Odyssey Arena in Belfast to host US college tournament

Northeastern University players shake hands with Northeastern University opponents
Northeastern University players shake hands with Northeastern University opponents

The Odyssey Arena in Belfast will stage a major tournament involving four American universities in November.

UMass Lowell, Northeastern University, Brown University and Colgate University will play for the Belpot Trophy in The Friendship Four competition.

It is the first time that the National Collegiate Athletic Association will hold competitive games outside the US.

The Belfast Giants will also play two Elite League games on the same Thanksgiving weekend of 27-28 November.

The four teams compete in NCAA Division 1, the top level of university ice hockey in the United States.

Belfast Lord Mayor councillor Arder Carson will travel to its Sister City of Boston, where two of the teams are based, this weekend to officially announce details of the event.

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Thornton relishing Odyssey college tournament

"The Sister City agreement which we signed with Boston last May is designed to foster stronger economic development, trade and investment, tourism, youth, cultural, faith based exchange and educational linkages between our two cities," explained the Lord Mayor.

"Bringing this prestigious tournament to Belfast is one of the first substantive results of the agreement, and we are delighted that, even before the first puck has been hit, there already is a commitment to play it here for a further four years.

He will make the announcement alongside Boston mayor Marty Walsh, who also welcomed the new tournament.

"During my time in Ireland, I saw first-hand how sports, and hockey in particular, play an incredible role in bridging communities," he said.

"I am thrilled to announce the first tournament for the Belpot Trophy."

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