Teams 2020

Army West Point are coached by Brian Riley, just the third Army hockey coach in the past 63 years, Brian Riley has made his mark on a program coached by his father and brother in just under a decade. The President of the American Hockey Coaches Association, Brian Riley is a three-time Atlantic Hockey Association Coach of the Year, has guided Army to 11-consecutive Atlantic Hockey Association playoff berths, led the team to its the first regular season championship in program history.  Army are currently sitting 3rd in the Atlantic hockey conference standing.

“We are very grateful for this opportunity,” said head coach Brian Riley
. “It is an amazing honor for Army hockey to represent the U.S. Military Academy in Belfast. I have no doubt it will be an unbelievable experience.”

United States Military Academy is a public institution that was founded in 1802. The United States Military Academy is located in West Point, N.Y., approximately 50 miles north of New York City on the Hudson River. The school, also known as USMA, West Point and Army, is the oldest of the country’s five federal service academies. Alumni and students are often referred to as “The Long Gray Line,” and famous members include former U.S. presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ulysses S. Grant and former U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur.

Quinnipiac University will be making their 2nd visit to Belfast with their men’s hockey team and their 3rd visit for their university with their women’s hockey team competing this January 2020 in the Friendship Series with Merrimack College.  On their first visit to Belfast, the Bobcats were upended in the final by the University of Vermont and will be looking to take home their first Belpot title this November.

The Bobcats have established themselves as a top team in the ECAC hockey Conference having won their conference championship on multiple occasions and reaching the NCAA Frozen four twice in the past decade.

“We are thrilled to return to Belfast for the Friendship Four in 2020,” men’s ice hockey head coach Rand Pecknold said. “It was a phenomenal experience for our student-athletes, staff and University and look forward to another great tournament next year.”

Quinnipiac is a private, coeducational university in Southern New England where students engage in an educational experience that’s both personal and challenging from faculty who care deeply about student outcomes. Their campuses are located in Hamden and North Haven, Connecticut.

Sacred Heart University will be competing in their first Friendship Four this November.  Currently sitting joint first in the Atlantic Hockey conference Sacred Heart have ambitious aspirations for their hockey program having recently announced the building of a new 4,000-capacity, $60 million hockey arena on campus for their Division I men’s and women’s hockey programs.  Scheduled for completion in 2022, the new venue is an indication of the universities commitment to build an elite NCAA hockey program.

“Being able to travel to Belfast to compete in a hockey tournament, learn about Irish history and have the opportunity to meet and connect with people from another culture will no doubt be an experience of a lifetime for our team,” said Pioneers head coach CJ Marottolo.“The dates of the Friendship Four tournament will be circled on our calendars for sure as we strive to bring back a Belpot trophy.”

Sacred Heart University (SHU) is a private Roman Catholic university in Fairfield, Connecticut. Sacred Heart is the second-largest Catholic university in New England, behind Boston College and offers more than 80-degree programs to over 8,500 students at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.  Undergraduate students’ study at Sacred Heart’s international campuses in Dingle, Ireland and Luxembourg.

The Mercyhurst University Lakers compete in the 11 team Atlantic Hockey conference.  Having last won their hockey conference title in 2018. Located near the Canadian border and close both Buffalo and Pittsburgh, hockey is a hugely popular sport. 

Head men’s hockey coach Rick Gotkin called the prestigious hockey tournament in Belfast “a wonderful opportunity for our program.  We talk about the student-athlete experience a lot at Mercyhurst University and how we can continue to enhance that experience. I cannot imagine a better way for our team to explore, learn, and grow both on and off the ice than to go to Ireland next November.

Mercyhurst University is a private institution that was founded in 1926 and located in Erie, Pennsylvania, in the northwestern part of the state.