U Sports men's ice hockey

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U Sports men's ice hockey
FormerlyCIAU men's ice hockey,
CIS men's ice hockey
SportIce hockey
FoundedSeptember 1, 1961
First Championship 1962–63
No. of teams35
Most recent
UNB Reds (9th title)
Most titlesAlberta Golden Bears
(16, 28% of 57 UCups)
TV partner(s)Sportsnet
TVA Sports
Official websiteU Sports men's ice hockey

U Sports men's ice hockey is the highest level of play of men's ice hockey at the university level under the auspices of U Sports, Canada's governing body for university sports. As these players compete at the university level, they are obligated to follow the rule of standard eligibility of five years.

University hockey teams in Canada compete in leagues as part of U Sports, the national governing body for Canadian university athletics. (In Canadian English, the term "college" is reserved for schools that would be called "junior", "community", or "technical" colleges in the U.S. Such schools' athletics programs are overseen by the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association.) U Sports sponsors both men's and women's hockey. Like in the United States, teams compete in athletic conferences based on geographical locations of the schools. Individual conferences hold postseason tournaments, followed by the round-robin U Sports Championship tournament in late March.


Windsor Lancers goalie in CIS playoff game (February 16, 2012)

The Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union was established in 1961 by Major W.J. McLeod, Athletic Director of the Royal Military College of Canada.[1][2] By the 1962-63 season, the CIAU had created a National Championship for their ice hockey playoffs: the David Johnston University Cup.

The first ever national championship was competed for in Kingston, Ontario between the UBC Thunderbirds and the McMaster Marlins. The Marlins won the game 3-2.

The CIAU had competition in Canadian post-secondary varsity hockey at a national level, but rivalries only existed on an exhibition basis. The Canadian Colleges Athletic Association, now Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association, held national championships between 1975 and 2001. At one time, seven conferences in the CCAA sanctioned hockey, but only two do today — the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference and the Quebec Student Sport Federation (now known by its French initialism of RSEQ).

In 1978, the governing body of the league changed its name to the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union. The body's name was changed in 2001 to Canadian Interuniversity Sport, and most recently in 2016, to the current U Sports.

The most successful team in U Sports history is the Alberta Golden Bears with 16 David Johnston University Cup titles, winning 28% of all championships awarded to date. This is followed by the Toronto Varsity Blues with 10 (last in 1984) and the UNB Reds with 8 (last in 2019). The reigning champions are the UNB Reds, who defeated the Alberta Golden Bears 4-2 in Lethbridge, Alberta in March 2019.

On April 4, 2016, St. Thomas University announced the discontinuation of their men's hockey program, reducing the teams participating in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference to seven.[3]

On August 12, 2016, Kori Cheverie was announced as an assistant coach for the Ryerson Rams men’s ice hockey team, making her the first female full-time assistant coach in U Sports men’s hockey history.[4]

The MacEwan Griffins and Trinity Western Spartans joined the Canada West conference beginning with the 2020-21 season.[5][6] However, the Lethbridge Pronghorns announced the discontinuation of their hockey programs following the 2019-20 season due to budgetary constraints.[7] Furthermore, following the cancellation of the 2020–21 season, the Laurentian Voyageurs discontinued their men's ice hockey program in 2021 leaving U Sports with 35 men's ice hockey teams.[8]


Atlantic University Sport[edit]

Canada West Universities Athletic Association[edit]

Ontario University Athletics[edit]

UOIT Ridgebacks warming up for an exhibition game in Fall 2013.



Guelph Gryphons and Windsor Lancers square-off during 2012-13 season.

Annual awards[edit]

The following are annual U Sports trophies and awards:[9]



  1. ^ Knowles 2000, p. 72.
  2. ^ "History of CIS". Archived from the original on 2012-01-30. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
  3. ^ "St. Thomas University in Fredericton cuts its men's hockey team". CBC.ca. 2016-04-04.
  4. ^ "Rams announce Cheverie as new assistant coach". Ryerson Rams athletics. 2016-08-12. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-08-24.
  5. ^ "BCIHL announces official cancellation for remainder of 2019-20 season". Trinity Western Spartans. 2020-03-12. Archived from the original on 2020-03-19. Retrieved 2020-05-02.
  6. ^ "Griffins hockey teams look back fondly on ACAC tenure as they prepare to move into Canada West". MacEwan Griffins. 2020-04-09. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
  7. ^ "Lethbridge exits Canada West hockey". Canada West. April 20, 2020.
  8. ^ "Changes in Varsity Sports". Laurentian Voyageurs. April 14, 2021.
  9. ^ "McGill's Picard-Hooper named player of the year - CIS English". Archived from the original on 2014-03-17. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
  • Knowles, Steve (2000), "Canadian University Hockey", in Diamond, Dan (ed.), Total Hockey (Second ed.), pp. 69–78, ISBN 1-892129-85-X

External links[edit]