Lynah Rink, turning 50 years old in 2007, is the home of Big Red hockey. The rink, which was dedicated April 6, 1957, was named in honor of the late James Lynah (class of 1905), director of athletics at Cornell from 1935-43.
Cornell began sponsoring a hockey team in 1900-01. All the Big Red’s home games were played on the university’s outdoor rink at Beebe Lake until the 1947-48 season when a series of abnormally mild winters left the team on "thin ice" at Beebe, causing Cornell to drop its hockey program entirely. Fortunately, the construction of Lynah Rink gave the team a new home, enabling Cornell to resume ice hockey as a varsity sport for the 1957-58 season.
Lynah has received a facelift or two since its inaugural game on March 21, 1957, between the N.Y. Rangers of the NHL and the Rochester Americans of the AHL. During the summer of 2006, the rink underwent a 16,700 square foot expansion that added new locker rooms, coaches offices, study lounges, new athletic training space and the addition of approximately 450 new seats. Prior to the expansion of the support space, the university spent nearly $1 million in renovations to Lynah in the summer of 2000, replacing the rink floor, drainage system, frost protection and refrigeration piping, as well as adding new boards and seamless glass.
Though many physical aspects of Lynah Rink have changed over the years, one thing remains constant: the crowd. Lynah is capable of holding 4,267 boisterous Cornell hockey fans who provide unwavering support for the Big Red and create an atmosphere that is unparalleled in the sport of college hockey. Although many rinks in the nation are larger in seating capacity, few are known to be louder. The Cornell fans, aptly named the "Lynah Faithful," stream into every home contest and make themselves as much a part of the game as the players do. Whether they’re cheering for the Big Red or joining the pep band in their rendition of "Give My Regards to Davy," the Lynah Faithful reaffirm the old saying, "there’s no place like home." In fact, the Big Red has won nearly 72 percent of its games played at Lynah Rink since its opening, with a 82-17-14 home record over the past seven years. The longest home winning streak for contests played in Lynah is 63 games, which started Jan. 14, 1967 and ended Jan. 29, 1972. Taking that into consideration, the Lynah advantage is no secret.
The fall of 2006 saw the completion of a renovation of Lynah Rink and a campaign to endow the ice hockey programs at the university.
A one-story, 16,700-square foot addition was constructed on the south end of the building. A new concourse was added on both sides, allowing for the addition of approximately 450 new seats, including the addition of 10 premium seating areas on the north and west ends of the rink. The following features were also created and enhanced.• Six locker rooms, as opposed to four, with significant expansions in terms of meeting rooms, cardiovascular and rehabilitation training areas.
• Offices and locker rooms for the head and assistant coaches.
The Big Red plays in front of a packed house every night at Lynah Rink.
Since Lynah Rink opened, Cornell has won two NCAA men’s hockey championships (1967 and 1970), an ECACHL record 11 tournament championships (1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1980, 1986, 1996, 1997, 2003, and 2005) and 15 outright Ivy League titles; the Red tied for the crown four times.
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