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Fields Set for 2017 U SPORTS Hockey Championships

By Randy Lucenti on March 12, 2017

For the second year in a row, the St. FX X-Men are the Subway Atlantic University Sports (AUS) champions after knocking off regular season champion University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds in the finals. Both teams now advance to the U SPORTS men's hockey championship tournament taking place from March 16-19 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. (Lauren Tidd photo)

The fields have been set for the men's and women's U SPORTS (formerly CIS) national hockey championship tournaments taking place next weekend (March 16 to 19).

The final eight event for the men will take place in Fredericton, N.B., with the defending champion University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds as the host team.

Ironically, the regular season champions and top seeds in the three conferences all failed to add a playoff crown to their résumés prior to heading to the nationals.

The Reds ran away with the AUS regular season title but, for the second year in a row, fell to the No. 4 seeded St. FX X-Men in the conference final as the X-Men put it all together in the postseason, winning seven straight games including a two-game sweep of the Reds in the final.

Both teams, however, will be back in the national dance. Last season, the Reds claimed their sixth Canadian title with a 3-1 win and pay-back over those same X-Men.

The Reds and X-Men will be joined by a third AUS squad as the east plays host to the event. The Acadia Axemen earned that spot with a two-game upset of the St. Mary's Huskies in the consolation final.

The OUA will also be sending three representatives to New Brunswick.

The York Lions claimed the playoff title in Ontario/Quebec with a hard-fought 4-3 victory over the Queen's Gaels on Saturday (March 11) in the 106th Queen's Cup final. Both teams will head east for nationals.

The top-seeded McGill Redmen earned the third berth with a 6-3 victory over the Windsor Lancers in the bronze medal match.

Canada West will be represented by the University of Alberta Golden Bears and regular season champion Saskatchewan Huskies.

The Bears, who have won 15 national crowns and made 39 national championship appearances, upset the Huskies two games to one in the West finals.

The top seven women's teams in the country along with the host Queen's (Kinston) Gaels are heading to Napanee, Ont. for the U SPORTS championship tournament.

Joining the Gaels, who were eliminated in the first round of the Ontario playoffs by the Toronto Varsity Blues, from the OUA are the Guelph Gryphons who defended their Ontario title with a 4-1 win over the Nipissing (North Bay) Lakers in the McCaw Cup final on Saturday.

The St. Mary's Huskies downed the St. FX X-Women in the AUS final while the top-seeded University of British Columbia Thunderbirds got by the Alberta Pandas for the Canada West crown. All four finalists are now headed to Napanee.

The RSEQ division will be represented by Quebec champion McGill Martlets and runner-up Concordia Stingers.

The Montreal Carabins were the national champions in 2015-16 with an 8-0 drubbing of UBC in the final.

 

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By Randy Lucenti| March 12, 2017
Categories:  College
Keywords:  U Sports

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