TORONTO (U SPORTS) – 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.
Remaining games from all competitions will be webcast on USPORTS.LIVE.
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 men's and women's hockey, Thursday evening for women's volleyball, with the men’s volleyball All-Canadian Awards breakfast scheduled for Thursday morning.
2017 U SPORTS Cavendish Farms University Cup
(Aitken Centre, University of New Brunswick)
Looking for their 16th University Cup title and third national banner since 2014, the No.1 Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West champions) are joined in Fredericton by the No.2 StFX X-Men (AUS champions) No.3 York Lions (OUA champions), No.4 Queen’s Gaels (OUA finalists), No.5 UNB Varsity Reds (AUS finalists/hosts), No.6 Saskatchewan Huskies (Canada West finalists), No.7 McGill Redmen (OUA bronze medalists), and No.8 Acadia Axemen (AUS bronze medalists).
Thursday’s quarter-final matchups include Alberta vs. Acadia in the 1 p.m. AT opener, followed by Queen’s vs. host UNB at 7 p.m. AT. The other quarterfinals are set for Friday, with York vs. Saskatchewan at 1 p.m. AT, as well as StFX vs. McGill at 7 p.m., AT.
The Golden Bears (18-8-2 regular season), earned their fourth No.1 seed in the last five years, after reclaiming the Canada West banner over Saskatchewan with a 6-3 victory in Game 3 of the conference championship.
Team (playoff finish: regular season record / playoff record)
1. Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West champions: 18-8-2 / 4-1)
2. StFX X-Men (AUS champions: 16-12-2 / 7-0)
3. York Lions (OUA champions: 18-6-4 / 7-1)
4. Queen’s Gaels (OUA finalists: 18-7-3 / 6-3)
5. UNB Varsity Reds (AUS finalists/hosts: 25-2-3 / 3-3)
6. Saskatchewan Huskies (Canada West finalists: 21-5-2 / 3-2)
7. McGill Redmen (OUA bronze medalists: 21-4-3 / 5-2)
8. Acadia Axemen (AUS bronze medalists: 20-8-2 / 2-3)
SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times AT)
Wednesday, March 15
5:30 p.m. 2017 U SPORTS Men’s Hockey All-Canadian Awards
Thursday, March 16
1:00 p.m. Quarter-final 1: No.1 Alberta vs. No. 8 Acadia (USPORTS.LIVE)
7 p.m. Quarter-final 2: No.4 Queen’s vs. No. 5 UNB (USPORTS.LIVE)
Friday, March 17
1 p.m. Quarter-final 3: No.3 York vs. No. 6 Saskatchewan (USPORTS.LIVE)
7 p.m. Quarter-final 4: No.2 StFX vs. No.7 McGill (USPORTS.LIVE)
Saturday, March 18
12 p.m. Semifinal 1: Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 2 (Sportsnet 360/SN Now)
4 p.m. Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4 (Sportsnet 360/SN Now)
Sunday, March 19
9:30 a.m. Bronze (USPORTS.LIVE)
1:00 p.m. Final (Sportsnet 360/SN Now)