By Christie Melhorn January 26, 2018 —
Post-secondary students from across the city filled the Scotiabank Saddledome on Jan. 25, watching the University of Calgary Dinos and Mount Royal University Cougars go head-to-head in the sixth annual Crowchild Classic. With a large-scale setting and high attendance, the crosstown rivalry is a notorious night of rowdy but friendly competition.
This year’s sold-out game boasted strong support for both the Dinos and Cougars. Fans of both schools taunted and teased each other in the concourse between periods. Beer sloshed from plastic cups in rhythm with the flow of the games and the crunch of cheesy nachos spilled across the floor was silenced by yells from the stands.
While the majority of the crowd were either U of C or MRU students, the event’s allure and community-building effect reflected in the attendance of students and graduates from post-secondary institutions city-wide.
Breanna Scuh, who took petroleum land administration at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, and Kendra Sadowski, a graduate from MRU’s interior design program, say the Classic is a great opportunity to connect with friends and show school spirit.
“It’s a place a common interest,” Scuh said. “We want to come together and have a great night out. There’s a sense of community and healthy competition.”
“There’s a strong sense of pride and standing up for your school. You want your pride to be bigger than the other school’s,” Sadowski said.
Second-year U of C film studies major Avery Bollenbach highlighted how the event also exposes students to the value of university athletics.
“It’s a great way of bringing importance to sports. I actually played on the U of C fastball team last year and our whole team came out to show support,” Bollenbach said. “I don’t know any of the [Dinos hockey] players but it’s a great experience for them as well.”
First-year MRU bachelor of child studies student Kayla Oschipak and first-year Alberta College of Art and Design student Taylor Irving agreed that the event was successful but could be made more accessible to MRU and U of C students.
“This year, it seemed like everyone was struggling with tickets,” Oschipak said. “Students at either Mount Royal or U of C should get first priority.”
“It seemed like they could have fit in way more people. That would have really amped up the rivalry and energy,” Irving said.
Those in attendance at least brought high energy, consistently delivering deafening shouts of excitement and fun, snappy insults. Fourth-year MRU public relations student Morgan Guo sported a puffy blue wig and dark-blue face paint to compliment his Cougars jersey. He noted the strong camaraderie felt throughout the evening.
“My hands are getting sore! Everyone who passes me gets a high five,” he said. “Everyone’s been really nice and polite. I haven’t seen anyone be rude, even if they’re cheering for a different team. [The Classic] is when everyone gets together, regardless of background and beliefs. Sports really bring people together. ”
While the Dinos women’s and men’s team took the Classic 1–0 and 6–5 respectively, MRU and U of C fans took the Dome with equal vigour. While dodging slurring, stumbling students while walking out of the arena became exhausting, the Classic showcased genuine and animated school spirit that we should bring to more university games.
Both Dinos hockey teams have the chance to continue their winning streak against the Cougars with games tonight at 7 p.m. The women’s team play on MRU’s ice while the men skate on home territory at Father David Bauer Arena. Students receive free admission and can come and go at their leisure.
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