Cornell Men's Ice Hockey's success runs deep through Syracuse
Lynah Rink at Cornell University, on a game night, is unlike anything you have ever seen.
It's widely regarded as among the best environments in Division-I college hockey, which is exactly the reason many of the team's players chose Cornell in the first place.
"We play in the best atmosphere, I believe, in college hockey and we have a great rink and a great group of guys," Cornell junior forward Anthony Angello said.
The combination of that, coupled with an 11-game win streak, propelled Cornell to the nation's top spot for the first time in 15 years -- and its top two scorers have significant ties to Central New York.
"Being from Syracuse, I'm only an hour away," Angello explained. "So my parents have been able to make every home game."
"My dad was coaching Syracuse for a while," Cornell senior forward Trevor Yates replied. "I think as soon as I started walking, my dad got me on skates."
Anthony Angello is a graduate of Fayetteville-Manlius high school. Meanwhile, Trevor Yates is the son of former Syracuse Crunch head coach Ross Yates.
It's the impact a pro hockey team can have on any community. Angello grew up watching the Syracuse Crunch -- idolizing the Crunch players -- and now look at him.
The F-M Hornet is the leading scorer on the nation's No. 3-ranked team in America.
Without the Crunch, who knows what Anthony would have looked up to?
And without Anthony, who knows where the Big Red would be?
"I grew up going to the Syracuse Crunch games all the time," Angello answered. "I obviously wanted to make it a goal of mine to play at that level. Not only that level, but play at the next level in the NHL after."
"It was always a great experience as a little kid going out on the ice, passing the puck with Derick Brassard or another good player who played for my dad," Yates shared with a smile. "But yeah, it was awesome."
And how awesome is it that Cornell's championship hopes rest of the shoulders of two young men whose roots run right through Syracuse.