For 41 years, the Hockey Line has been a 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.
Beginning on Sept. 2, student organizations, Greek Life houses, and hockey enthusiasts lined up for the weeklong countdown awaiting the start of ticket sales. On Sept. 9, the Hockey Line countdown officially ended, with much pomp and circumstance, and a procession to the Houston Field House.
“Hockey Line is an awesome event and one of our strongest traditions,” said Grand Marshal Kyle Keraga ’15. “Rensselaer hockey is incredibly popular at RPI, its weekend games are great to attend, and the Line really shows people the role hockey plays in our culture here. Hockey Line is a great way to relax, reconnect, and get readjusted after a long summer, and traditions such as this can be the high point of a year for first-years and upperclassmen alike. Working with everyone in the Hockey Line committee was a great experience—every year these people put a lot of effort into making this happen. I think their passion for hockey and for the Line event is a testament to the strong culture we’ve built around it.
Over time, new 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. Following the end of the Hockey Line, and the start of ticket sales, attendees indulge in food and game offerings, and entertainment provided by the Rensselaer Union and participating student organizations.
This year, on the night prior to the culmination of the Hockey Line, the film Miracle—a 2004 American sports docudrama about the United States men’s hockey team that won the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics—was shown on a giant screen over the Rensselaer Union green roof. Following brief remarks from the Grand Marshal, activities included a cookout hosted by the Red Army, and performances by the Rensselyrics, Duly Noted, and RPIgnite, a drumline group.
More than 440 people participated in this year’s Hockey Line. The number is the highest level of participation in eight years for student sales, and “trending upward,” according to Norris Pearson, operations manager in the Houston Field House, who credits members of Greek Life, the Red Army, and many other Rensselaer student groups for the success. “Having a committee led by the GM and PU to really make it a student-driven event helped enormously as well,” Pearson said.
Hockey line means so much to our program and to me personally. Seeing the passion and energy that so many of our student leaders and student organizations give is special. I can’t imagine a college hockey program with a more passionate student section than the one we have at RPI.”–Seth Appert
Once the line arrived at the Houston Field House, attendees had an opportunity to meet and mingle with members of the men’s and women’s varsity hockey teams. Additional activities included a free skate period, music, food, a magician, carnival-themed games, raffle giveaways, and more.
“Hockey line means so much to our program and to me personally,” said Seth Appert, head coach for men’s hockey. “Seeing the passion and energy that so many of our student leaders and student organizations give is special. I can’t imagine a college hockey program with a more passionate student section than the one we have at RPI.”
For more information on purchasing student season tickets or general season tickets, contact the Houston Field House box office at (518) 276-6262 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.