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Louie Villanueva

Crosstown rivalry spills off the ice at Crowchild Classic

By Queenie Cagulada, January 26 2016 —

The rivalry between the University of Calgary Dinos and Mount Royal University Cougars was hard to miss at the fourth annual Crowchild Classic on Jan. 21. Fans from both institutions decked themselves out in team colours and packed the Saddledome.

With a record-breaking turnout of 12,859, there was no mistaking the fact that fans from both universities took the event seriously.  And in addition to the exciting on-ice action that took place, the off-ice battle of school pride played a significant role in generating the event’s remarkable energy.

Students at the event weren’t shy about sounding off when asked why their campus reigned supreme.

“MacHall is probably better, the food is probably better. The guys are probably better, the girls are probably better,” U of C student Cory Cameron said. “I can’t even think of one thing that’s not probably better.”

Mount Royal’s fans weren’t convinced. The Cougars faithful came out in full support of their team, filling their side of the arena early on while donning face-paint, holding handmade ‘#beatUofC’ signs and even — in one very odd case — showing up adorned with a real cougar fur.

Mount Royal student Sajan Jabbal claimed the die-hard support for his club was warranted.

“Mount Royal, they just have a better team,” said Jabbal. “They’re more athletic, just overall — they’re better. They’re going to win. And the school is better too.”

While the Cougars were eventually swept in both games by the Dinos men’s and women’s hockey teams, there was one area Mount Royal may have actually been better — holding their liquor. U of C student Hayden McBennett found that out the hard way.

“I haven’t ever been to one before now,” said McBennett, when asked about her favourite Crowchild Classic memory. “But being puked on — that was definitely not one of them.”

“And it was a Dinos fan,” McBennett continued. “We’re excited for a win — I support that. I get behind that. But don’t puke on me, man.”

Despite the occasional mishap, the night was an undeniable success for all involved. With nearly 13,000 students, alumni and faculty filling the Saddledome to cheer on their teams and break a few CIS records, the evening’s electric atmosphere managed to rival the games of the Saddledome’s usual tenants, the NHL’s Calgary Flames.

With the annual event growing rapidly with each passing year, the crosstown rivalry is sure to continue thriving, meaning students from both universities can look forward to a bigger and better Crowchild Classic next year.

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