November 20, 2002

Timeless Rivalry Nears

Print More

A lot happened around Lynah Rink during the 1995-96 season. Former Cornell captain Mike Schafer ’86 returned to coach his alma mater. The Red won the ECAC tournament and reached the NCAAs for the first time in five years. Even more importantly, Cornell ended an 11-year losing streak to Harvard. In his Friday, Nov. 10, 1995 column in The Sun, Bullets Over Bradway, captain Brad Chartrand ’98 describes the experience of hosting the Crimson from the ice.

After going through 18 hours of bus travel, which included nine movies, 20 games of cribbage and a visit to Canada, it’s time for a little home cooking. Opening home weekend of the regular season is something that the players look forward to the way students anticipate Christmas Break.

March to November is a long time between playing in front of the “rowdy” Lynah crowd — even my 12-year-old brother’s team is eight games into its 50-game schedule. I guess that’s what college hockey is all about; the games are few, so we had better savor every moment.

One of the greatest sports weekends of the year is the Harvard-Brown matchup at home. This series is a special weekend for players and fans alike; for the nine seniors on the team, this could be the last time we get to face these squads in front of the hostile crowd. The fish, the octopi, the noise — what a rush. We’ll certainly never get tired of hearing 2,000 screaming students yell “Red” during the anthem, or having the guy with the cow bell play that catchy little tune — what’s the name of that song? It’s sure good to be home.

My only request is that people should look before they throw any fish. Last year, we couldn’t get the smell out of Jason Kendall’s [’97] jersey for weeks.

I’ve had many people tell me they want their parents to come up just to attend the Harvard game. Just make sure you get them seats in the parents’ section. A few years ago, I remember one guy’s parents had to stand the whole game with the students. After the game, they went on the complain about how sore their ears and legs were. They couldn’t believe their son would put them through such torture. Sorry, Mom and Dad, I got you better seats this year.

Looking ahead at the upcoming season, both the players and the coaching staff can feel the building excitement. There’s a quiet confidence generating in our locker room that tells us this season is special — taking a quote from my hometown Winnipeg Jets, “New Attitude-New Altitude.” It seems to be working for them.

From the get-go, we have an advantage no team can match. Thanks to Sergeant Tom Howley, our strength and conditioning coach, we have the strongest abs and hip-flexors in the league. That guy deserves his own fitness video.

With nine seniors, seven juniors, three sophomores and seven freshmen, we have the right mixture of youth and experience to do battle with anyone in the country.

Speaking of youth, special congratulations to freshman Keith Peach [’99], our team bowling champion with a solid 137 at one of our stops on the weekend. Unfortunately Keith was a little slow to pick up Steve Wilson [’97] putting sour cream on his shoes at dinner.

Completing our lineup is the Lynah Faithful, our “sixth” player. Sports Illustrated called Lynah Rink the hardest place to play in the country. That has to be worth a half-goal lead.

It seems even the Cornell band has picked up on this excitement, because they’re showing up to practices. Now that’s dedication.

Cornell won it’s home opener against Harvard, 5-3 that year. In Chartrand’s second column from Wednesday, Nov. 15, 1995 entitled Thanks for the Fish, he comments on the weekend’s games.

A wise man once said, “When you’re the lead dog in the race, the scenery never changes.” It’s definitely a great feeling to start off the season with two big wins. First and foremost, I would like to say thank you for the tremendous fan support over the weekend. You guys played a big part in our success. I assure you, the best is yet to come.

The security at Lynah Rink must have been pretty lax during the Harvard game. How can someone sneak in with a gigantic tuna head in their coat and get through the doors unnoticed? It must have taken at least two people to hoist that thing over the glass. Congrats to whoever came away with the biggest fish award. Apparently, the local fish industry had record sales over the weekend for some strange reason. It must be the cold weather …

Archived article by