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World’s longest running hockey rivals duke it out for Carr-Harris Cup

Image via Queen’s Athletics.

In a rivalry stretching back 134 years, the battle for the Carr-Harris Cup is one not to be missed for hockey fans in general, and Gaels and Paladins fans specifically.

The Carr-Harris Challenge Cup began in 1986, introduced but the International Hockey Hall of Fame to celebrate the storied rivalry between Queen’s University and the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC). The beloved Carr-Harris Cup trophy features ‘Lennie,’ a sculpture created by Kingstonian Joan Belch, which depicts Lennox Irving, the Queen’s player who scored the sole goal in the March 10, 1886 inaugural game between Queen’s and RMC.

And while the Carr-Harris Cup has been sought after by both teams for 34 years, the world’s longest running hockey rivalry is 100 years older than that, and one that brings fans and alumni from Queen’s and RMC together for an annual event that’s known to fill the seats and shake the rafters as loyal fans cheer on their teams.

But it is not only the rivalry and annual match-up that are steeped in history. The Carr-Harris Cup trophy, which was donated by the Centennial Committee, is named in honour of the Carr-Harris family, who have a long-standing connection with both Queen’s and RMC. On top of the Carr-Harris trophy, the top player from each team is awarded the Mary Carr-Harris Most Valuable Player Award each year, as well. Named in memory of Mary Carr-Harris, the matriarch of the Carr-Harris family, the award gives a nod to Mary who, up until her passing in 2006, presented ‘Lennie’ each year to the winning team.

On this, the 134th anniversary of the rivalry, the Gaels lead the series going into the game. But it’s not always about who leads the series – last year, the Gaels won the Queen’s Cup and conference champions, but lost to RMC 5-1 in the Carr-Harris Cup.

With both teams playoffs-bound, and an incredible season for the Paladins thus far – including the January defeat of the ARMY Black Knights in overtime in the annual West Point rivalry game held in mid-January, and clinching their first playoff berth since 2006 with a 4-3 overtime win against the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020 – the Thursday night battle for the Carr-Harris Cup promises to be entertaining as always, with a loud and proud near-capacity crowd.

The Carr-Harris Challenge Cup matchup takes place on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 at the Leon’s Centre. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are available at the Queen’s customer service desk and the Leon’s Centre box office. Tickets are $12 each, and a special four-pack for $30 is available at Queen’s customer service. Both the Gaels (11-12-3) and the Paladins (9-17-1) are looking to pick up points in the race to the OUA East playoffs. More details are available here.

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