Today is the Saturday of thanksgiving and because it is an odd year, a very special event occurs at Madison Square Garden: Red Hot Hockey.
Red Hot Hockey is a rivalry between the Cornell Big Red (wooooo!!) and the Boston University Terriers. This is a historical rivalry that dates back to the early 1960s. This was when BU played in the ECAC Hockey before the creation of Hockey East. This tradition is maintained by a biennial game at MSG on Thanksgiving weekend where both teams play for the Kelley-Harkness Trophy.
I was actually not planning to go to this year’s hockey event because I didn’t make it onto the list for the Cornell Pep Band. But a guy in band had an extra ticket so he gave it to me. I was very excited for the game because it is going to be at a professional sporting arena which would be a first for me (and many other freshmen for that matter).
I had a dinner commitment that night so I missed the first third, but thank god that third was quite uneventful. I got into my seat just as the second third is starting. I was sitting with my friend’s family and they did not know any of the hockey chants. Chanting is an important part of ice hockey as it messes with the psychological of the players. So I quickly got them up to speed, and started to chant.
The Cornell Big Red was the first to score, then a few minutes later we got another goal. Two to nothing, we were looking good and strong! The second third ended with high spirits. But I knew that at the back of my mind BU would come out strong and press Cornell hard.
My concerns were correct as soon after the third third started, BU scored. The score was 2 to 1, Cornell still had the lead. But the lead was eaten away as the Terriers score again. The players on the ice started getting physical and trying hard to win the puck. It paid off for Cornell as soon we get the puck into the net.
This lead was short lived when BU nets a puck in our Cornell net. However, it was a very messy play, so the referees decided to review the play. After a few tense seconds, it was decided that the goal is valid and the score goes back to a draw.
The last few minutes of normal time was very nerve racking for Cornell. One of our guys is out and BU had a power play. However, our Big Red defense stuck it together and managed to stop the puck from landing into the net. This lead to a 3-3 draw after normal period, which meant only one thing: over time.
Over time started roughly for the Big Red. BU had a power play but our great goalie made some great saves, denying the Terrier access to our net. We were mainly on the defense during over time and we did not see many shots on the Terrier net. Overtime ended with nobody scoring, so it went to penalties.
The penalties was very intense. I was holding my breath throughout each scoring attempt. It was very intense and my heart was pumping very fast. But the penalties ended up with 2-2 which meant that we had to go to sudden death.
The Cornell Big Red lost sudden death as the Terrier managed to score while their goalie saved our shot. It was not a great moment for the Big Red, but our team played an amazing game and I am very proud of them.
It was a great game and I am so glad that I was able to make it. I will definitely go to the next one that is happening in 2017.