Although I know next to nothing about hockey, I was sent on assignment by my editors to liveblog my experience at the Dartmouth Men’s Hockey game against Quinnipiac last Friday. I was to give a “fan’s-eye perspective” of what was going on (I am using a very loose definition of “fan”). Over the course of two and half hours there was cheering, singing, booing and cursing. Basically, how all sporting events should be. Here’s a minute-by-minute rundown of the major goings-on at Thompson Arena’s student section:
7:57 p.m.: Refs skate onto the ice. With no players in sight, it’s their time to shine. Someone in the student section yells, “Yeeaaaah, these referees are sick.” 8:01 p.m.: My freshman year roommate and current varsity goalie, Chuck Grant’s name is spoken over the PA. 8:02 p.m.: We all rise to sing the American national anthem. Despite the fact that the Canadian flag and American flag are side by side in the rink and roughly 20% of the team is Canadian, we do not sing the Canadian national anthem. 8:03 p.m.: Game time. Continue reading →
The Sochi Olympics have created quite a stir, from the unfinished city infrastructure and hotel accommodations to reports of the government-sanctioned extermination of stray dogs to public scrutiny of Russia’s extreme hostility toward the LGBTQ community (GQ magazine recently published English professor Jeff Sharlet’s excellent coverage of the issue. Not to mention that Sochi is the warmest city to ever hold the Winter Games; the highs this week are in the 50s, making it difficult to maintain passable course conditions for some events.
While these issues do merit some attention, controversy seems to have detracted from what remains at the heart of the Olympics: competition and athletes. So let’s talk about some U.S. team members and throw in some of their favorite music. (Don’t worry, I screened it—you’d be surprised how many times “Imagine Dragons” appeared). Consider this my disclaimer: I’m talking more about the Olympics and less about music this week. Hopefully after this you’ll actually know a bit of what’s going on, since it’s unlikely that you’re following Sochi as closely as Vancouver.
J.R. Celski, speed skating: Earlier this week, the short track speed skater finished fourth in the 1500 meter race, the event he took bronze in during the Vancouver Games. Yesterday he began competition for the 1000 meter race. In 2012, Celski set the world record for the 500 meter.
“Didn’t Cha Know” – Erykah Badu
“So Far To Go” – J Dilla
“No Alibi” – The Roots
Hilary Knight, hockey: The Hanover native and U.S. women’s team forward is competing in her second Olympics. The hockey team showed their strength in a 9-0 victory over Switzerland and is one win away from the gold medal game, despite a 2-3 loss to Canada.
Shaun White, snowboarding: Recently, White has been sporting a new look and a new attitude (maybe?). Love him or hate him, he raised the profile of the sport of snowboarding, and for years his face has decorated the bedroom walls of teenage extreme-sport hopefuls. Unfortunately, the halfpipe favorite finished fourth this week.
“My 1st Song” – Jay-Z
“Bad Kids” – Black Lips
Heather McPhie, skiing: The seasoned moguls skier made it to the finals last week, but didn’t advance after her first run. However, teammate Hannah Kearney ’15 scored a bronze in the same event.
Peter Frenette, skiing: Though Frenette wasn’t able to advance to the finals in the normal hill ski jumping event, his road isn’t over yet. The individual large hill and team large hill events are today and Monday, respectively.
“Money Trees” – Kendrick Lamar
Elana Meyers, bobsled: Meyers won a bronze in the two-woman event at Vancouver and will be the driver in next week’s competition. Most importantly, like yours truly, her birthday is October 10th and she’s from Atlanta (more power to her for being a bobsledder from Georgia).
Director of Athletics and Recreation Harry Sheehy sent out a campus-wide email this morning in which he asked students not to go overboard at tonight’s men’s ice hockey game against Princeton University. It has been a longstanding tradition to toss tennis balls onto the ice at Thompson Arena Rink after Dartmouth scores its first goal on Princeton. Though the first tennis ball toss generally goes unpunished, subsequent throws are rewarded with penalties for Dartmouth. Tonight’s game has implications for Dartmouth’s playoff chances, and Sheehy’s email asked students to throw all their tennis balls after the first goal — and then cease and desist. The text of the email is below. Continue reading →
This week, tennis balls will be sold out at every single sports supply store in Hanover. No, everyone hasn’t suddenly decided to pick up the sport in the middle of winter — this Friday is the Dartmouth-Princeton Men’s ice hockey game.
The tradition began at Princeton University in 1998, when a Princeton student threw a single tennis ball at the Dartmouth goalkeeper after Princeton scored their first goal. Dartmouth students responded in full force the next year at our home game, when we pelted the team with not just one tennis ball, but several hundred instead.
Chase Schoelkopf ’15, avid hockey fan and past tennis ball thrower, thinks that “it is a great tradition, and shows Dartmouth’s solidarity.”
Schoelkopf, who usually attends all of Dartmouth’s home hockey games, cites storing the tennis balls in his pockets as his main way of sneaking them in.
“We usually don’t get patted down,” says Schoelkopf, even though Safety and Security claims to frisk students upon entrance to Thompson Arena for the game.
Kristen Rumley ’15 took the tradition to a whole new level at the game last year.
