Belfast Telegraph

Belfast welcomes US stars of future

By Stuary McKinley

A group of Bears, some Raiders, River Hawks and a pack of Huskies will enter the land of the giants this weekend.

The SSE Arena will play host to the NCAA Friendship Four tournament and although local ice hockey fans won't have heard of most of the players who will be taking part, they are likely to in the future.

Four top universities from Boston have brought their teams to Belfast with the Brown University Bears, Colgate University Raiders, UMass Lowell River Hawks and the Northeastern Huskies fighting it out for the Belpot.

It's the first time competitive NCAA college ice hockey fixtures have been played outside north America and is part of the Boston and Belfast sister cities project.

It will be a special weekend for the Forney family. Giants forward Mike will watch his younger brother Chris in action for the UMass Lowell River Hawks before facing Manchester Storm on Sunday afternoon.

The tournament will open with the Brown Bears taking on the Colgate Raiders this afternoon, with the final taking place tomorrow evening.

Belfast Lord Mayor Arder Carson, who will drop the puck, said: "Thanks to Belfast City Council's sister city relationship with Boston, this sporting showcase will allow the young players to enjoy and be part of the action that will be beamed across the Atlantic."

NCAA Friendship Four fixtures (Today): Brown v Colgate (4pm), UMass Lowell v Northeastern (7:30pm).

Tomorrow: Bronze medal game (4pm), Friendship Four final (7:30pm).

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