Jetsetting Across the Pond: 2020 Friendship Four Matchups Set
Established in 2015, the Friendship Four has quickly become one of the premier events of the college hockey season. The event has featured pairs of ECAC Hockey and Hockey East teams squaring off each November since its inception. But, for the 2020 Friendship Four, Atlantic Hockey will graciously enter the fold.
Three Atlantic Hockey teams will make the trans-Atlantic flight next fall to participate in next year’s event. They are Army West Point, Mercyhurst, and Sacred Heart. They’ll join Quinnipiac from the ECAC to make up the four-team field.
The Friendship Four originated following the Boston/Belfast Sister City agreement made in 2014. It celebrates the partnership which is intended to foster stronger cultural, economic, and academic relationships between Northern Ireland and America. The tournament quickly grew from a Boston-Belfast concept into a Hockey East-ECAC event with the two leagues’ representatives battling for the Belpot trophy. Now, an Atlantic Hockey team will have the ability to raise the Belpot next November.
“Atlantic Hockey and its member institutions are extremely grateful for the opportunity to participate in the 2020 Friendship Four”, said Commissioner DeGregorio. “We want to thank Shane (Johnson), the Belfast Giants, and the rest of the Friendship Four organizing committee for extending the invitation to what has become one of the most popular events of the college hockey season.”
Atlantic Hockey’s participation in the 2020 Friendship Four was announced a couple of weeks ago at an event in Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland and home to the Belfast Giants hockey team. Commissioner DeGregorio joined Commissioners Hagwell (ECAC Hockey) and Bertagna (Hockey East), Shane Johnson, the Friendship Four project manager, and athletic directors/sport administrators Kristine Fowler (Army West Point), Brad Davis (Mercyhurst), and Charlie Dowd (Sacred Heart) in Belfast for the announcement in early October.
Commissioner DeGregorio had nothing but positive things to say of his time in Belfast.
“I’m already looking towards next fall”, said DeGregorio. “The people of Belfast couldn’t be more welcoming, not to mention excited for the next iteration of the Friendship Four Tournament. We are thrilled to be a part of the 2020 event and for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented to our student-athletes.”
The matchups for the 2020 Friendship Four are now known, however, the order of games will not be decided until it gets closer to next season.
In one game on opening night, Mercyhurst will take on ECAC Hockey opponent Quinnipiac, while in the second game, Sacred Heart and Army will play a conference matchup.
More details for the 2020 Friendship Four will be announced as the event nears. The 2019 Friendship Four takes place on November 29th and 30th and features Northeastern, New Hampshire, Princeton, and Colgate.