The first annual Friendship Four and Festival of STEM culminated on Saturday night at The SSE Arena, Belfast, with the UMass Lowell River Hawks, ranked fourth overall in NCAA Division One, becoming the first ever winners of the Belpot Trophy.
UMass won the tournament after a dramatic shoot-out against the Brown University Bears. Colgate Raiders and the Northeastern Huskies were the other teams to take part.
Steve Thornton, Belfast’s Hockey Operations Manager, said: “Our first annual Friendship Four was a huge success thanks to our partners including Citi, U.S. State Departments Office of Global Partnerships, The Belfast City Council, The Department of Education and Learning, Sport NI, Tourism NI, Tourism Ireland and Aer Lingus.
“Over 20,000 fans at The SSE Arena, Belfast including thousands of young people from schools and youth groups throughout Northern Ireland as well as many more on TV throughout the USA and Canada watched a world first on Thanksgiving weekend – NCAA hockey playing competitive games outside the USA for the first time.”
“We are already planning for the Friendship Four to return in 2016, with information on participating teams and ticketing being confirmed in due course.”
(Image permission: Andy Gibson)