Friendship Four lands in Belfast again

Clarkson Golden Knights won last year's Friendship Four in Belfast (PHOTO: William Cherry/Press Eye)

For the fourth year in a row, the Friendship Four returns to Belfast where four teams from the NCAA will compete.

Boston University, Union College, the University of Connecticut (UConn) and Yale will hit the ice of the SSE Arena in a bid to become the best of the bunch.

And Friendship Four project manager Shane Johnson is keen to make the tournament even bigger in years to come as popularity grows.

He told the Belfast Telegraph: “We’re in a fortunate situation where we have another 40 universities plus who haven’t been here and can still come. There are plenty we can approach about coming over in the future.

“We don’t want to stand still about the tournament and we want to make it bigger each year.

“Plus we don’t want to make it all about the hockey either. The hockey is the excuse to do other great things, like the teams visiting schools around the Belfast area.

“We’ve got students from the universities meeting up with students from universities here to get them to study internationally and we’re working with businesses in Northern Ireland with links in America to try and do things for them.

“We’re trying to expand the tournament to make it bigger and better each year.”

Yale face off against Union College in the earlier game, facing off at 3pm while Boston University will meet UConn at 7pm with a place in Saturday’s final at stake.

The two losing semi finalists will meet at 3pm on Saturday with a 7pm start for the final for the two successful teams from Friday.

All of the games are competitive, with Friday’s game both hotly contested conference match-ups, while Saturday’s doubleheader will also count towards the teams’ overall record at the end of the season.

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