Student section helps spark hockey comeback

As playoffs fast approach, ice hockey is going through a late season comeback, joined by a ardent student section.


Sam Kennedy

Battling for the puck…Involving himself in the action, Souderton defenseman Max Ryon (far left) fights to get control of the puck. Souderton defeated Perkiomen Valley High School 5-3 in the Winter Classic game at Spring Mountain on January 9.

Spurred on by a passionate student section, the Souderton ice hockey team is firing on all cylinders as they make a late season push to qualify for the postseason.
The team experienced a tough opening series of games, but has mounted a late charge in the back-end of the season, defeating some difficult opponents.
“We had a rough start to the season, but we’re really getting into the flow of things,” center Max Ryon said. “We just beat the number one team in our league [Council Rock South] and then the number one team in another league [Perkiomen Valley], so that’s really great.”
Defenseman Luca Feretti thinks that the team has started to come together and gel more in recent weeks.
“We started off awful,” Feretti said, “but the team is starting to play a lot better. We play with more energy.”
Center Matt Malanga also thinks that part of the team’s recent success is them getting to know each other better.
“We started the season pretty slow, but as our team got familiar with each other we started playing better,” Malanga said. “Now we’re at the peak of our season, we’re playing really well together, beating some super tough teams.”
The team thinks that Souderton’s student section has helped them gain new confidence.
“I think as many kids as possibly can, they just need to show up to the games,” Max said. “I think it helps a lot. I definitely don’t think we’d be doing as well as we’re doing without them.”
According to Coach Ryan Uchniat, the team has been spurred on by the support of students at the high school.
“The student section has been incredible. Having support from fellow classmates puts more on the line, the team doesn’t want to let them down,” Uchniat said.
Defenseman Sean Ryon feels that the student section gives him extra motivation to play his hardest.
“Without them, we’re kind of just playing for ourselves. But when we have the backing of everyone we feel supported, we have energy and we feel like we’re playing for our entire school district,” Sean said.
Sean feels like the student section gives him a real sense of “duty” to play as well as he can.
Junior Will Canavan, who was part of the student section for the Winter Classic against Perkiomen Valley, thinks it gives the team a psychological advantage
“It brings a lot of energy to the whole hockey game,” Canavan said. “You can definitely see it in the guys we’re playing. They definitely feel the energy of everyone shouting and it can kind of get in their heads and mess them up.”
Junior Isaac Brown agrees with Canavan about the pressure the student section can put on an opposing team.
“We heckled them pretty nice and good,” Brown said. “I definitely feel like we were doing a pretty good job of getting in the other team’s head and sporting our team.”
The team is hoping to make a push for their league championship, and potentially further. “I definitely think we could go for it if we keep this up,” Ryon said. “We’ve shown that we can play with these top teams, we definitely could.”
Malanga also thinks the team has a chance.
“We’ve been winning a few key games that are going to help us get into playoffs for districts,” said Malanga. “We’ll make a run for it. This is our year.”