Welcome to Weekend Watch, your weekly preview of all the best U SPORTS action that can’t be missed across Canada West, the OUA, RSEQ and AUS.
Calgary vs. Mount Royal
Men: Thursday, 6:00 p.m. ET / 3:00 p.m. PT
Women: Thursday, 8:45 p.m. ET / 5:45 p.m. PT
Canada West TV Presented by Co-Op
In one of the marquee events of the year, the city of Calgary will once again play host to the Crowchild Classic on Thursday night. The crosstown rivalry sees both the Calgary Dinos and Mount Royal Cougars men's and women's hockey teams square off in Canada West action at the Scotiabank Saddledome, home of the NHL’s Calgary Flames. The venue has played host to over 10,000 fans in each of the last four matchups, dating back to 2016.
However, this year features a notable change, with the women's game receiving the primetime slot for the first time in the Classic's history. It’s the first year of a new rotation that will see the games alternate start times each season, with the women receiving the late game in odd-numbered years. The Cougars women (11-13-0), who are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot, will attempt to snap the Dinos' two-game win-streak in the Classic. Meanwhile, playoff-bound Calgary (15-7-2) will look to improve their record to 6-2 all-time against Mount Royal in the event, which was introduced when the Cougars joined Canada West in the 2012-13 season.
On the men’s side, the teams will battle for third place in the Canada West conference. The No. 7 Dinos enter with a 16-6-2 record and 34 points, while the Cougars are 15-7-2 and just two points back. Calgary leads the all-time series 4-3, with the last four matchups all ending in dramatic fashion in overtime or a goal in the final minute.
All four teams will face off again Friday night, with the men playing at Calgary’s Father David Bauer Arena, while the women battle at Mount Royal’s Flames Community Arenas.
The Cougars and Dinos aren’t the only ones playing a significant contest this week, as the Western Mustangs (10-9-4) host the No. 9 Guelph Gryphons (15-5-5) at Budweiser Gardens – home of the OHL’s London Knights – in the Faceoff at the Forks. The event will mark Western’s first game in the venue in 10 years.
Meanwhile, the Laurier Golden Hawks beat the Waterloo Warriors 5-1 in the Battle of Waterloo on Wednesday, at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, home of the OHL Rangers.
Other key top matchups for the men include No. 1 UNB (22-4-0) @ No. 10 Acadia (18-7-1) in the AUS, and No. 6 UQTR (18-5-2) @ No. 3 Carleton (21-3-1) in the OUA, while on the women’s side No. 6 Montreal (7-5-4) visits crosstown rival No. 7 McGill (8-4-4) in the RSEQ and No. 8 Nipissing (13-5-1) hosts No. 9 York (13-6-1) in OUA action.
No. 3 Ottawa @ No. 9 Windsor / @ No. 7 Western
Friday / Saturday, 6:00 p.m. ET / 3:00 p.m. PT
After paying a visit to the No. 9 Windsor Lancers (13-3) on Friday, the top two teams in the OUA face off on Saturday when the No. 3 Ottawa Gee-Gees travel to London, Ont., to take on the No. 7 Western Mustangs. Both teams have a conference-best 15-2 record and are led by a number of veteran players.
For Ottawa, Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus, Katherine Follis, Tyra Blizzard and Angela Ribarich have had a key role in their success. The Gee-Gees are currently riding an 11-game winning streak. For the Mustangs, having fifth-year seniors Julia Curran and Madison Horst healthy has been key after both of them missed time last season due to injury. The Mustangs also added former Carleton Raven and 2018 U SPORTS Defensive Player of the Year Elizabeth Leblanc, former Simon Fraser forward Rachel Fradgley and new head coach Nate MacKibbon, formerly of the Mount Royal Cougars.
In other Top 10 action in the OUA, the No. 5 Carleton Ravens (13-4) will also visit Western and Windsor this weekend, while the No. 4 Ryerson Rams (13-4) host the No. 8 Brock Badgers (14-3) two days after their Shoot for the Cure night against McMaster.
Additional Shoot for the Cure hosts this weekend include UQAM, Laurentian, StFX, Regina, Cape Breton, and Queen’s
No. 2 Calgary @ / vs. No. 4 Alberta
Thursday, 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT
Saturday, 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT
Canada West TV Presented by Co-Op
The Battle of Alberta will be in full force this weekend on the hardwood, with the top two teams in Canada West locking horns in a showdown with national ranking implications.
The undefeated and No.2-ranked Calgary Dinos will put their 16-game win streak on the line in a home-and-home series with the No. 4 Alberta Golden Bears (15-1). Having won a national title in 2018, and finishing as runner-up last season, the Dinos are four games away from a perfect campaign for the second consecutive year. The last time Calgary lost a regular season game came back on Jan. 25, 2018, when they dropped a 91-89 overtime contest to the Lethbridge Pronghorns. Alberta, meanwhile, sits just two points behind Calgary for first in the CW standings, and if they sweep the weekend set will take sole possession of top spot with two games to go.
No. 9 Brandon @ No. 1 Trinity Western
Friday, 11:00 p.m. ET / 8:00 p.m. PT
Saturday, 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT
Canada West TV Presented by Co-Op
In their first head-to-head encounter since last season’s Canada West and U SPORTS championship matches, the No. 9 Brandon Bobcats (11-5) visit the No. 1 Trinity Western Spartans (17-1) for a weekend set. The Spartans – who lost the CW title in five sets last year before rebounding to sweep the national championship match – are coming off a back-to-back victories over No. 2 UBC last weekend. Meanwhile, the Bobcats lost a pair of games in Calgary to the No. 10 Dinos (9-7), and are eager to settle the score from last march in Langley, B.C.
The other Top 10 matchup this weekend sees Calgary visit No. 5 Alberta for a pair of matches.
Three conference championships take centre stage this weekend across the country in the pool, on the mats and on the ice, as the countdown to U SPORTS national events begins.
Starting in the east, the RSEQ Swimming Championships will be hosted by the Sherbrooke Vert & Or, while in Ontario, the No. 5 Guelph Gryphons men and No. 8 Gryphons women are set to host the OUA Wrestling Championships. Last season, Guelph won the OUA women’s team silver medal and finished fifth in the men’s completion.
Finally, the defending conference champion Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas host the Canada West Curling Championships.
The 2020 U SPORTS Winter Championships begin Feb. 20-22, with swimming hosted by the No. 4 Victoria Vikes and wrestling hosted by the reigning champion Brock Badgers in St. Catherines, Ont. The full schedule is available here.