I chose not to mention it on here. As many of you readers can discern, this blog serves as a platform for my catharsis as a fan at times. The election not to share my disappointment allowed that sentiment to fester into a mild fever of disillusionment. Fans of an NHL franchise that dresses similarly to Cornell comment often that it is trying to support a team that is not as good as it once was. Was I living such a similar tribulation?
The eclipse of the Florida College Hockey Classic occurred. Few positives can be drawn from that weekend. A post later in the week will address the on-ice results of those contests. That which concerns this post is the post-game interviews. Appropriately, the interviewer and the interviewee were the same. Topher Scott remarked to Jason Weinstein after the first game that Cornell lacked tenacity in pursuing a result while looking as though the team was "10 pounds heavier after the holiday." The sentiments seeped with the criticism of high expectations. But, I had been fooled once before.
When the season opened, a tie was not good enough, but somehow a loss was. The Red skaters, the next afternoon, dutifully rendered unto their assistant coach the opportunity to mirror his comments after the Nebraska-Omaha series. Assistant coach Scott did not.
After a loss to the program that he helped guide to its only tournament championship, Topher delivered a critique equally scathing to the one that he had after the loss to Lake Superior State. The Red's lack of defensive discipline and offensive grit were the identified culprits. Topher implied that Cornell's effort was lethargic and that the RedHawks outworked his charges.
Topher, more often than any other coach on the current staff, emphasizes a blue-collar mentality in the way Cornell plays. Topher was a player of grit, hard work, and tenacity, with an occasional side of pugnacity. He is an ECAC Hockey champion and former Cornell hockey captain. His legitimacy in imparting what it requires to be a champion at Cornell is established.
It was refreshing to see that close-of-weekend goggles did not affect his judgment again. Cornell University is an institution that demands greatness. Its community believes that people are redeemed through onerous undertakings. As the most public extension of the institution, the hockey program has a duty to embody these values. Topher proved that his fellow coaches and he realize this reality, and will ensure this team returns to playing like Cornellians. Cornell must win in the Cornell way.
After a repressed tinge of disillusionment, I have regained some faith that this team and its assistant coach have not begun to settle for less than absolute excellence. My restored faith is just in time for the second half of the season.
Where Angels Fear to Tread returns to its regular coverage for the second half of the season after our break for the holidays.