The Friendship Series Hockey Tournament Returns to The SSE Arena, Belfast

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The Odyssey Trust are pleased to announce that the women’s NCAA Friendship Series will return to The SSE Arena, Belfast on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th January 2020. This years competing teams include Merrimack College and Quinnipiac University.

During their visit to Belfast, the universities will be helping to encourage greater opportunities for women and girls to get involved in grassroots sports.

The announcement of the returning Friendship Series will ensure that the legacy of the Friendship Four will continue for years to come. The NCAA men’s tournament is played every November in Belfast as four teams compete for the prestigious Belpot trophy.

The Friendship Series games will take place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th January at 3pm and 12pm respectively, directly before the Stena Line Belfast Giants vs Coventry Blaze Elite League games at 7pm and 4pm.

Robert Fitzpatrick, CEO of The Odyssey Trust commented, “The Odyssey Trust is proud to host the second Friendship Series at The SSE Arena, Belfast and we look forward to welcoming our 2020 competing teams Merrimack College and Quinnipiac University. The tournament is a testament to the continued success of the Friendship Four and the Sister Cities Agreement with Boston.”  

Lord Mayor Councillor Daniel Baker added, “We’re delighted to see a return of the Women’s Friendship Series to Belfast. This prestigious tournament enhances our reputation for hosting major events and strengthens business, tourism, academic and cultural links with our Sister City, Boston and promotes Belfast as a place to study, visit and invest in.

The Friendship Series is fast paced, it’s exciting and it’s the perfect day out with family or friends. I’d encourage as many people as possible to come down to The SSE Arena, Belfast to see the action unfold and support our visiting teams”

Kathryn Hill, Director of Active Communities Division at the Department for Communities stated, “I am delighted that the Department for Communities is continuing to work in partnership with the Odyssey Trust and Belfast Giants on the delivery of legacy activities around the Friendship Four Tournament and the Women’s Friendship Series.  The activities bring real benefits at school and community level and add to our other collaborative work with the Belfast Giants such as the Odyssey Ice Academy, a unique project supporting care experienced young people to develop skills for life.”

Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna added, “Both the Friendship Four and the Friendship Series are unique highlights on the annual Hockey East calendar. We are thrilled that two programs, the University of New Hampshire men and the Merrimack College women, will get to experience the beauty that is Belfast for the first time, along with the Northeastern University men, our first team to return.”

We are excited that the Princeton men and the Quinnipiac women are participating and get to experience their own memories of Belfast. The Colgate men who are returning to participate in the Friendship Four speaks volumes and is a testament to the first-class events provided by our hosts and friends in Belfast.”