Where have all the fans gone?

Where has the fan support gone at Laker hockey games? For the women’s games, there is quite a crowd for every game, but in the Ice Center, it was quiet enough to hear a pin drop.

After every goal of our beloved women’s team, and thus far there have been 30 of them in four games, the arena is far too quiet. Hockey is so great in person because of the atmosphere, where the crowd goes from quiet anticipation to total euphoria in a single second, lighting up as quick as that red light can go on.
That is missing from this year’s crowds.

Hockey games are not social hour. It is not a venue to plan the rest of your night. Though those things are acceptable while there, save it for the intermission, huh?

I have tried, in my commentating duties to JazzFM-WMCE, to rouse the crowds. I have failed.

The student crowd at Saturday’s game was nearly nonexistent, but I honestly hope that this trend does not continue.

Mercyhurst hockey crowds have been, in all my years here, rabid, involved and boisterous. Some basic chants used by fans in the past:

“Let’s go Lakers!” Clap, clap, clap clap clap.

“Here we go Lakers, here we go!”

“We are! M-C!”

(To the tune of “When the Saints go Marching in”) ”Oh when MC, goes skating in, oh when MC goes skating in. Oh we were born to kick your (blanks), when MC goes skating in.”

There are others, but that’s a pretty good start. Lakers fans really need to start working on these in order to live up to the stories of the past.

In recent years, Steve “Kirby” Faber was our greatest fan, aided by John “Chippy” Lorenz. Those two led chants for many years, inspiring fans in ways that few others could.

Before them was Jeff Cagle, a true legend, who painted up and dyed his hair for games, shouting through a traffic cone among a band of people banging on pots and pans. We have come so far from those days.

I still remember my freshman year, the year when the Lakers’ women’s team, led by a freshman Meghan Agosta and a junior goaltender Laura Hosier, went to the playoffs against Minnesota-Duluth for the first time.

After a pep-rally the night before, the stands were literally full. There was no extra room for anybody anywhere, and you were lucky to have space to put your arms down, though nobody wanted to.

The entire game, nobody could hear themselves think. Chants and cheers were absolutely constant. Clappers were handed out by Student Activities Club, and everyone lucky enough to receive one was using it without stop. When 500 students with clappers raise them above their heads and slowly lower them to in front of their faces and repeat, it actually sounds like a rainstorm. At least 100 painted up.

My friend and I had dressed in full goalie gear, complete with Mercyhurst-themed masks, and we were considered mild fans. The game went to overtime, and volume levels were deafening.

When the Lakers tragically lost, nobody knew what to do.
The crowd of 1500 was dead silent. Finally, Jeff Cagle shouts a lament, it’s repeated by the crowd, and after a short pause, everyone begins applauding. We supported our team in the loss, felt for those girls and celebrated all that they had accomplished.

It was a truly amazing time, a time that endeared me to this school and these teams like nothing else could. Since then, we have grown so complacent, expecting huge victories and growing bored with success.

Our teams are better than ever. Fan support now is so important. Let’s celebrate what we have, appreciate all our teams have done and help push them over the top.

Please, Mercyhurst, let us rededicate ourselves to these teams, and start a whole new generation of Laker Lunatics on the right track. Go to the games, cheer for the teams and be as active a fan as you can be.