Belfast Giants To Play Canadian Universities In Pre-Season Friendlies

The Stena Line Belfast Giants are pleased to announce two upcoming fixtures against Carleton University and the University of Alberta as part of the club’s pre-season preparations.

Having already been announced to be facing off against the Cardiff Devils and Team GB in pre-season action, the Giants will welcome the duo of Canadian universities to The SSE Arena, Belfast, going up against Carleton University on Friday 30 August and the University of Alberta on Sunday 1 September.

Steve Thornton, Group Head of Commercial and Hockey at The Odyssey Trust, said: “We’re really looking forward to hosting Carleton University and the University of Alberta for this unique pair of games as part of our pre-season warm-ups. Both sides are packed with exciting young talent, and not only will it be a good chance for us to pit ourselves against them, but it will also be great to watch them go up against each other right here in Belfast.

“Over the last few seasons, we’ve had a lot of success recruiting players who have played in USports, including Kendall McFaul, Josh Roach, Steve Owre, and Sam Ruopp, so the quality of the league is clear to see. In addition to the Friendship Four, these games will be the ideal opportunity to showcase our great city and the fantastic setup we have here at the Giants.”

As well as the Giants taking on both universities, the Carleton Ravens and Alberta Golden Bears will go head-to-head on Saturday 31 August at The SSE Arena, Belfast, offering fans a unique opportunity to watch the stars of tomorrow hit the ice at the home of the Belfast Giants.

Mark Cavallin, Interim Head Coach of Carleton University Men’s Ice Hockey, commented: “Having this opportunity to return to Belfast is extremely exciting for me. I enjoyed my two-years in Belfast, with plenty of fond memories. Now, I have this opportunity to show our players how amazing Belfast is and also to show them how great of an organisation the Belfast Giants are, with respect to the entire hockey community. This will be an experience that our players and staff will remember for the rest of their lives. I’m counting down the days.”

Both team’s coaches and management are no strangers to the Elite League and Belfast itself, with Raven’s Head Coach Mark Cavallin having spent two seasons with the Giants, playing over 45 games between 2000 and 2002, and Golden Bear’s General Manager Stan Marple making over 160 appearances for the Guildford Flames between 1997 and 2007.

Stan Marple, General Manager of the University of Alberta Men’s Ice Hockey, added: “Golden Bears Hockey is very much looking forward to our trip and exhibition games in Belfast against the Giants and Carleton University. They will be two very tough games away from home, but it will be a great way for the team to bond ahead of what will be a very competitive Canada West season.

“We have had many of our alumni playing in the Elite League, including former Belfast Giants, Steve Owre and Tyler Soy. We look forward to visiting both Belfast and Dublin during our time overseas, and we appreciate the invitation from Steve [Thornton] and the help of the Giants in arranging this awesome hockey experience for our players and staff.”

Ticketing information for all pre-season fixtures is set to be announced soon. To remain up to date with all the latest Belfast Giants news, please visit

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