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2017 U Sports Playoffs/University Cup (March 16th-19th in Fredericton, NB)

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04-04-2017, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by RED ARMY EAST View Post
The first year final was between Alberta and UNB, drawing under 4,000, but the city was blasted with a huge snowstorm on the same weekend, indeed a big factor. Like this year, that hit a couple of days prior to the event.
I thought that there was a better crowd than that, I guess my memory is not as good as it once was. I do remember the snow storm that hit Halifax, the drive home the next day was white knuckle the entire way.

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04-06-2017, 04:10 AM
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I suspect you will see Saskatoon hold off on bidding for it until Merlis Belsher Place is built. Despite getting huge crowds at what is now SaskTel Centre for games in the past, there is a new scheduling wrinkle that the arena has to deal with. The National Lacrosse League's Saskatchewan Rush play there and play basically alternating weekends with the Blades. The NLL season runs from January until June. The Rush sell out the building every game with crowds of over 15,000. I can't see the arena telling them to take a hike in the middle of their season, especially considering the Blades may somehow be in the playoffs then too.

The scuttlebutt in Saskatoon is that the new arena will host the University Cup. It will be far smaller in scale as Merlis Belsher Place is planned to hold 3,500. But from concept drawings it looks to be a fantastic facility. They are building a second pad for community use, so that could even be used as a practice rink during the tournament.

Either way it will be a far better rink than Rutherford Rink currently is. Complaining about walking on the concourse in Freddy Beach makes me laugh when I think of Rutherford. I was at game three of the Canada West Finals this year and that was the most packed I had ever seen it. They actually called it sold out, which that series was the first time I had ever heard them call a game sold out. I was lucky enough to snag a bench seat for the game. But had to get up to use the lone washroom during the second intermission and there were two rows of people standing along the upper walkway that is really about maybe 6 feet wide. Really, had there been a fire, most people would have died trying to get out. If you ever want to see what a rink built in 1929 was like, please come out to Saskatoon for a game.

The building itself is so small, that the Zamboni sits in a small garage section they built behind the boards. There is a portion of the boards that lifts like a garage door to allow the Zamboni in and out. It really is something to experience at least once.

It had been years since I went to a game there and forgot that you need to show up mid-afternoon to secure a centre ice spot or you won't be able to see the whole ice surface. After being jammed into Rutherford, Merlis Belsher Place will feel like a mansion.

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