“I went to Boss Tennis Center and got a bag of over 200 tennis balls for everyone,” Rumley said. “A lot of my friends snuck them in and we threw them after every goal.”
Everyone — including the referees — is aware of the tradition, which means that the Dartmouth team is usually not penalized after the first goal. However, during last year’s game students did not stop throwing tennis balls after the first goal, resulting in multiple penalties for Dartmouth during subsequent points.
“It’s all in good fun the first time, but the people who do it the third, fourth and fifth time — I don’t think that’s right,” said Schoelkopf.
Members of the hockey team likely feel the same way.
“Our captain had to go to the penalty box for it,” Rumley said of the 2011-2012 season captain Mike Keenan ’13. “He went on the PA system and asked us to stop throwing them but that didn’t stop people so he got another penalty.”
In support of this time-honored tradition, t-shirts that say ‘Puck Frinceton’ on the front and “A tradition unlike any other” on the back have been sold to the general student population as recently as 2011. However, these shirts were not available for purchase in last winter.
Two members of the Class of 2015, who wished to remain anonymous, were dissatisfied by the lack of availability of these legendary shirts their freshman year.
“We liked seeing them on upperclassmen around campus and thought that underclassmen should have the opportunity to wear them too, to honor this tradition,” one said.
They decided to take matters into their own hands and sold the t-shirts under the radar. The ‘Puck Frinceton’ shirts will surely be on full display at the game this Friday.
So ’16s, prepare yourselves for the deafening roar after the first goal and ’13s, rejoice in your last opportunity to celebrate this tradition unlike any other. Watch out, Princeton — the Big Green’s coming for you.
Editor’s Note: If you’ve been at Dartmouth for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard the phrase the “Dartmouth bubble.” We may exist in a world where it seems like we’re the only people living in the middle of the wilderness Hanover, but we’re not. This new weekly Dartbeat feature is an attempt to put Dartmouth students more in touch with the faces of Hanover that surround us every day as we eat at Molly’s, wait in line at Dirt Cowboy and shop at Bella.
What brings you to Hanover? I live in Hartland, VT but I’ve worked at Molly’s since I was 16. I started bussing tables my sophomore year and worked here all through high school. I’m now a senior at UVM and I come back for breaks to work. My dad works at the Co-op, so Hanover has kind of always been in the cards for me. Favorite winter activity in Hanover? When I’m not working at Molly’s, I love to go to Dartmouth hockey games. I grew up going to the games with my family.
What brings you to Hanover? I live in Norwich and work at the Hanover CVS. I’ve been working here for 30 years. I grew up in White River Junction and relocated to Norwich about 15 years ago. Favorite winter activity in Hanover? Hockey games! What do you love most about Hanover? It’s a very friendly town. I plan to be here for a while!
What brings you to Hanover? I work at Ramunto’s so I am in Hanover every day. What do you love most about Hanover? There are a lot of really nice and great people here.
Wait a second. Where am I? What just happened? Did we just beat the number two team in the nation? Is this real life?
Well yes, I am in Hanover, we did just sweep on our senior weekend, we did beat Cornell, the number two team in the nation and I didn’t just wake up from a dream.
Friday still feels so surreal. The energy and excitement for our game was incredible, and I knew it was going to be a good night. Before the opening faceoff I told the team, “Look up at the banners. This is where champions are made. This is our house. Tonight is our championship game. Tonight we play like champions.” And we did just that. We pushed Cornell back on their heels and they had no idea what to do.
The incredible part about Friday is that unlike the first match-up, Cornell had their Olympians back from the Four Nations tournament for this game. And we shut them down.
Kelly Foley ’12 scored two incredible power play goals in the second period that left the Big Red flabbergasted and shocked. We were so poised and in control of the game, and I don’t think Cornell was expecting it at all. In the second period, Geneva Kliman ’12 put away a clapper for our third power play goal of the night and Camille Dumais ’13 got an extra insurance goal later in the period.
We went into the third period confident that we could win this game. Cornell started a comeback in the third period, but by the time they had adjusted to how we were playing, it was too late. We had beaten the number two team in the nation and it was one of the most thrilling moments of my hockey career.
Saturday was another emotional day as it was our senior night against Colgate. We came away with a 4-3 win “for the seniors,” but it was really a team win for all of us. The banners hanging from the press box, our parents in the stands and our incredible fans with faces painted and posters in hand are details from that night that the four of us seniors will never forget. But my favorite memory, hands down, was having our names called and all lining up at the opening faceoff together, the four seniors starting…and finishing together.
We have worked so hard the second half of this season to finish in the top half of the standings and it has paid off. We secured home ice advantage with our win over Cornell and we’ll be playing Clarkson at home this weekend. Our game Friday is at 3:30 p.m. and we play Saturday at 2 p.m.…Sunday at 2 p.m. if need be in this best-of-three series.
But back to the “David After Dentist” reference: “Is this real life?”
Yes. Yes it is. But more importantly… “Is this gonna last forever?” But rather than David asking his Dad, I envision Yosh asking me, “Is dis gowna last foeva?”
Well Yosh, and to all you readers out there, we are going to do everything within our power to make this season, and for some, our hockey careers, last as long as possible.