The Odyssey Trust, owners of the Belfast Giants and the SSE Arena, have confirmed the NCAA Division One ice hockey teams who will take part in the Northern Irish Connections Friendship Four tournaments in 2017 and 2018.
Belfast City Council’s Sister City agreement with Boston has played a vital role in helping to host this prestigious tournament since 2015 and also to see it’s return for the next two years.
The announcement was made on Friday from Boston’s historic Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox Major League Baseball team, during the ‘Frozen Fenway’ outdoor tournament.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and Clarkson University from the ECAC Hockey Conference, along with Providence College and the University of Maine from the Hockey East Conference will make up the 2017 competition on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th November.
ECAC’s Yale University and Union College will join Hockey East’s Boston University and University of Connecticut for the 2018 tournament to be held on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th November 2018.
Eric Porter, Chairman of the Odyssey Trust, said: “We are incredibly thankful to Northern Irish Connections, the Belfast City Council and it’s Sister City partnership who will help to make the 2017 and 2018 events a huge success.
“The event is a great boost to the local economy with a great deal of positive media coverage for Belfast from across the world.
“We want to make the Friendship Four in 2017 and 2018 open to all and we expect that the city of Belfast will, yet again, open it’s arms to our US guests as well as be excited to see this standard of ice hockey return to their home arena again for two more years.”
(Image permission: Press Eye)