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Rating the top five college hockey arena traditions

By Ryan Williamson, SportsEngine, 04/28/20, 9:45AM MDT


Hub exclusive: See which school rituals made the list and vote for your favorite.

Dartmouth hockey fans have made a tradition at the team's games against rival Cornell by throwing tennis balls on the ice after the Big Green's first goal of the game. Photo courtesy of Valley News

Dartmouth hockey fans have made a tradition at the team's games against rival Cornell by throwing tennis balls on the ice after the Big Green's first goal of the game. Photo courtesy of Valley News

Looking at the college experience in general, the whole concept is littered with tradition. Each school as a whole has its general traditions, whether it's a school's fight song or freshmen orientation. They are everywhere on a college campus.

Colleges and universities also have traditions by sport. That is especially true with hockey. While the teams often indulge in the sport's long-standing traditions, schools have carved their own path in the tradition road. Here are our five favorites.

Make sure to let us know which is the best by voting in the poll at the bottom of the page.

1. Pep bands

Bands are synonymous with college athletics of all kinds. But there are certain ones in hockey that are a cut above the rest.

The University of Maine's Screamin' Black Bears Pep Band has made a name for itself, especially with its trademark "Stein Song." This is the school's song and has become a tune heard around the college hockey world.

The University of Michigan has its band packed into Yost Arena where the group belts out its infamous "Hail to the Victors."

In the northern peninsula of Michigan, the Michigan Tech pep band has become a legend of its own while playing tunes during Husky games. One of the group's most valued traditions comes in the form of "The Copper County Anthem." It's based off a waltz where all Michigan Tech fans link arms and sway back and forth. The tradition lives on today.

2. New Hampshire's fish throwing

This tradition is similar to ones seen in the National Hockey League, like the Detroit Red Wings' octopus toss and the Nashville Predators' catfish toss. However, New Hampshire's tradition of throwing fish dates back to the 1970s.

The fish tradition is a ritual where one fan throws a fish on the ice after the first Wildcat goal. According to the school's website, a fraternity did it as a symbol of the opposing team fishing a goal out of the net. The tradition lives on nearly 50 years later.

3. Lake Superior State's bell ringing

This tradition in the northern part of Michigan traces back to the 1980s.

The school describes this ritual as a chance for the Lakers to celebrate each victory. After the horn sounds, each player removes his skates and heads over to the Hoholik/Husband Victory Bell. After racing to the bell, each player rings the bell to celebrate another Laker win.

4. Wisconsin's "Tequila" dance

The Wisconsin football team has its own tradition with the "Jump Around" after the third quarter. However, the Badgers didn't stop there.

During a Wisconsin home game at Kohl Center, the student section has drawn up its own dance. This time it goes to the classic song of "Tequila." The students coordinate their moves based on the lyrics and provide some fun.

5. Dartmouth's tennis ball throw

While both Ivy League schools, Dartmouth and Cornell battle on the ice as Eastern College Athletic Conference rivals. 

The Big Green have spent more than two decades celebrating this rivalry in a special way. When playing on home ice, the Dartmouth students throw a tennis ball on the ice after the team's first goal against the Big Red. Though it may leave a mess on the ice, it's a tradition embraced by fans and players alike.

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