Four years and four record crowds; each one bigger than the last.
The Crowchild Classic has quickly become a must-attend event in Calgary, especially for Mount Royal University and University of Calgary students.
Thursday night was no exception, with 12,859 people filling the Scotiabank Saddledome for the fourth annual classic. That shatters the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) men’s hockey regular season attendance record of 8,882, which was set at last year’s event.
That crowd of close to 13,000 fans witnessed a Calgary Dinos sweep over the Mount Royal Cougars in two very entertaining hockey games.
Dinos rookie Rylee Smith scored the winning goal for the women as they beat Mount Royal 3-2 in the first game.
The men’s game needed overtime, where fifth-year forward Max Ross was the hero, scoring his second goal of the game in double overtime, much to the delight of all the fans wearing red.
Both the Dinos and Cougars players hope exposure like this will mean more support for university hockey the rest of the year.
“I think it brings the whole city together more, getting people out to games,” fifth year Mount Royal player, Janessa Jenkins, said.
“Any support for any CIS team is really beneficial.”
The game was also the best-attended game between two CIS teams ever, surpassing the 1968 national championship game at the Montreal Forum.
The Cougars and Dinos will meet again Saturday night.
The women will play at Flames Community Arenas while the men play at Father David Bauer Arena. Both games are at 7 p.m.