U SPORTS Communications
TORONTO – The Alberta Golden Bears (men’s hockey), UBC Thunderbirds (women’s hockey), Trinity Western Spartans (men’s volleyball) and Alberta Pandas (women’s volleyball) have all been named tournament favourites for the upcoming 2017 U SPORTS Championships, all part of #CHAMPSZN.
The seedings were announced Sunday for four U SPORTS Championships this week in men’s hockey, women’s hockey, men’s volleyball and women’s volleyball.
The 2017 U SPORTS Cavendish Farms University Cup will be hosted by the UNB Varsity Reds for the first time since welcoming back-to-back events in 2011 and 2012, while the Alberta Golden Bears host the 2017 U SPORTS FOG Men’s Volleyball Championship for the first time since 2009. The Queen’s Gaels and Ryerson Rams, hosts of the 2017 U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Championship and 2017 U SPORTS Women’s Volleyball Championship Presented By Jason Rinaldi, respectively, will organize the national competitions for the first time in program history.
The hockey tournaments both get under way Thursday – at the Aitken University Centre in Fredericton, N.B. (men’s hockey) and the Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee, Ont., (women’s hockey), while the volleyball championships commence Friday at the Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton (men’s volleyball) and the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto (women’s volleyball).
Championship games are scheduled for 1 p.m. AT (12 p.m. ET) in men’s hockey, 4 p.m. ET in women’s volleyball, 7 p.m. ET in in women’s hockey and 6 p.m. MT (8 p.m. ET) in men’s volleyball. The semifinals (12 and 4 p.m. AT/11 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET Saturday) as well as the final of the University Cup will be broadcast live on Sportsnet 360 and SN Now.
NOTES: Complete championship previews will follow on Tuesday for men’s and women’s hockey, followed by men’s and women’s volleyball on Wednesday. The 2017 U SPORTS All-Canadian Awards galas are set for Wednesday evening for three of the four championships, with the men’s volleyball All-Canadian Awards breakfast scheduled for Thursday morning.
2017 U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Championship
(Strathcona Paper Centre, Napanee, Ont.)
Competing for their first Golden Path Trophy in program history, the No.1 UBC Thunderbirds (Canada West champions) are joined in Napanee, Ont., by the No.2 Guelph Gryphons (OUA champions), No.3 Saint Mary’s Huskies (AUS champions), No.4 McGill Martlets (RSEQ champions), No.5 StFX X-Women (AUS finalists), No.6 Alberta Pandas (Canada West finalists), No.7 Concordia Stingers (RSEQ finalists) and No.8 Queen’s Gaels (Hosts).
Quarterfinals on Thursday include McGill vs. StFX in the 3 p.m. ET opener, followed by UBC vs. host Queen’s at 7 p.m. ET. The action continues Friday, with Saint Mary’s vs. Alberta at 11 a.m. ET and Guelph vs. Concordia at 3 p.m. ET.
The Thunderbirds (23-4-1 regular season) were seeded No.1 for the first time after capturing their second straight Canada West championship, and third in the last five seasons. After losing Game 1 of the best-of-three final to Alberta 2-0, UBC rallied to take the final two games of the series, capped off by a 1-0 shutout on home ice.
Team (playoff finish: regular season record / playoff record)
1. UBC Thunderbirds (Canada West champions: 23-4-1 / 4-2)
2. Guelph Gryphons (OUA champions: 20-3-1 / 5-1)
3. Saint Mary’s Huskies (AUS champions: 18-3-3 / 4-2)
4. McGill Martlets (RSEQ champions: 16-4-0 / 4-1)
5. StFX X-Women (AUS finalists: 16-8-0 / 5-3)
6. Alberta Pandas (Canada West finalists: 21-4-3 / 3-2)
7. Concordia Stingers (RSEQ finalists: 10-9-1 / 2-2)
8. Queen’s Gaels (Hosts: 14-8-2 / 1-2)
SCHEDULE & RESULTS (All times ET)
Wednesday, March 15
6:30 p.m. 2017 U SPORTS Women’s Hockey All-Canadian Awards
Thursday, March 16
3:00 p.m. Quarter-final 1: No.4 McGill vs. No.5 StFX
7:00 p.m. Quarter-final 2: No.1 UBC vs No.8 Queen’s
Friday, March 17
11:00 a.m. Quarter-final 3: No.3 Saint Mary’s vs No.6 Alberta
3:00 p.m. Quarter-final 4: No. 2 Guelph vs. No. 7 Concordia
7:00 p.m. Consolation 1: Loser QF 1 vs. Loser QF 2
Saturday, March 18
11:00 a.m. Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. Loser QF 4
3:00 p.m. Semifinal 1: Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 2
7:00 p.m. Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4
Sunday, March 19
11:00 a.m. 5th-place game
3:00 a.m. Bronze
7:00 p.m. Final