This Saturday night, Lynah Rink will be packed with Cornell hockey fans throwing fish onto the ice and berating opposing players in the annual ritual when Harvard comes to town. The night will have even greater importance this season because the game will be played on Senior Night and broadcast on national television by CSTV.
Yet, despite the fans’ hatred of the Crimson and the storied rivalry between the two schools, the most important game for the No. 6 men’s hockey team (16-5-4, 11-4-3 ECACHL) this weekend may very well be tomorrow night when it plays host to Dartmouth.
Why? Because after a weekend sweep of Quinnipiac and Princeton that extended its ECACHL-unbeaten streak to 10 games, the Green (13-10-2, 11-5-2) finds itself just one point behind the Red for first place in the conference.
“The winner of the game is going to be sitting there in first place,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “So it’s a huge game from that standpoint.”
Also, despite the heated rivalry with Harvard, many Cornell players noted how they still have a bad taste in their mouth from the 6-1 beating they suffered at the hands of Dartmouth on Nov. 12 – especially junior goaltender David McKee, who was pulled for the first time in his career that night after allowing five goals in 24 minutes.
“I’ve been looking forward to this game for a while,” McKee said.
When the Irving, Texas, native began to contemplate the magnitude of the game out loud, he said, “The