Saturday, November 24, 2007

BU-Cornell: drop the puck!

Just a few hours until BU and Cornell face off at Madison Square Garden. Game notes are available and BU has posted links to the two special feature articles that were posted on The Terrier Hockey Fan Blog earlier this week.

Also, blog contributor mh82 spotted this reference to the BU-Cornell rivalry in a passage from Ken Dryden's book, "The Game."

"As a senior at Cornell, I was co-winner of Boston University's "most honored opponent" award, given for games against BU through a college career. Though I had won other, more prestigious awards, it was one that meant much to me, for BU had meant much to me as a player. Our closest Eastern rival, they were the necessary other side in many of my most fundamental monments, the inspiration and competitve prod for them, irrevocably and fondly associated with them.

My first season, starting because of an injury to the team's senior goalie, I played through several promising but undistinguished games, on the verge of something more, yet timorously waiting. After a 3-3 double- overtime tie with BU, I suddenly felt I could make it the way I wanted to make it. I had broken through. A few months later, we played twice within a week: in the first period of the ECAC final, I survived great pressure to learn something about myself I needed to know; then, during the warm-up for the NCAA championship game, feeling skates, pads gloves, and stick move the way they never did, I could feel myself a real goalie for the first time.

There were other games other years with lesser BU teams, not quite good enough to expose new strengths or weaknesses in us, but good enough to make us confirm what was already there, which games against other teams seldom did.

What BU was, what the Bruins are now, is a good opponent, a rare and treasured thing for any team or player. For a good opponent defines a player or a team. By forcing you to be as good as you can be, such an opponent stretches the boundaries of your emotional and playing experience, giving you your highest highs and lowest lows; your best and worst and hardest moments. When you get to an age or to a moment that causes you to look back, you realize how important that is. After years of games and feelings, it is only those boundaries, those special highs and lows, that remain."

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