Vermont – A Rivalry Revisited: The History of State’s Most Important Hockey Matchups
For hockey fans in the Northeast, Vermont holds a special place on the map. The small New England state is known for its picturesque landscapes and close-knit communities, but it’s also home to some of the most intense rivalries in hockey history. From high school to professional leagues, Vermont has a rich history of fierce competition on the ice.
Where rivalries sometimes come and go, it’s important to take a step back and revisit the origins and evolution of some of the most important match-ups in Vermont hockey history. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the state’s most beloved rivalries, providing a historical perspective on how they came to be and why they remain an important part of the local hockey culture.
The Burlington High School vs. South Burlington High School Rivalry
Dating back to the early 1900s, the Burlington High School (BHS) vs. South Burlington High School (SBHS) rivalry is one of the longest-standing and most intense matchups in Vermont high school hockey. The schools, located just four miles apart, have been competing against each other in a variety of sports for over a century. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that their hockey programs began to establish a fierce rivalry.
The BHS Seahorses and the SBHS Rebels have a history of competitive matchups, with both teams consistently making appearances in the state playoffs. But it was in the 1980s, with the influx of talented players and passionate fans, that the rivalry truly took off. The games between the two schools became must-see events, often drawing in large crowds and generating a thrilling atmosphere.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, the rivalry only intensified as both teams regularly battled for the state championship title. Fans on both sides would pack the stands, proudly sporting their school colors and chanting for their team. The intensity of the rivalry was so strong that even the players couldn’t escape it, with heated on-ice altercations and a sense of pride and determination to beat their cross-town rivals.
While the rivalry has seen many highs and lows over the years, with both teams trading wins and losses, one thing remains constant: the passion and intensity of the BHS vs. SBHS hockey matchup will always be a highlight of the Vermont high school sports scene.
The University of Vermont vs. Middlebury College Rivalry
As the only Division I hockey program in the state, the University of Vermont (UVM) has a long-standing tradition of hockey excellence. But when it comes to rivalries, there’s one matchup that stands out above the rest – their annual showdown against Middlebury College.
Located just 35 miles apart, UVM and Middlebury have been going head-to-head on the ice since 1904. Over the years, the rivalry has become one of the most storied and intense in all of college hockey. Both teams have a long history of success, with UVM holding multiple conference titles and Middlebury boasting an impressive record of NCAA Division III championship wins.
But it’s not just about winning titles – this rivalry is about pride and tradition. The annual matchup between UVM and Middlebury is a chance for both schools to showcase their passionate fan bases, who come out in droves to support their teams. The energy in the arena during these games is electrifying, and the players know that they are a part of something special.
While the rivalry has seen its share of heated moments and unforgettable matchups, what truly makes it unique is the mutual respect and admiration between the two programs. Despite the fierce competition, there’s a sense of camaraderie and a recognition that both schools are a part of the rich hockey culture in the state of Vermont.
The Vermont Catamounts vs. The New Hampshire Wildcats
For Vermont hockey fans, few rivalries are as intense as the one between the UVM Catamounts and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Wildcats. Known as the Battle of the Border, this matchup brings together two schools separated by just a short stretch of the Connecticut River, but with a deep-rooted competition that extends far beyond geography.
The rivalry between UVM and UNH extends to all sports, but it’s on the ice where the animosity is truly palpable. Both teams are members of the Hockey East conference, making their matchups all the more meaningful in the race for conference titles and national rankings. The intensity of the rivalry often leads to high-scoring and games, keeping fans on the edge of their seats until the final buzzer.
But there’s more to this rivalry than just hockey. The schools have a long-standing academic competition as well, with both being top-ranked public universities in their respective states. This adds yet another layer of rivalry to the already intense competition on the ice.
Over the years, the UVM vs. UNH matchups have produced some unforgettable moments and iconic clashes between players. From game-winning goals to penalty-filled brawls, this rivalry has it all. And while the games may only happen a few times a year, the passion and rivalry between these two schools is always present.
From high school to college hockey, Vermont is home to some of the most heated and storied rivalries in all of North America. The BHS vs. SBHS, UVM vs. Middlebury, and UVM vs. UNH matchups have been keeping fans on the edge of their seats for generations, and they will continue to do so for years to come. These rivalries represent more than just a game – they are a part of the history and culture of Vermont’s love for hockey.
So next time you’re in the Green Mountain State, be sure to catch a game and experience the passion and intensity of these historic matchups for yourself.