ITHACA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Cornell was closing in on maybe the best collegiate hockey season of all-time with both their men’s and women’s squads entering the playoffs ranked #1 in the country.
The teams are disappointed the coronavirus pandemic cancelled their seasons prematurely, but they also realize what they accomplished during the regular season was historic.
Cornell Women’s Ice Hockey Head Coach Doug Derraugh said, “As time goes on, you will be able to reflect on just how special this was for our team.”
For the Cornell hockey teams, this year was supposed to be the year another banner was raised at Lynah Rink. Instead, both are left wondering what could have been.
Cornell Men’s Ice Hockey Coach Mike Schafer said, “It was a difficult meeting to see the seniors, how upset they are and see how upset all our players were for the season being canceled.”
“You try to look at the positives in that particular moment,” Derraugh says. “It was difficult because what we were looking forward to [was] on the horizon, and having that taken away from us; the opportunity that was in front of us, and then gone.”
Historic hockey seasons for both the Cornell men’s and women’s hockey teams were shut down in the blink of an eye due to the coronavirus, but what a year it was. For the first time in school history, both programs were ranked number one in the nation at the same time. It’s memories like those that will always stick with them.
Schafer said, “You know I think the athletes enjoyed that ride. They enjoyed the challenge of staying at number one once they got there. They had a great time with it. Unprecedented being that, not too many programs in the country in any sport can kind of boast that. It was a great accomplishment by our athletes.”
The goal was to win a championship, but both coaches realize that hockey is just a game.
“You have to fight through these adversities in our lives. I think when something of this magnitude happens it puts everything in perspective,” Derraugh said. “I think that learning to deal with these situations helps you for those moments in your life when even bigger tragedies come your way.”
Time will go on, but the players and coaches will never forget how special this past season was.
For more local sports, follow Mario Sacco on Twitter @MarioSaccoNC9
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