Hear It From a Student - Housewarming Party

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Hockey 4.jpg I was excited to check out last Friday's pep rally. As a lifelong Notre Dame fan it was great to see Mike Golic, Tim Brown and Mike Brey up close and in person. But I knew I had to leave early to secure tickets to the unveiling of a new, state-of-the-art facility.

I had to check out the Notre Dame hockey team as it took on Rensselaer at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

From the moment I walked into the complex I realized that the long months of construction across from the Joyce Center had been for a great cause. The arena is completely modern in every way and the atmosphere inside Compton was electric. Students, alumni, the band and the Fighting Irish players were all ready to try out the new digs.

Everywhere I looked I saw something sparkling and incredible. The Irish pub on the second floor seems too good to believe, and the poster-making stations found throughout the arena were a great idea. I've got to say, the videoboard stole the show. The combination of lights, sounds and high quality videos that the new system allowed was amazing. All of the new features had the Irish fans in the arena fired up for a big game.

Luckily enough, the Irish players delivered.

Maybe it was the energy of the crowd in the new arena. Maybe it was anger at falling a few spots in the rankings after suffering two early losses. Maybe the players were caught up in the emotion of it being "USC weekend" on campus. Whatever the reason, Notre Dame came out with the kind of determination and fire that is almost impossible to beat.

Anders Lee was a man on a mission. Lee put on a show, scoring not only the first goal in the Compton Family Ice Arena but also notching its first hat trick. The Irish were aggressive throughout the night and played with the same level of intensity that led them to a Frozen Four appearance last year. The result was a dominant performance in a commanding 5-2 victory over the Engineers.

It was the perfect way to open the new Compton Family Ice Arena. And as a series of familiar chants rocked the arena at the end of the third period, I realized it was also the perfect way to kickoff the weekend. We got to see what can happen when an inspired team performance combines with a passionate fan base.

They're both powerful forces, but when they're together they're just abut unstoppable.

- Tom McGuire ('14)

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