While the rest of the country might call basketball, football, and baseball the “big three” in sports, at Cornell, these athletics are replaced by hockey, wrestling, and lacrosse. One of our greatest rivalries is with Harvard’s men’s hockey, which holds a tradition of throwing dead fish on the ice.
I went to my first hockey game recently for the PACK LYNAH! women’s hockey game against Harvard. (Lynah Rink is Cornell’s famous ice rink.) Although the turnout was not exactly “pack Lynah” due to the men’s hockey team playing concurrently at Dartmouth, the game was a great experience for a hockey noob.
Pictures from the game:
- I never realized how fast-paced hockey is! Players can switch on and off the ice after merely a minute of playing time. Thus, every player has to give 100% for a chance at a few seconds of glory. This lack of dull moments makes hockey very exciting to watch.
See the game’s intensity in this portion of the game: (no one scores though… see below for scoring video)
- Hockey referees have such underrated jobs. Not only do they have to make the right calls at the right time, they also have to do this while sliding on skates and under the pressure of hostile fans. And sometimes, things like this happen: (real footage from the game)
- Hockey fans are intense! Since sports are largely mental, fans do everything they can to “psych out” the other team. At first, I was a bit appalled at the directness of chants such as “It’s all your fault! It’s all your fault!” (used against the other team’s goalie when your team scores). However, they really add to the atmosphere and tradition to the game.
Sieve chant: (sieve is an insult to the goalie, who is compared to something with holes that lets the puck in)
- Scoring is all or nothing. See #8, MVP of the night score:
- Overall, it was very refreshing to watch and enjoy a new sport. JChou and I decided that going to the game was probably the best study break we had taken in a while. For two hours, we felt a sense of unity with the rest of the fans as we collectively cheered for each goal and booed for every penalty. That’s the beauty of sports: no matter how young or old, inexperienced or seasoned, poor or rich you are, as long as you can genuinely enjoy the game, you will find common ground anywhere. A big shout-out to the friendly lady who helped explain to us common hockey terminology. The game would not have been as fun without your shared knowledge.
For more hockey firsts, read about my fellow blogger Jaudia Quinn’s first hockey game.