Michigan Hockey at Yost Ice Arena
As I have probably mentioned in other posts (meaning I have mentioned it), I have been a member of the basketball band for the past four years and have been to just about every Michigan home game in that span. The atmosphere in Crisler Arena is fantastic, and the Maize Rage has really grown into a loud and intimidating group as the team has improved. But let’s be honest, they have NOTHING on the student section at Yost Ice Arena.
I was lucky enough to have the chance to play in the hockey band this past weekend for the series against Miami of Ohio. The Redhawks have usually given Michigan trouble, but have cooled off this year. Regardless, it was still going to be a difficult series. Long story short, Michigan swept the series by winning 4-1 on Friday night and 3-0 on Saturday. Michigan played tremendous defense and capitalized on scoring opportunities, all while playing physical hockey against a scrappy Miami team. Aside from sweeping the series, the best part of the entire experience is the student section at Yost.
From the very beginning, they’re coordinated in cheers, yelling at the refs to “Check the net” and then “Get inside!” They get into “The Victors,” “Let’s Go Blue,” and have an awesome tradition of reading the newspaper while the other team’s roster is announced.
During the game, they’re even better. They’re loud, they’re profane, and they get under the opponent’s skin (especially this weekend). It’s my goal one day to learn the entire chant for when an opponent gets taken to the penalty box. And because of Michigan hockey, my vocabulary now includes “sieve,” which I am very proud of.
My favorite part though: they love the band. They sing along to us, they clap along, they even yell “Let them play” when music plays over the PA system. It makes us feel really good… they do our cheers, dance to “Rocky the Flying Squirrel” and “Blues Brothers.” It helps that we’re right next to them and basically an extension of them, but even if we weren’t, I think the student section would be just as supportive.
So, the point is this. If you haven’t been to a Michigan hockey game at Yost, go. It will be one of the best times of your college experience. There’s a reason that the Wall Street Journal said that Michigan had the best crowd last year. There is so much tradition in that small building, and I’m definitely going to miss it after I graduate.