Source: Ben Matchett, Dinos Athletics / Photo credit David Moll
CALGARY – If it wasn't already, the Crowchild Classic is now officially one of the marquee events on the annual Canadian Interuniversity Sport calendar.
Thursday night, the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University packed a total of 12,859 fans into the Scotiabank Saddledome, breaking the CIS men's hockey regular season attendance record of 8,882, set at last year's event. The game was also the best-attended game between two CIS teams ever, surpassing the 1968 national championship game between Alberta and Loyola at the Montreal Forum.
In the first installment of the rivalry game in 2012, the Crowchild Classic broke a 42-year-old Canada West record, and in just four short years the game has become a fixture on the Calgary sports scene.
The previous CIS record was set in 2007 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, when 5,346 saw McGill take on Concordia. The Crowchild Classic now holds the top three attendances in CIS men's hockey regular season play
The event consisted of a doubleheader in women's and men's hockey between the Dinos and Cougars. Both schools had excellent turnouts from students, staff, faculty, and alumni, capping the Crowchild Classic – an annual competition between the two universities.
The night was possible thanks the generous support of the Calgary Flames and the Flames, who gave the Dinos and Cougars the opportunity to play in an NHL facility with the full Flames entertainment experience.
"We are thrilled to host these games at the Scotiabank Saddledome for another year. We value our commitment to amateur sports and our relationship with both of these institutions," said Candice Goudie, Executive Director of the Flames Foundation. "This was an electric evening with unbelievable school spirit and support of this community of people. We are honoured to be a part of it."
"The atmosphere and the pride from both institutions is incredible," said Mount Royal Athletic Director Karla Karch. "We really want to thank the Flames for this opportunity and for putting on such an incredible event. We had such great support from student and the city of Calgary tonight."
"This was another outstanding event for our two schools and our city," said Christine Stapleton, director of athletics at the University of Calgary. "We cannot thank the Calgary Flames, the Flames Foundation, and the Scotiabank Saddledome enough for their support. Our fans and the city of Calgary saw two great hockey games tonight, and it was a fabulous atmosphere to showcase the best of CIS hockey."
The Dinos and Cougars wrap up their weekend series Friday night. The men's teams will play at Father David Bauer Arena, with the women's teams facing off at Flames Community Arenas. Both games start at 7 p.m.
About the Crowchild Classic
The Crowchild Classic is an annual competition between the University of Calgary Dinos and the Mount Royal University Cougars in CIS regular season games across the sports of basketball, hockey, soccer, and volleyball. Each year, the school that wins the most games in the series is awarded 'The Medal' – a 68-kilogram cast iron City of Calgary manhole cover. For more information, visit www.crowchildclassic.ca.