OTTAWA (CIS) – For the first time since 1999, the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières Patriotes are the tournament favourites heading into the CIS men’s hockey championship.
The seeding was announced on Sunday for the 2016 University Cup tourney hosted by Saint Mary’s University at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. The eight-team competition gets under way Thursday and culminates next Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Atlantic Time (5:30 p.m. Eastern) with the gold-medal final, live on Sportsnet 360 and TVA Sports 2. Saturday’s semifinals are also live on Sportsnet 360 and TVA Sports (noon & 4 p.m. Atlantic), while the quarter-finals and the bronze-medal match are set to air on Eastlink TV. All eight games from the championship will be webcast on www.CIS-SIC.tv.
Rounding out the seeding behind OUA conference champion UQTR are the No. 2 Saskatchewan Huskies (Canada West champs), No. 3 St. Francis Xavier X-Men (AUS champs), No. 4 Western Mustangs (OUA finalists), No. 5 UNB Varsity Reds (AUS finalists), No. 6 and reigning two-time University Cup champion Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West finalists), No. 7 Carleton Ravens (OUA bronze medallists) and No. 8 Saint Mary’s Huskies (hosts).
The quarter-final matchups, split over the first two days of competition, include Carleton vs. Saskatchewan (4 p.m.) and Alberta vs. StFX (8 p.m.) on Thursday, followed by UNB vs. Western (4 p.m.) and Saint Mary’s vs. UQTR (8 p.m.) on Friday.
The Patriotes earned the No. 1 seed thanks to a 4-3 overtime win over Western in Saturday’s Queen’s Cup final in London, which capped an unblemished 7-0 playoff run for the perennial powerhouse which also kept the best record in the country in conference play (24-3-1). This marks the fourth time in program history that UQTR has entered the tournament as the top seed, after 1999 (fifth place), 1992 (third place) and 1991 (champions).
Reigning national champion Alberta holds the all-time record with 15 University Cup titles. UNB (5), UQTR (4), Saskatchewan (1), StFX (1), Western (1) and Saint Mary’s (1) have also been crowned in the past, while Carleton is looking for its first triumph.
NOTES: A complete championship preview will follow on Tuesday… The traditional meet-the-teams media conference is scheduled for Wednesday at 11 a.m. Atlantic Time at the Scotiabank Centre… The All-Canadian Dinner & Gala is set for Wednesday evening at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel.
1. UQTR Patriotes (OUA champions: 24-3-1 regular season / 7-0 playoffs)
2. Saskatchewan Huskies (CWUAA champions: 22-6-0 regular season / 4-0 playoffs)
3. StFX X-Men (AUS champions: 18-6-4 regular season / 5-1 playoffs)
4. Western Mustangs (OUA finalists: 18-10-0 regular season / 6-3 playoffs)
5. UNB Varsity Reds (AUS finalists: 23-3-2 regular season / 3-2 playoffs)
6. Alberta Golden Bears (CWUAA finalists: 19-7-2 regular season / 2-2 playoffs)
7. Carleton Ravens (OUA bronze medallists: 20-7-1 regular season / 5-2 playoffs)
8. Saint Mary’s Huskies (Hosts: 17-8-3 regular season / 3-3 playoffs)
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (all times ATLANTIC TIME)
Wednesday, March 16
7:55-17:15 60-minute practices OPEN TO MEDIA (Scotiabank Centre)
11:00 Meet the Teams Media Conference (Scotiabank Centre)
18:30 All-Canadian Dinner & Gala (Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel)
Thursday, March 17
16:00 Quarter-final 1: No. 7 Carleton vs. No. 2 Saskatchewan (Eastlink TV / www.CIS-SIC.tv)
20:00 Quarter-final 2: No. 6 Alberta vs. No. 3 StFX (Eastlink TV / www.CIS-SIC.tv)
Friday, March 18
16:00 Quarter-final 3: No. 5 UNB vs. No. 4 Western (Eastlink TV / www.CIS-SIC.tv)
20:00 Quarter-final 4: No. 8 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 1 UQTR (Eastlink TV / www.CIS-SIC.tv)
Saturday, March 19
12:00 Semifinal 1: Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 2 (SN 360 & TVA Sports / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
16:00 Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4 (SN 360 & TVA Sports / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
Sunday, March 20
14:00 Bronze (Eastlink TV / www.CIS-SIC.tv)
18:30 Final (Sportsnet 360 & TVA Sports 2 / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
* Webcast of the semifinals & final are on pay-per-view basis.