While the full official schedule for the SRJC Hockey team’s 2017-18 season is far from finished, Polar Bears’ fans can already mark their calendar with a marquee match-up that is guaranteed to be one of the most exciting games of the year.
The UC Berkeley Hockey team returns to Snoopy’s Home Ice Sept. 23 to kick-off SRJC’s official 2017-18 season for the first time in more than a year. This game marks the seventh time since 2010 that the two teams have met on SRJC’s opening night. 2016 was the only year Cal and SRJC did not play each other.
This opening night game is a can’t miss event for all hockey fans. Not only does the game continue the Polar Bears’ recent opening night tradition, but it builds upon the long, storied history between the two clubs.
UC Berkeley is one of SRJC’s most revered competitors. The team’s admiration for the four-year university dates back to the club’s start, when the Polar Bears operated as a farm team for Cal in the 1930s. Santa Rosa Junior College was modeled as the “junior” version of UC Berkeley, and many Polar Bear players during that era went on to play for Cal.
It wasn’t until 1939— the start of SRJC Hockey’s legacy— that the teams competed as two separate entities. SRJC knocked off Cal 5-2 in its first meeting in Santa Rosa, later losing an away game 3-2 before a 3,000-person crowd.
To this day, games between the two teams in Santa Rosa are some of the most exciting— and most packed— of the season. SRJC has yet to lose to UC Berkeley on opening night, with six-consecutive victories.
If history is any indication, the Sept. 23 game between the SRJC Polar Bears and Cal Golden Bears will definitely be one to remember.