Varsity Cup On Ice

Just received word that one of the country's most prestigious annual university hockey tournaments has been iced.

The Lakehead Thunderwolves have apparently cut the TBayTel Varsity Cup from its winter schedule, citing "financial reasons."

Too bad. And, quite frankly, shocking. Especially given the fact university hockey is all but religion in the northern city of Thunder Bay, whose closest pro hockey franchise is the Minnesota Wild. Not to mention the NBA and NFL also are in Minnesota.

The cancellation comes on the heels of Lakehead winning last season's Varsity Cup and hosting the national championship and after the team finished ranked 10th in the country.

Instead of hosting some of the country's best hockey teams during the Christmas break, the T-Wolves will play the Saskatchewan Huskies and Manitoba Bisons toward the end of December. No word yet on where those games will take place.
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  1. Lakehead won the Varsity Cup ????

  2. They did:

    You might be confusing it with the University Cup:

  3. According to Lakehead's website the Thunderwolves will host Saskatchewan on December 4-5. Manitoba plays at Lakehead on December 29-30. It's a shame that the Varsity Cup has been cancelled, but these should be some good games.

  4. Financial reasons without question must have played the biggest part in this decision. Lakehead secured great sponsors allowing for them to attract teams to travel all the way to Thunder Bay and without those sponsors it simply couldn't happen. I think it's very possible this tourney starts up again once the Nationals have moved onto UNB. It's an expensive proposition putting any tournament on,and it can't be expected that the same sponsors will support the National tournament and this tourney when times are tough - for the most part the Varsity Cup had the same major sponsors as the Nationals - look no further than TBaytel. There's only so much money to go around and the Nationals are getting first dibs which makes sense since that tournament is nationally televised, making sponsoring that event a better bang for the advertising buck. When those three teams meet it will feature one team bound for nationals at the very least, Lakehead who will host, but it in all likely hood will feature a second team bound for Thunder Bay. Saskatchewan and Manitoba finished second and third in the Canada West during the regular season last year - so it would be no shock that one of these two teams earns one of the two berths from the Canada West to the Nationals next season.