You are probably very familiar with the rivalry between St. George’s and Vancouver College. It is arguably the best rivalry in the local high school scene, and games between the two basketball teams provide some of the best sporting atmosphere you will find in the city.
But now, there will be a new addition to the rivalry in an uniquely Canadian way. St. George’s and Vancouver College will play each other in hockey, extending their storied rivalry into Canada’s winter pastime.
“The decision to set-up these two hockey games is a result of the boys wanting to have them happen — it's really that simple” said St. George’s Head of Athletics Chris Blackman. “We really just need to find some ice and make sure we had dates that worked for both teams. For many years "Saints vs VC" would meet in the locally organized hockey league for High School teams and this year we have set-up a two-game series.”
The rivalry between the two schools is helped out by two things. First, they are both very close to each other — just a 10 minute drive from one another. Secondly, they are both independent schools and thus often have to compete for one spot to get to Provincial Championships.
The hockey game brings a unique wrinkle to it. Although most people aren’t aware of the high school hockey scene, this game should bring more eyeballs to it. Along with St. George’s, teams from Riverside, Yale, and Terry Fox compete in the BC hockey high school league.
“BC Hockey operates a 3-tier High School Hockey League that runs for about 8 weeks in April / May”explained Blackman. “Last year St. George's competed in Tier 2 and lost in the Championship game. This year our Spring Varsity Team (Grade 11s and 12s) is competing in Tier 1. This is only the second year for us in the BCHSHL and the competition has been great so far.”
And although this high school hockey game is for fun, it is still an opportunity to instill the values of team sports in the students.
“Our faculty and staff who are coaches, as well as our outside coaches and Old Boys who also coach all take great pride in working with each boy individually to help them get the most out of their selected sport involvement” explained Blackman. “We work to focus on the process and not the outcome.”
The two game series will be played on May 8th at 6:00 pm and May 16th at 7:00 pm, both at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Complex on the UBC campus. Both games are free to attend, and both schools are encouraging alumni to come out. If you can’t make it in person the game will be broadcast online.
Written by: Nick Bondi