If Harvard men's hockey Coach Mark Mazzoleni needed a goal in the resurrection of the men's hockey program, the 2,000 Cornell fans at Friday's home game gave it loud and clear:
"This is our house. This is our house."
Sadly, the Big Red fans weren't exaggerating. The score was 6-2 Cornell. The crowd was dominated by Cornell. All that was missing were a few flying fish.
The Big Red silenced what Crimson fans were in attendance with a four-goal second period. Harvard played as bad a period as it has played in a long, long time. The Crimson was outshot 19-4 in the stanza and struggled to simply clear the puck out of the defensive zone.
Even if the game were closer, the battle of the crowds wouldn't have been close. The Harvard band gave it its best shot with such winners as "We found Waldo," referring to the Cornell band's white and red horizontal striped rugby shirts.
But as Cornell was putting the nail in Harvard's coffin on the ice, a group of students did the same off of it. A bunch of Big Red kids had painted their stomachs with "JR Sucks!", an extremely inaccurate, but humorous attack on senior netminder J.R. Prestifilippo.
After Cornell's fifth goal, Mazzoleni felt it was unfair to leave Prestifilippo in the game any longer. Junior backup Oli Jonas was immediately greeted with cheers of "Safety Sieve." However, these intrepid Cornellians convinced a few of their buddies to bare their gaunt chests and had a "Jonas Sucks!" painted in less than two minutes.
The point is not to highlight the exhibitionist tendencies of the Reds, but to note the devotion they have to their program. Cornell had lost five straight ECAC games, but the renewal of the Harvard-Cornell rivalry meant enough at the school for fans to make a rowdy trip to Cambridge anyway.
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