By: Dan Timen

The University of Prince Edward Island has been selected to host the U SPORTS national event for women’s hockey in 2019 and 2020. This will be the first time UPEI has hosted U SPORTS nationals for women’s hockey.

Bruce Donaldson, the UPEI women’s hockey team coach met with The Cadre earlier this month to discuss how the event came together. Donaldson explained that every two years U SPORTS sets up a bidding process, allowing institutions to apply to host certain championships.

“We applied two years ago,” said Donaldson, “but we weren’t successful. A new bid package came out from U SPORTS in September, so we put a package together with the City of Charlottetown and submitted it.”

Donaldson said they were asked to present their package, which he did alongside UPEI director of athletics Chris Huggan and Ron Annear. He explained that U SPORTS decides who gets selected and then determines whether they host for a single year or two years back-to-back.

“We were very fortunate that we got it for both years,” said Donaldson. “We’re quite excited about that.”

Despite their excitement, Donaldson explained that they had to keep everything under wraps before U SPORTS made the announcement.

“I always say it’s an honour to just be playing at this level” said Donaldson. “The goal is to win an AUS championship and then go to the nationals. In this case we get to host not one, but two years.”

Donaldson says the women’s hockey team has quite a journey in front of them. “We need to be better as a team,” he said. “In the last two years we’ve been in the playoffs but bounced after the first round. The reality is, you want to earn your way in here as well. The girls are really looking forward to that challenge.”

Donaldson believes hosting the championships will be a great opportunity for the entire hockey community in Charlottetown.

“For Charlottetown, PEI, it’s huge because they’re gonna see some the best teams in the country.”

Previous U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Championship Hosts (champions)
2018 Western University (March 15–18, 2018)
2017 Queen’s University (Alberta)
2016 University of Calgary (Montreal)
2015 University of Calgary (Western)
2014 St. Thomas University (McGill)
2013 University of Toronto (Montreal)
2012 University of Alberta (Calgary)
2011 Wilfrid Laurier University (McGill)
2010 St. Francis Xavier University (Alberta)
2009 St. Francis Xavier University (McGill)
2008 University of Ottawa (McGill)
2007 University of Ottawa (Alberta)
2006 St. Francis Xavier University (Alberta)
2005 McGill University (Laurier)
2004 McGill University (Alberta)
2003 University of Regina (Alberta)
2002 University of Regina (Alberta)
2001 University of Calgary (Toronto)
2000 Concordia University (Alberta)
1999 University of Toronto (Concordia)
1998 Concordia University (Concordia)

Photo: UPEI