MacEwan and NAIT to battle Oilers rookies
Rival schools team up to take on home team hopefuls
A cross-town rivalry that’s been going on for decades will be set aside for one night as the MacEwan Griffins and NAIT Ooks team up to take on the Edmonton Oilers’ top rookie prospects on September 13 at Rogers Place.
The last time the two teams met, the Griffins took home the ACAC championship in a heated best-of-three series. But this game is different – the rivals will be on the same side, playing for bragging rights over their NHL opponents. “This is an amazing opportunity for MacEwan University to partner with the Oilers and NAIT,” said MacEwan’s president Deborah Saucier. “We’re looking forward to being a part of an event that will be a wonderful experience for hockey fans and our students.”
It won’t be the first time the teams play at Rogers Place—both the Griffins and Ooks played test games at the arena before it opened in 2016. The venue is also close to home for the Griffins, who, along with the Griffins women’s hockey team, play their home games at the adjacent Downtown Community Rink.
“Everyone’s really excited about it,” said Griffins men’s hockey interim head coach Mike Ringrose. “The players had heard the rumour flying about and were really excited about it. It’s an opportunity for them to compete against some of the best up-and-coming players in the world.”
Future Griffins need not fear they’ve missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The game is set to become an annual event. “I think it’s great for the program. It’s going to be great for recruiting in the future,” said Mike. “Having the opportunity to play in this game is certainly something people will consider when they’re choosing a program to spend their university career with.”
The combined team will include six forwards, three defencemen and one goaltender from each school, selected by Mike and NAIT head coach Tim Fragle.
Tickets go on sale to the public Thursday, August 24 at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets are general admission and are priced at $20 each plus applicable fees.