NCAA women's ice hockey is coming to Belfast next month for the Ulster University Friendship series.
Two top American universities will play at the SSE Arena on Saturday 5 and Saturday 6 January
Clarkson University, the 2018 National Collegiate Athletic Association champions, and Northeastern University, the 2018 Hockey East winners are hoping to encourage greater opportunities for women and girls to become involved in grassroots sport.
The announcement follows last month's Friendship Four tournament, in which Union College won the Belpot trophy.
The women's Friendship Series games will take place at 3pm on Saturday, January 5 and 12pm on Sunday, January 6 - directly before the Stena Line Belfast Giants vs Sheffield Steelers Elite League games at 7pm and 4pm.
The good news for fans wishing to watch the games is that tickets are free and will be available from Friday 21st December - at The SSE Arena Box Office or Belfast Giants game nights - December 21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th & 30th.
Shane Johnson, Project Manager of the Friendship Series said: “The Ulster University Friendship Series is the first time that teams of this high standard will play outside of North America and we are honoured they have chosen Belfast.
“I know that Giants fans will be excited to see Clarkson and Northeastern compete on their home ice with both teams having a rich history of success. We encourage them to bring along as many friends and family as possible to see these prestigious games in January. We want to make the Friendship Series open to everyone to watch and welcome these great athletes to Northern Ireland.”
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey added: “This event will be important, in terms of not only bringing additional visitors into the city and in terms of putting Belfast on the map, but it will also demonstrate further the accessibility of sport and the significant role it can play in building bridges, vibrant communities and connecting citizens.”