Despite a lopsided loss to Wisconsin on Thursday, the RIT student section remains about two-thirds full of orange-clad fans this evening at Ford Field.
Known as the “Corner Crew” back home in the raucously loud Frank Ritter Memorial Arena, the Tiger faithful have very quickly distinguished themselves on the national college hockey scene as rabid supporters of their team, having traveled in large numbers to the East regional in Albany and now to the Frozen Four.
They’re not ready to go home. Not just yet.
Rather, they’re making themselves at home.
During the national anthem they sang “and the home of the TIGERS!” over the last few words, as they do at the Ritter. They repeatedly chanted a rhythmic, “R-I-T! R-I-T!” They managed to pick on both the Badgers and the Eagles, booing Boston College’s Brian Dumoulin each time he touched the puck — simply because he wears the same number 2 as former foe Carl Hudson from Canisius — while also working in a “Go Home Cheeseheads” cheer. And they good-naturedly jeered a Badger fan who held her sign upside down: “What’s her name? Loser!”
About midway through the period, a confused Wisconsin fan leaned across the aisle and asked, “Who are you guys rooting for, anyway?” The answer: “We’re rooting for us.”
Fans wearing the colors of North Dakota, Minnesota, Maine, Michigan, BC, BU and other Frozen Four frequent fliers are fixtures at this event, while only a few Tiger fans made it each year … until now. Perhaps some more RIT faithful will join that bunch of regulars and make the orange sweaters of the D-I newcomer a fixture too.
“I wasn’t sure I wanted to come tonight after RIT lost,” said one student.
“But I didn’t know it would be so much fun!”