Veteran field hockey forward Amanda Kurianowicz

Vikes look to stand tall at national field hockey championships

The UVic Vikes are in Toronto this week for the CIS McCrae Ciup, national women's field hockey championship.

The UVic Vikes are in Toronto this week for the CIS McCrae Ciup, national women’s field hockey championship.

Last year the Vikes took silver, and are looking to end a five-year run by the dynastic UBC Thunderbirds, as the latter seek a an unprecedented sixth straight McCrae Cup title.

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues host the four-team tourney beginning Thursday, with the gold-medal final on Sunday at 3 p.m. (all teams EST). The Vikes start Thursday at 4 p.m. against the Guelph Gryphons at 4 p.m., followed by UBC vs. Toronto at 6:30 p.m.

Victoria, which last won the title on home turf in 2008, brings new blood with Canada West Rookie of the Year Emily Wong at midfield, with conference all-stars Rosie Beal (defence), Kristina Walters-Shumka (defence), Lizzie Yates (defence), Kat Leahey (defence/midfielder) and Amanda Kurianowicz (forward). “The athletes have worked hard over the past two months to earn their right to compete at nationals,” said Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft, the Canada West coach of the year. “Over the next week, we will continue to train with the same intensity and focus as we have had during the Canada West season. We will be heading to Toronto with a nice mix of veterans and rookies who are excited to continue on their [university] journey.”

UBC is the favourite going into the tournament, as the Vikes went winless against the Canada West-champion Thunderbirds in 2016. Toronto recently won the Ontario title defeating Guelph 3-2 in the OUA championship. The teams are close, as the Gryphons took the first match 4-3 on Sept. 24, with the Varsity Blues replying with 3-2 win on Oct. 20.

Official championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/fh/index

McCRAE CUP CHAMPIONS

2015 UBC

2014 UBC2013 UBC2012 UBC2011 UBC2010 Toronto2009 UBC2008 Victoria2007 Toronto2006 UBC2005 Alberta 2004 UBC 2003 UBC 2002 Victoria 2001 UBC 2000 Victoria 1999 UBC 1998 UBC 1997 Victoria 1996 Toronto 1995 Victoria 1994 Victoria 1993 Toronto 1992 Victoria 1991 Victoria 1990 UBC 1989 Victoria 1988 Toronto 1987 Victoria 1986 Toronto 1985 Toronto 1984 Victoria 1983 UBC 1982 UBC 1981 Toronto 1980 UBC 1979 Toronto 1978 UBC 1977 Toronto 1976 Dalhousie 1975 Toronto CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

Wednesday, Nov. 29:30 All-Canadian Awards Brunch (Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel)

Thursday, Nov. 316:00 Game 1: Victoria vs. Guelph18:30 Game 2: UBC vs. Toronto

Friday, Nov. 416:00 Game 3: UBC vs. Victoria18:30 Game 4: Toronto vs. Guelph

Saturday, Nov. 512:30 Game 5: UBC vs. Guelph15:00 Game 6: Toronto vs. Victoria

Sunday, Nov. 612:30 Bronze medal15:00 Championship final

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