Hockey to Face off Against Familiar Foe

Rivalries are one of the things that make sports so great. Squaring off against a despised team makes the game extra intense, and being part of a crowd at a rivalry game is extra exciting. 

At Boyertown, these rivalries run deep in our athletic pedigree. Whether its football facing Upper Perk, wrestling going toe-to-toe with Owen J. Roberts, or basketball taking on Spring-Ford, every team has that one opponent on the schedule they want to beat the most.

Despite all of those contests being fantastic battles, none of those competitions can compare to the biggest clash in Boyertown sports — ice hockey against the Perkiomen Valley Vikings, a rival the team will meet again tonight.

“Our rivalry with PV is one of a kind,” senior captain Casey Sottanella said. “It is like no other in our history.”

The “history” of the extreme dislike between the two teams began six years ago. Following a Vikings defeat of the Bears, tempers flared when the two teams lined up to shake hands. A brawl broke out between both sides, and the resentment seed was planted.

The clash was taken to a whole new level last season, as fans began creating conflict. After the Bears defeated the Vikings 8-5 in their first matchup on December 3, a large brawl broke out in the parking lot between opposing fans.

During their second contest on February 19, the fans were the agitators once again. The game was delayed in the first period due to coins being thrown on the ice courtesy of the Perk Valley student section. While police were removing both student sections from the arena, the two teams decided to set apart their differences and play Duck Duck Goose. The act made international headlines and was feature on NBCSN and TSN. Following the delay, the game ended 5-5 after two periods of play due to the game being so far behind schedule.

NBC Sports
Both sides faced off in a game of Duck Duck Goose during the delay.

This season has been a different story. Behavior has been much improved, but the overall feeling has not changed.  

“The atmosphere is electric, there is such a rich history and rivalry between the two teams that makes it like no other game,” Bears fan and senior Gavin Mourar said.

Boyertown won the first two contests of the year 6-4 and 4-1, respectively. Both games featured huge crowds and exciting hockey.  

“They are two good, competitive teams that always put on a good show,” Bears fan and senior Cory Melchior said.

The third and final meeting between the two heavyweights will cap off the regular season for both teams as they look to build momentum for the playoffs. A large crowd is expected, as it is the first time this season the two sides will play on a Friday night.

“Playing in front of a huge crowd is exhilarating,” Sottanella said. “It’s exciting and the crowds roaring and chanting at each other is like no other thing you’ve heard before.”

The defending conference champs, the Bears are currently at the top of the Pioneer standings with a record of 8-2-1 and have a chance to lock up the number seed for the playoffs with a win and an Owen J. Roberts loss Friday night.  

The Vikings, on the other hand, currently hold 4th place in the conference and will enter the playoffs as the 4th and final seed. This means that Boyertown and Perk Valley could battle for a fourth time this season in the opening round of the playoffs, depending on the final regular season results.

A win for the Bears will not only have huge playoff implications, but will also add to the legacy of Boyertown hockey and their rivalry with the Vikings.

“A win will mean a lot and will show that this rivalry will never die and will live forever,” Sottanella stated.  “It will also show that Boyertown is and forever will be a powerhouse of the PAC.”