top of page
  • cornellbrsn

Forever 28

The Lynah Faithful — past, present, and future — will vouch for the fact that there is something special about the rink built by James Lynah in the 1950s. The rink knows how to draw in the crowds and has served as the athletic heartbeat of the University for decades. However, there is a view of Lynah that is shared by a precious few. From the ice, the arena takes on a different form and shape, and the Lynah Faithful adopts a new timbre. Joel Lowry is one of those red and white-shirted skaters who has been down in the trenches of Lynah Rink, fighting for the latest addition to the Ivy League.

Lowry was a notable loss to the 2014-15 Cornell Hockey roster last season. A force on the ice, he was taken out of commission by a serious back injury at the beginning of the year. Although he will take the ice in Manchester after finalizing a contract with the Los Angeles Kings’ organization in the offseason, his particular ability to put points on the board will be sorely missed in Ithaca.

Lowry vividly remembers his first visit to the frozen tundra of Cornell. While many players are quick to mention the Lynah Faithful, he seemed more taken by the overall personality of the team. A serious player, Lowry took in not only the atmosphere of the game, but the playing technique and general vibe of the players. He felt like it was the character of the team, in relation to Lynah and its fans, that brought him to the Big Red. While the roar of the fans can get the heart pumping, he made it clear that if you don’t connect with your teammates, it doesn’t matter how loud the crowd yells.

This locker-room insight represents the daily mechanisms that create a team, as contrasted to the high paced hockey melee that fans witness. Thankfully, he was impressed by these unique mechanics that signify Cornell Hockey and chose the Big Red. Lowry proved to be a crucial asset, finishing in the top three on the team in points in both his sophomore and junior years. A standout on the ice, he never missed a game due to injury. This blessing revealed itself to be the lead-in to a cruel joke, when he was benched for the majority of his senior season due to injury.

Besides his misfortune, Lowry has proven that he is a hockey player on and off the ice. While grounded for most of the games last year, he became a critical onlooker. Although he had the chance to partake in many traditions that are revered by the Lynah Faithful, he remained a man apart. He summed it up by saying, “I’m not the average spectator.”

By standing behind the net, he was able to take in the Lynah Faithful in all of their glory, however, most of his focus was on the game and his teammates. He could now pick out individuals in the crowd and hear more of the “funny chants,” but his primary concern was still the game.

In the end, each of us has a designated role when we enter the transparent gates of Lynah Rink. Either as a townie, a Faithful, a bandie, or a hockey player, we all approach the game with a certain mentality. Even as a hockey player with clipped skates, Lowry occupied a position that was removed from the Faithful and the other members of the audience. He could finally truly appreciate the might of the Lynah Faithful and their interaction with the game since, from the ice, it is harder to distinguish the actions of the fans.

The fans and the game are inextricably linked with one feeding off the other. However, the players are often too engaged in the game to register and sift through Lynah Faithful’s hooting, hollering, and general hullabaloo. Lynah is an older, smaller rink, packing fans and players alike into a much more intimate area. It has “all the noise packed into a small space,” according to Lowry.

While the voices of the crowd blur together from the vantage point of the ice, he still stressed the importance of the energy. “When the whole crowd gets crazy, it helps the momentum of the game.” For Lowry, he found that this was very important when “you’re down a goal or two, and the crowd is still into the game.”

Even though the shouts and taunts fade into the din of the rink, the power of the Lynah Faithful is a motivator; it isn’t something to be trifled with. Although it is an important element to our Big Red home hockey games, to a player both on and off the ice, the experience centers around the team and the game.


Recent Posts

Up on Deck


bottom of page