Hockey lives at Quinnipiac

Jason Braff

It all started with the 1994 Stanley Cup. I was seven years old and sat in front of the television and cheered for the team my father cheered for, the New York Rangers, in a strange game called hockey. I didn’t know the rules, nor the teams. Canada? Where’s that? Yet, still I cheered for the Rangers because I was a budding sports fan, following my father’s team. The Rangers’ victory in that Stanley Cup only helped my will and desire to learn about this game with men on ice skates. With the help of NHL ’95 on Sega Genesis, I quickly learned the basics of hockey, the other teams and their players.

I continued to follow and support the New York Rangers and the NHL. In 2001, something happened. I’m not sure if it was the game itself, or the fact that the Rangers were turning into the worst -run franchise in professional sports. My interest in hockey began to wane. From then on I did not give a hoot about the NHL. That’s where Quinnipiac came in.

The season before I came to Quinnipiac, the NHL had a lockout and cancelled the entire season. In the fall of 2005, my freshman year, the revamped NHL started up again. When the season began, I heard that the Rangers made some moves and sparked some interest deep down in the cobwebs of the sports sector of my brain. Alas, Sports Illustrated picked them to finish dead last in the NHL.

When I arrived on campus, I was surprised to see there were actually hockey fans here. My roommate, Daniel O’Leary, from Massachusetts, loves hockey. His excitement about the game, as well as many others in my Irma hallway sparked the little interest I had left. It was then and there that I made a conscious decision to give hockey one more shot. I watched games with my friends, and realized that this game was awesome! It also helped that my Rangers had an unexpectedly great season. I now consider myself a full-blown hockey fan, and I believe Quinnipiac has a lot to do with that.

In my hallway last year the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, Colorado Avalanche and Boston Bruins were all represented by fans. I think there is a decent number of NHL followers on this campus, definitely more than people think. After attending my first QU hockey game, I became motivated to go to more NHL games. Even though the rest of the campus may not care, I am at least one Quinnipiac student who got turned on to the NHL by coming here.