Campus Life

U Sports Men’s National Hockey Championship comes to Lethbridge

It’s just the fourth time in the University of Lethbridge’s 51-year history that it will host a U Sports national championship, and the first time the country’s best men’s hockey programs will battle on Enmax Centre ice for the right to raise the David Johnston University Cup. Today, ticket sales opened for the prestigious U Sports Men’s National Hockey Championship tournament.

“This is such a great opportunity for our community, for Pronghorn Athletics and for the hockey fan in general,” says University of Lethbridge President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mike Mahon. “This championship dates back to 1963 and very rarely ventures into Alberta, so we’re thrilled to host such a high-calibre event and to welcome hockey fans from around the country to Lethbridge.”

The U Sports Men’s National Hockey Championship, March 14-17, 2019, has not been hosted in Alberta since 2006 and only then by the University of Alberta – four times over the last 33 years. The U of L Pronghorns, who won the University Cup in their lone championship appearance in Toronto in 1994, will join seven other programs in a single-elimination competition over the course of four exciting days.

"It’s hard to believe it has been 25 years since we pulled off that unimaginable run.  It's an accomplishment I’ll cherish forever and one I reflect on often," says Dana McKechnie, a key member of the 1994 national championship team and father of current Pronghorn Sam McKechnie. "So many people in the community and the University shared that experience with our team. I’m already seeing fellow alumni and community members begin to rally around this year’s team and the exciting opportunity they now have to host the national tournament. Even more special is the opportunity to watch our son Sam and this exciting group of talented players make a run at repeating the unthinkable."

Ticket packages for the tournament are now available at, with adult eight-game packages priced at $160, senior packages at $136 and youth/student packages at $100.

“With each team’s season riding on the result of every game, the intensity level is incredible and makes for amazing hockey,” says Ken McInnes, executive director of Sport and Recreation Services. “These players have all played at the highest levels throughout their youth careers and the majority are from Canadian Hockey League programs. They’re now mature young men and the quality of hockey is outstanding.”

The tournament format pits the country’s four regional conference champions (Canada West, OUA East, OUA West, AUS), the host Pronghorns and three assigned berths (Canada West runner-up, OUA third place, AUS runner-up) against one another. The first two days feature a pair of quarter-final games each, followed by Saturday’s semi-final contests and third-place and championship games on the concluding Sunday.

The championship weekend also features a visit from Rogers Hometown Hockey, a championship awards gala and associated community events.

The U of L Pronghorns men’s hockey team is back at home this weekend hosting the defending national champion University of Alberta Golden Bears. Game times are Friday at 7 p.m. at Nicholas Sheran Arena and Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Enmax Centre.