Hockey

Halifax hosts CIS men’s hockey tournament this weekend

8 university teams from across Canada to compete at the Scotiabank Centre

Saint Mary's Huskies and St. FX X-Men to represent Nova Scotia in the University Cup.
Saint Mary’s Huskies and St. FX X-Men to represent Nova Scotia in the University Cup.   Stefanie Davis

This weekend, hockey players from across the country will flood downtown Halifax.

The 2016 CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) University Cup men’s hockey championship kicks off on Thursday at the Scotiabank Centre.

The Saint Mary’s Huskies are the hosts for this year’s tournament. They’re ranked as the eighth (and last place) team.

“It’s obviously a great opportunity,” said Huskies head coach Trevor Stienburg. “We’re the eighth team so we’re not dumb to the realities of it, but we’re confident.”

Stienburg said his team is looking forward to the weekend and that playing on home ice should be helpful.

“We’ll have some fans in front of us. It’s always going to help to have that seventh player on the ice. But we have to do this ourselves,” he said.

The St. Francis Xavier X-men will also represent Nova Scotia. They finished the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) season in second place. They’re ranked third going into the championship.

The eight teams are ranked as follows:

  1. UQTR Patriotes
  2. Saskatchewan Huskies
  3. St. Francis Xavier X-Men
  4. Western Mustangs
  5. UNB Varsity Reds
  6. Alberta Golden Bears
  7. Carleton Ravens
  8. Saint Mary’s Huskies

The two Nova Scotia teams will each face a tough match in the quarterfinals.

St. FX will play two-time defending CIS champions the Alberta Golden Bears on Thursday at 8 p.m.

Saint Mary’s will play the first ranked team, the UQTR Patriotes, on Friday at 8 p.m.

Show of support

Both the Huskies and X-men should see a lot of support from fans, based on what fans are sharing on social media already.

People are taking to Twitter to show their excitement for the national championship.