One must look at where Cornell hockey has been to discern where we can expect it to go. Few programs have the history of Cornell. Institutional history and pride will buoy any talented class at Cornell onward to further greatness.
There is little reason to doubt that fact. Few programs in the nation return as much talent from their 2011-12 rosters as Cornell does. Cornell upended the second overall seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament in a commanding victory and was well within the grasp of returning to the Frozen Four for the first time since 2003 last season. Cornell's roster last season included eight freshmen. Two of whom were among the top-five scorers on the team. The freshmen who were essential to Cornell's successes last season can be relied upon to improve and those who contributed less in terms of ice time seamlessly will fill critical niches this season.
Eight of Cornell's top-ten scorers from last season return. Cornell will present opponents with one of the most balanced attacks in the nation if its core of offensively minded players can remain healthy this season. The loss of four integral seniors will not long hamper the development of the 2012-13 team. Five skilled freshmen will don the carnelian and white for the first time and will find roles of their own soon enough. The defensive core is sound with maturity and refortified with skilled youth. Cornell returns one of the most talented and the most reliable goaltender in college hockey. Cornell will overwhelm opponents up front and stifle their best efforts behind the blue line.
This overview highlights that the 97th team to represent Cornell in collegiate hockey has potential greater than the achievements that Cornell enjoyed last season with a near-berth in the Frozen Four. There remains only one rung higher on the ladder of collegiate hockey accolades than attainment of a Frozen-Four berth. This team has the potential to reach that rung.
Coach Schafer emphasizes that each season is unique. The path of no season is identical to one taken previously or one that will be taken later. He analogizes the development of a team and a season to a journey. It is from this appropriate analogy that Where Angels Fear To Tread believes that the 2012-13 season will be a Journey To Three for Cornell.
It will have been 43 years since Cornell hoisted its most recent and second national championship trophy in Lake Placid, NY when the 2013 Frozen Four begins in Pittsburgh, PA. This team and its stellar senior class will end this drought. The senior class has helped Cornell claim one Whitelaw Cup, one Ivy-League title, two NCAA-Tournament appearances, two ECAC Championship Final appearances, three ECAC Championship Semifinal appearances, and six wins over Harvard in three years while also earning victories over prestigious programs including the University of New Hampshire, the University of North Dakota, Colorado College, and the University of Michigan. There is no reason to doubt this class's ability to add the greatest possible accolade in the sport to that already impressive list. They will help Cornell claim its third national championship.
This season as the Journey To Three will not be easy always. There must be no misconceptions about that. Unquestionably, there will be ups and there will be downs. Lofty expectations and goals will make the highs seems all the higher in their seemed allusion to possible realization of the most ultimate goal and the lows seem lower as foretelling of possible disappointment. Journeys are not easy. There will be dynamics and dimensions that yet cannot be foreseen. Two things will remain unchanged throughout this season, no matter its result: our belief and pride in this team.
Misfortune can strike at any moment. It can change the complexion or result of a season. We realize this. That is why lack of attainment of the namesake goal of the Journey To Three never can be termed failure. We know that this team will make its fanbase proud no matter the result of a given game or the season. It is our privilege to support the players of this team.
It is for these innumerable reasons that Where Angels Fear To Tread will become never a forum for fair-weather fandom. We will never single out for ridicule the student-athletes on this roster who represent our proud program and University so very well. We will highlight the achievements of individuals when it is deserved. We will point out when the team falters relative to its immense potential, but never shall ridicule be focused upon individual student-athletes.
Cornell will succeed as a team and our coverage will treat it as a team. No individual student-athlete that will represent Cornell over the 2012-13 season will be dispensable in helping Cornell achieve its ultimate goal. This mindset from the fanbase and within the team will augment Cornell's ability to complete the Journey To Three.
The 2012-13 team will have the potential to beat any opponent in any given game. The depth of the roster provides little reason to doubt this fact. We believe that this 97th hockey team to represent Cornell University will earn a third national championship.
Where Angels Fear To Tread will support this Cornell team wholeheartedly. We hope that the Lynah Faithful do the same. That is why we will add the above poster image with hashtag insignia to the side panel of our main page when the season begins on October 26. We invite the Faithful to use the two images atop this post and join in using #JT3 on twitter to show their support for this team and its national ambitions. We believe in this team.