- Over-reliance on the public address system. At Lynah, all music originates from the Big Red Pep Band at the top of Section A. UNH relies heavily on music piped in over speakers to fire the crowd up; the entire entry sequence at the start of each period is controlled from above, and the band and the canned music alternate during stoppages in play. I think it takes away from the spirit of the crowd to have some guy in an overhead booth directing the cheers and taunts; one of the very special things about the Lynah Faithful is that we make it all happen ourselves.
- Getting personal with the sieve. I did this a little bit throughout the game, but most of the taunts directed at Nevin Hamilton were group affairs, and were little more than chants of "sieve" and "Ham-il-ton...you suck!" I was disappointed that Wildcat Nation didn't really try to screw with his head. For one, creativity in taunting is one of the hallmarks of great college hockey fans, and for two, it's actually possible to affect the goalie's play. There's a great example of this from my freshman year at Cornell; we were playing Dartmouth, and down 3-1 late, the Big Green fired a shot towards our empty net, and Dartmouth sieve Nick Boucher skated over to Section A and got uppity with our fans, including use of the WWE "suck it" gesture. There was just one problem...the puck had hit the post. Cornell picked up the puck, skated to the red line, and fired it into the still-empty Dartmouth net before Boucher could get back there. The Big Red still lost the game, but we had gotten Boucher.
- Facetimers. Maybe it was because Lowell isn't a large rival, but a lot of people in the student section were unfamiliar with the traditional UNH cheers. Just prior to the Wildcats netting the winning goal, two young women in front of me pulled on their jackets and departed. Who the hell leaves with nine minutes left in regulation and the game tied? Not any real fan, that's who. I also saw a slow trickle of people making for the exits as the final few minutes ticked down, and there was a rush for the doors as soon as the final buzzer sounded - before the players gave the stick-drop salute. It's just as difficult to get out of Ithaca as it is to leave Durham, but you'd never see the Lynah Faithful depart their rink prior to the end of the game. These casual fans did help me out in one respect - by standing next to a few of them, I didn't look totally out of place as a non-student.
- Ticket availability. I walked up to the Whittemore Center box office fifty hours prior to game time and bought tickets at face value. Just behind me were a couple of students who did the same thing. That just doesn't go down at Cornell, regardless of the opponent. I'll simply link to the general ticket policies for both Cornell and UNH - and to get season tickets into Lynah's student section, it's just a little bit complicated. I never waited in the line; my Pep Band membership was sufficient to grant me entry during my time at Cornell. (Bear in mind also that the Whitt has 50% more seats than does Lynah, and UNH's undergraduate population is about four-fifths that of Cornell.)
After the game, I spent a couple of hours at Scorpions in downtown Durham. I had a good time, although both the bands there pretty much sucked, and the second one had a very large drummer who should not have worn a wife beater to the bar. Signature feature of the night: these three girls who entered maybe half an hour after I did, having clearly pre-gamed elsewhere. They opened a tab, and put a lot of alcohol on it. I recall overhearing one of them saying that she intended to drink one of every kind of alcohol behind the bar. When I saw what they'd bought, I knew they had definitely come to play. One of them was fixated on the last of the moves of the Albert Brennaman dance (he's Kevin James' character in Hitch). Around 11:30, she commented on my shirt. Just as in every other similar situation, I suffered a catastrophic brain lock at this juncture, and let an opportunity slip. The correct maneuver would have been to do one of the other moves in that dance, like the Q-tip, or start the fire and make the pizza. They left just after midnight, and five minutes later I myself was out the door and back to Portsmouth.