Staff writer Kevin Linsey sat down with Cornell men’s hockey senior forward and captain Alex Rauter to talk about everything from Madison Square Garden to Terrace burritos.
This transcript has been lightly edited for content and clarity.
1. What was the major factor in your decision to come to Cornell?
First and foremost, the tradition stood out to me. Being from New Jersey, Cornell is pretty close, too. The coaching staff invited me to come here to see a game and the place was rocking. After that, Cornell was hard to turn down.
2. Do you have any pregame rituals, either on an individual level or as a team?
Once all the sticks are taped and the equipment is ready, the team kicks a soccer ball around to warm up. On a personal level, I always put my gear on in the exact same order before the game, and even for each item, left before right.
3. How does it feel to play at Lynah Rink in front of the Lynah Faithful?
The sheer noise stands out; when we score, it feels like there are five thousand people on top of you cheering, and it’s an incredible feeling. When the crowd, fans and band are really into it, we feed off the energy in the building.
4. What is your favorite hockey movie?
I think I’d have to give it to Young Blood, it’s an old one but it’s great.
5. Do you model your game after any current NHL players?
I really like Sidney Crosby and John Tavares’ game, they are hardworking guys. They kill penalties, score goals, and are great leaders. I admire their ability to play a complete game of hockey.
6. Last season, you scored a penalty shot at Madison Square Garden in a 3-1 defeat of New Hampshire, becoming the first Cornellian to score on a penalty shot since Joe Nieuwendyk ’86. What was it like to achieve that at such a historic arena?
I honestly did not even know about Nieuwendyk being the last player to score on a penalty shot until Coach [Mike] Schafer [’86] told me after the game. It is really special for the team because it was a pivotal moment in the game, and for me because my mom was in the stands to see it. MSG is an incredible rink, and to score on a penalty shot there was awesome.
7. Who is the funniest player on the team?
We have a pretty funny group, but if I had to choose a few … It’s a tie, between Austin McGrath and Connor Murphy.
8. What is your go-to Netflix show?
I was a huge fan of House of Cards, and I also love to re-watch That 70’s Show.
9. Unlike most college hockey players who specialize in one position, be it forward, defenseman, or goaltender, you have lined up primarily as a forward but also as a defenseman. What is it like to line up against some of the ECAC’s best forwards on the defensive side?
Honestly I think it helps my game as a whole, whether playing forward or defense. When you get to play both, you see players’ tendencies and can identify what you can add to your game on either side of the puck. A lot of it comes down to our team mentality; everyone wants to do what they can to help the team be successful.
10. What is your favorite food to get on campus?
My favorite dining hall is Risley, but if I had to pick one Cornell food item … I’d choose the Terrace burrito.