Halifax sports scene outside of U Sports

Want to change from cheering on your Tigers? Take a look at what else Halifax has to offer for sports fans

Sports fans wanting different fare than the Tigers have three main offerings in this city: the Halifax Mooseheads, Halifax Hurricanes and HFX Wanderers FC.  

 Halifax Mooseheads 

The Mooseheads are a junior hockey team that plays in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), and their games have the atmosphere of an NHL game – without NHL ticket prices.  

The players are often playing for a shot at an NHL career and many have made the leap to the pros. Recent alumni include Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Nico Hischier and Nikolaj Ehlers. It’s exciting hockey as young men battle to win games and the approval of scouts.  

“It’s a chance to see these guys before they are stars on Hockey Night in Canada,” says Chris Dyer, manager of game day operations and community liaison for the Halifax Mooseheads.  

Due to renovations at the Scotiabank Centre, the first home game for the Mooseheads won’t be until Oct. 27.  

This year’s team is talented and will be hosting the Memorial Cup in May. They have stars like Jared McIsaac, Benoit-Olivier Groulx and possibly Filip Zadina if he’s returned to junior. They also have up and coming draft prospects like Justin Barron, Xavier Parent, Marcel Barinka and top draft prospect Raphaël Lavoie.   

“If there was ever a time to become a Mooseheads fan it’s this season,” says Dyer. “It’s going to be a season people talk about for a long time.” 

Student season tickets are available for $275, and individual games are $12 for students. There are two Thursday games in January that are $10 a ticket for students and includes free cover to the Dome.  

Opposing teams to watch: Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, Moncton Wildcats and Rimouski Oceanic.  

Halifax Hurricanes 

If you’re a basketball fan, Halifax is home to the Halifax Hurricanes of the National Basketball League (NBL).  

“It’s high-calibre basketball, most of these guys are from top colleges in the NCAA or CIS (U Sports),” says Kevin Sanford, director of business operations. “It’s lots of fun, lots of energy in the building.” 

Last year they made it to game seven of the championships before losing by eight points in a nail-biting heartbreaker. The Hurricanes have made it to the finals three years in a row.  

They feature the best in local talent with the offseason signing of Dartmouth’s Terry Thomas, who has won NBL’s Canadian Player of the Year award, and two NBL first-team awards.  

The season runs from mid-November to the end of March at the Scotiabank Centre. Student tickets for the Hurricanes games start at $14, so they’re an affordable sports option and high-quality basketball.  

Opposing teams to watch: Moncton Magic, London Lightning, and St. John’s Edge.

HFX Wanderers FC 

Halifax has a new soccer team that will be joining the Canadian Premier League starting next spring. Although it’s after the regular school year, there’s still plenty to be excited about.  

The Wanderers will be hosting ‘The HFX Derby’ on Sept. 7. The derby will be the Dalhousie Tigers and Saint Mary’s Huskies women’s team kicking off at 5 p.m. and the men kicking off at 7:15 p.m.  

“To the soccer fan, you now have a team in your backyard. You can contribute to that in a great way and help it to grow,” says Stephen Hart, Wanderers head coach. “It’s going to provide a lot of opportunities to Atlantic players.”  

When the Wanderers do kick off in the spring, their games will be in the late afternoon. With a playtime of 90 minutes, a late afternoon kick-off is perfect for turning a game into an evening, or a night, out. 

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Matt Stickland

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