 8,882 fans attend, setting yet another CIS attendance record.

The free event begins at 5 p.m. MST with the women’s squad facing off first, followed by the men’s at 7:45. This event is designated as a demonstration of university spirit, and students are encouraged to deck themselves out in Cougar pride with a chance to win a $5,000 tuition giveaway.

Student transportation will be available at MRU from campus for the clash. Students are encouraged to arrive early for rush seating and a chance to win free Cougars swag. Check Twitter @mrucougars for details to be released throughout the week of the game.

Crowchild Classic 2016 - Horns 
Students are encouraged to don their true blue colours and show their pride for a chance to win a $5,000 tuition giveaway. ~ Photo provided by Adrian Shellard 

Mount Royal University Athletic Director Karla Karch says the Crowchild Classic has proven to be an excellent event not only for MRU’s competing varsity (women's and men's hockey) programs, but for all members of the Mount Royal community.

“The fan support has grown each year as evident by the attendance-record-setting crowd and this year should be no different. I look forward to being part of the crowd,” said Karch.

“Filling the ‘Dome with a sea of blue!"

2015’s annual event saw the Cougars sweep both games with the men’s side winning 2-0 and the women collecting an impressive 3-2 victory.

This season both Cougars’ hockey teams have yet to lose to the Dinos. The women have collected two victories, both in overtime. The men have also won both contests, outscoring the Dinos 8-4 in the process.

To date, both Mount Royal hockey teams have seen considerable success this season. The women have a 6-7-2-1record, good for sixth in the conference going 6-4 in their last 10 match ups. The men currently sit in third place with a 9-5-2 record, currently six points out of first place.

Steady, stay at home defender Jocelyn Froelich (women’s hockey) has been a force on the blue line this season with the Cougars. The product of Moose Jaw, Sask. has amassed a +15 rating, good for second in her conference. Mount Royal’s women’s side has been a wall for opposing shooters. Emma Pincott currently holds the third spot in the goals against category. To date Pincott owns a 1.62 goals against average, only surrending 16 goals on the season. Jess Ross holds fifth place in the goals against average category, only conceding 11 goals.

Tyler Fiddler (men’s hockey) has been carrying much of the load this season for the Cougars. The former Calgary Hitmen captain and University of Calgary transfer is currently leading the CIS West Conference with 24 points thanks to 8 goals and 16 helpers. The versatile forward holds a +15 rating with three shorthanded goals to his credit.

This crosstown clash would not be possible without the support of the Calgary Flames. Through the Calgary Flames Foundation, the Calgary Flames support post-secondary institutions in Calgary via a $20,000 donation to each school's men's and women's hockey programs. In addition to their donations, the Flames are providing their facilities, time and staff to help make this annual event possible.

"We are thrilled to host the Crowchild Classic at the Scotiabank Saddledome for the fourth year. We value our partnerships with both the universities and are proud to see this annual game grow to the level it has,” said Candice Goudie, Executive Director of the Calgary Flames Foundation.

“The energy in the building for this game is electrifying and we are hoping to break another attendance record on January 21."

Come one, come all. Bleed blue and show your Cougar Pride.

For more information check out mrucougars.com.

Jan. 4, 2016 — Jonathan Anderson