The Top University Hockey Towns, Rated


It’s almost time for the U Sport National Championships! Whether you’re a university player, alum, or simply a huge fan, you know that hockey creates a sense of community and pride for everyone involved. In the spirit of the season and any trips you may be making to these hot spots to catch the final games, we’re rating the best university hockey towns in Canada. Remember that jersey in your carry-on!

To help with ratings, we broke it down by a few different categories.

🏆 – The Winning Those Cups category is all about championships big and small

🍻 – The Clinking the Drinks category is awarded for nearby sports bars and nightlife

🎊 – The Fans Going Wild category is based on social followers who obsess over the team

🌲 – The Enjoying the Views category is awarded for the loveliest campuses where the games take place

 

University of Alberta

Edmonton, AB

If you follow university hockey, there’s no need to explain why University of Alberta made the list. Three University Cups in the past 10 years for men’s hockey, and two Golden Path Trophies for women’s hockey pretty much tells you everything you need to know—which is, if you’re playing against the Pandas or the Golden Bears, you’re probs going lose. Hey, it’s just how good they are. If you’re in Edmonton, make some time to see the latest victory.


Winning Those Cups: 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆

Clinking the Drinks: 🍻 🍻 🍻

Fans Going Wild: 🎊 🎊 🎊 🎊

Enjoying the Views: 🌲 🌲 🌲


 

University of New Brunswick

Fredericton, NB

It’s the kind of school where opponents might as well surrender as soon as they place a skate on the ice. The University of New Brunswick isn’t fooling around when it comes to greatness. In the past 10 years, the men’s hockey team has won five University Cups. Five! And not that the school needs any extra points for anything else, but you can’t help but admire how lovely this Fredericton campus really is. The red and white buildings look like something out of a movie. Lovely and brawny? That’s one winning combination.


Winning Those Cups: 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆

Clinking the Drinks: 🍻 🍻 🍻

Fans Going Wild: 🎊 🎊 🎊

Enjoying the Views: 🌲 🌲 🌲 🌲 🌲


 

McGill University

Montreal, QC

McGill fans are loud, loyal, and likely cheering at a game as we speak. In terms of numbers alone, McGill’s athletics page has one of the highest number of Facebook fans in the country, with over 9,060 likes. Though when you think about it, it’s not that surprising. The women’s hockey team has won three Golden Path Trophies in the past 10 years alone (go Martlets!). The men’s hockey team isn’t too shabby either, with one University Cup in the same timeframe. In addition to wins and fans, the university is close to a number of sports bars for celebrating all of those victories. Basically, rather than mess with McGill, you might as well celebrate with them.


Winning Those Cups: 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆

Clinking the Drinks: 🍻 🍻 🍻 🍻 🍻

Fans Going Wild: 🎊 🎊 🎊 🎊

Enjoying the Views: 🌲 🌲 🌲 🌲


 

Lakehead University

Thunder Bay, ON

Here’s something that caught our attention: the Lakehead University hockey Facebook page has over 3,900 likes. Nearly every other school had a majority of their likes for general athletics or the university as a whole, but the fans in this place are all about those hockey sticks. And maybe some of that enthusiasm is spilling onto the ice. The women’s hockey team became the first Canadian team to ever join the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), and then went on to win the Division 2 2017 National Championship. If you’re in the Thunder Bay area, make a stop for a game. The hockey in this city is definitely on the rise.


Winning Those Cups: 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆

Clinking the Drinks: 🍻 🍻 🍻

Fans Going Wild: 🎊 🎊 🎊 🎊

Enjoying the Views: 🌲 🌲 🌲


 

Brock University

St. Catharines, ON

Here’s something you may not have heard: Brock University’s mascot is award-winning. Two university students created the #WeAreReady campaign, which put a spotlight on the athletics department as a whole and brought the community together. The campaign—and Boomer the Badger mascot—won honours at the Ontario University Athletics Awards for excellence. Team spirit so good it wins marketing trophies? Nicely done.


Winning Those Cups: 🏆 🏆

Clinking the Drinks: 🍻 🍻 🍻

Fans Going Wild: 🎊 🎊 🎊 🎊 🎊

Enjoying the Views: 🌲 🌲 🌲


 

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS 

Speaking of really good mascots, St. Francis Xavier University teams may just have the coolest names around. When you’re playing hockey against the X-Men and X-Women, do you really think you have a chance to win against those super powers? It could be why the athletic department gets so much love from fans. Despite being on the small side of universities (at around 5,000 students), the sports page has over 4,850 likes.


