For nearly 40 years, the Hockey Line has been a long-standing (no pun intended!) tradition at Rensselaer.
The annual rite of passage for avid Rensselaer hockey fans provides an opportunity for individuals to stake out a spot alongside the Rensselaer Union in order to purchase season tickets for upcoming hockey games. Earlier this month, student groups lined up for two weeks, rotating individuals to ensure that someone was always present. On Sept. 10, the Hockey Line countdown officially ended, with much pomp and circumstance and a procession to the Houston Field House.
“The Hockey Line is one of my favorite traditions on campus,” said Grand Marshal Chuck Carletta ’14. “As many of you know, college hockey games are must-watch events, and it has been this way for a very long time. The tradition originated here with the design of the Houston Field House. Originally, there were large support columns throughout the building that held up its roof. Groups of students would camp outside the Union for months to get tickets in order to ensure unobstructed seats. In the ’70s and ’80s, the line formed in late July before the fall classes even began. The Psi Upsilon fraternity even bested the previous record of 33 days in line with 178 consecutive days in line when they camped out the day after the Engineer’s 1985 national championship.”
Over time, changes to the Hockey Line tradition have made the event more festive and provided opportunities to not only engage members of the campus, but also student organizations and the Athletics Department.
This year, following brief remarks from the Grand Marshal, activities included a cookout hosted by the Red Army, and performances by the Pep Band, Rensselyrics, and a new drumline group. The Rensselaer Society of Engineers also partnered with all of the Greek life fraternities and sororities to offer a series of hockey-themed yard games for students.
This year, more than 439 members of the campus community participated in the Hockey Line event. At the Houston Field House, attendees had an opportunity to meet and mingle with members of the men’s and women’s varsity and American Collegiate Hockey Association teams. Additional activities included free skating, a behind-the-scenes tour of the locker rooms, and carnival-themed games.
“The Hockey Line event was exceptional and my hat is off to the entire team that made this possible,” said Jim Knowlton, director of athletics. “Every aspect of the evening was spectacular and I was excited to see the energy of our students and staff to make this a special event. A special thanks to our GM and PU, who both provided leadership to help make the event top-notch. I am looking forward to the season and excited that we will have even more students each night to help the Houston Field House rock!”
“I would like to thank everyone for the great team effort in putting together Hockey Line,” said Seth Appert, head coach for men’s hockey. “I feel very fortunate to be coaching at a school that has such passion for hockey and such an engaged student body. I loved seeing so many different student groups all come together to pull off a great event.” Season tickets are still available through the Box Office.
To read more see archives.rpi.edu/blog/2009/09/08/at-the-beginning-of-the-hockey-line/.