From late fall to early spring (also known more generally as “winter”) is when the pep band is most busy since we play at men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s hockey, and the occasional wresting meet. Last weekend, the men’s hockey team was away at Yale and Brown, which meant that the pep band was also taking an away trip to play at those games. However, the band was scheduled to leave Ithaca at 9:30 in the morning, meaning that I would miss all three of my lectures and have to turn in a problem set seven hours before I absolutely had to. Seeing as I have been playing The Price Is Right with my assignment due dates recently (how close to the due date can you turn something in without being late), turning in anything that early was not going to happen. Especially seeing as the problem set wasn’t quite done.
So I stayed in Ithaca, learned about hydrostatics and the Boltzmann factor, and went to women’s hockey instead. The first game was on Friday night, when the men’s team usually plays, but since the men’s team wasn’t even in the same state, they very kindly gave the women’s team a Friday night game. (Last year the pep band played at several Friday afternoon women’s hockey games . . . while people were still in class.)
The game started out with the teams matching each other in terms of goal production: the score was 2-2 after the first period and 3-3 after the second period. From what I’ve seen this year, the women’s hockey team is still good, but they haven’t been as dominant as last year. By which I mean they’ve only outscored their opponents 85-46 as opposed to 131-55. That’s 1.85 times more goals than their opponents compared to 2.38 times more last season. So when we started the third period tied, I wasn’t sure how the game would end. As it turns out, pretty well. Cornell scored three unanswered goals in the third period to win 6-3.
Then on Saturday, they beat Brown 4-0. The men’s team beat Brown and Yale as well, making it an undefeated weekend for Cornell hockey. If there’s a “popular” sport at Cornell, it’s hockey (well, men’s hockey). Whenever the men’s team plays at home, Lynah Rink is pretty much filled to capacity – about 4,200 people. When the women play, crowds range from a couple thousand to a couple hundred. I imagine it’s something like the New England Revolution and their 14,000 fans playing in the 68,000 seat Gillette Stadium. Still waiting for that soccer specific stadium . . .
Anyway, when Lynah’s that empty, you can hear what’s going on down on the ice, including any wide shots pounding into the boards. Hence, the Shot Heard Round the Rink.