Winning Those Cups: 🏆 🏆

Clinking the Drinks: 🍻 🍻

Fans Going Wild: 🎊 🎊 🎊 🎊

Enjoying the Views: 🌲 🌲 🌲 🌲


 

Concordia University

Montreal, QC

There’s something thrilling about neighbourhood rivalry, which brings us to Concordia University and McGill. Located only a bike ride from each other, there’s always a lot of love and competition between them. When it comes to hockey, Concordia is nipping at McGill’s heels. Their fan following is only a few less than McGills at roughly 8,200 likes, and the women’s hockey team was crowned conference champions for the 2016-2017 season. And, with all the dozens of bars around the Montreal area, you can count on Stingers fans and Martlet/Redmen fans clinking glasses at the same spot.


Winning Those Cups: 🏆 🏆

Clinking the Drinks: 🍻 🍻 🍻 🍻 🍻

Fans Going Wild: 🎊 🎊 🎊 🎊

Enjoying the Views: 🌲 🌲 🌲 🌲


 

Western University of Canada

London, ON

Have you seen Western University of Canada? Goodness, that’s one epic campus. And it makes perfect sense that a place this grand has a solid hockey tradition. The women’s hockey team in particular are U Sport national champions and the athletic team has a social following of nearly12,300 likes. If you’re making a trip to London, Ontario, any time soon, this is one pretty spot to visit for a game.


Winning Those Cups: 🏆 🏆 🏆

Clinking the Drinks: 🍻 🍻 🍻

Fans Going Wild: 🎊 🎊 🎊 🎊 🎊

Enjoying the Views: 🌲 🌲 🌲 🌲 🌲


 

Red Deer College

Red Deer, AB

Surprised to see Red Deer College amongst the greats? Well, it just so happens that Red Deer’s women’s hockey team is making noise with all of their recent wins. In the past five years alone, the ladies have won bronze, silver, and gold at the Alberta College Athletic Conference (ACAC) Championships. Oh, and after you watch the next victory, there are plenty of Red Deer sports bars close by to toast to the win.

 


Winning Those Cups: 🏆 🏆 🏆

Clinking the Drinks: 🍻 🍻 🍻 🍻

Fans Going Wild: 🎊 🎊 🎊

Enjoying the Views: 🌲 🌲 🌲


 

University of British Columbia

Vancouver, BC

Thunderbird fans are no joke. They have one of the highest social followings in the country, with over 14,000 likes for their sports teams. And they have plenty to celebrate. The women’s hockey team has won the Canada West Championships three times in the past five years. Plus, you can’t beat the very pretty views of the University of British Columbia campus when you’re walking to the arena.

 


Winning Those Cups: 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆

Clinking the Drinks: 🍻 🍻 🍻

Fans Going Wild: 🎊 🎊 🎊 🎊 🎊

Enjoying the Views: 🌲 🌲 🌲 🌲


 

University of Guelph

Guelph, ON

First of all, can we all agree that the gryphon is one heck of a great mascot? Points for that alone! And with over 7,300 fans on Facebook, the Gryphons are certainly supported by the masses. Perhaps all of those cheers are why the women’s hockey team has won the Judy McCaw Memorial Cup the past two years in a row. If you’re in town, it’s all about supporting the ladies in red, black, and gold.


Winning Those Cups: 🏆 🏆 🏆

Clinking the Drinks: 🍻 🍻 🍻

Fans Going Wild: 🎊 🎊 🎊

Enjoying the Views: 🌲 🌲 🌲 🌲


 

Saint Mary’s University

Halifax, NS

Flickr via RicLaf (https://flic.kr/p/5ta52k)

In case you haven’t heard, millennials are in love with Halifax. Maybe it’s partly because of Saint Mary’s University? The Huskies have a University Cup-winning men’s hockey team and a robust social following with over 4,150 likes. Oh, and downtown Halifax isn’t too far away either, when it’s time to pop that champagne.


Winning Those Cups: 🏆 🏆 🏆

Clinking the Drinks: 🍻 🍻 🍻

Fans Going Wild: 🎊 🎊 🎊

Enjoying the Views: 🌲 🌲 🌲 🌲


 

When you’re in these top hockey towns, you can count on plenty of face paint and championship trophies. Bring the enthusiasm, and watch legends in the making.

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About Author

Jennifer Cuellar

Jennifer Cuellar is a writer, an avid explorer, and fan of all things Games of Thrones-related. When she’s not sipping tea in a café by the beach, she’s off writing about wondrous cities you simply have to visit. From mountain peaks to downtown streets, there’s a world of adventure waiting to be explored. She spotlights top cities to tour, which attractions you’ve got to see, and off-the-beaten path activities to try during your next vacation. Let’s go travel!

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