U Sports hockey championships cancelled due to COVID-19 outbreak

Members of the Guelph Gryphons celebrate the first U Sports women's hockey title in school history. (U Sports)

The men’s and women’s Canadian university hockey championships were cancelled Thursday night due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

U Sports announced the cancellation after two quarterfinal games had been played on both the men’s and women’s sides.

The women’s tournament was happening in Charlottetown while the men were in Halifax.

The announcement to halt the tournament came about an hour after Hockey Canada announced it was cancelling all its sanctioned events, including national championships.

"As proud partner of Hockey Canada, we understand how difficult a decision this was to make," said Lisette Johnson-Stapley, U SPORTS Chief Sport Officer. "We understand the disappointment felt by our student-athletes, coaches, officials and wonderful hosts however the decision was made with the best interest of all participants in mind."

The Mount Royal Cougars beat the University of Toronto 2-1 in overtime to open the women’s tournament. St. FX needed overtime to edge the sixth-ranked Montreal Carabins 3-2 in another quarterfinal Thursday night.

On the men’s side, the seventh-seeded Western Mustangs upset the No. 2 Saskatchewan Huskies 3-2 and the Saint Mary’s Huskies after they defeated the No. 3 Guelph Gryphons 5-1.

Two more quarterfinals on each side were scheduled for Friday while the semifinals and finals were scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

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