DAVE: Hey, Mike. How are you?
MIKE: Good, Dave. How are you doing?
DAVE: Hey, Doug.
DOUG: Hi, Dave.
DAVE: Mike, I want to walk down this hallway a little bit. Can you tell me something about the All-Americans and all these pictures on the walls and what that means to your program?
MIKE: Well, I mean, it's a historical view for our fans and for our recruits when they come in and see our program. They get a chance to see all the tremendous All-Americans that played here in the past. Really get a candid look at all the great Cornell hockey teams that have played here in the past. Our alumni love to come back and take a look at things. And it's always fun to look at the old pictures of teammates and even recruits. Doug was one of those recruits a long time ago. And our latest addition is we put up all the NHL pictures up here, just a couple of years ago, to show all the players that have gone on to have a great career after Cornell.
DAVE: And Doug, some of the pictures here now-- we get towards the women's wall. What does that mean to you and your players and your program?
DOUG: Yeah, I think just like Mike said, we've got a real storied history here in women's ice hockey, with over 40 years now of women's ice hockey. So one of the richest traditions on the women's side as well. So I think, once again, our All-Americans and being able to see all those old teams and come back here and share some memories with the players is really special.
DAVE: So here we are in the women's locker room. And as we've said before, the women's locker room and the men's locker room, all the facilities here, are equal. So Doug, I want to ask you a little bit. How's this locker room, or the locker rooms in general, different from when you were a player?
DOUG: Well, definitely a lot more space. We actually just had, a few years back, our 35th reunion. And we had a number of the women back from that era. And they walked in here and it was just like, wow, you know? They talked about when they used to come and they'd actually have to bring their bags in and change in the hallways and store their bags underneath the stands and those kind of things.
So now to see where that's evolved into a dressing room like this-- and now I think it's probably one of the best dressing rooms in all of women's ice hockey. So definitely very complimentary when you bring in recruits and they can see the facilities that we have here and a dressing room like this, where everybody has individual stalls, obviously, and lots of room for warm-ups and cool downs and everything else. So it really is impressive. You know, a video-- right here in the dressing room, you can pull down a screen and show a team video. And so it's just, yeah, it's really a big plus for us.
DAVE: So you mentioned recruits. And Mike, I want to ask you a little bit. What is having a nice, bigger locker room than you've had in the past, as Doug said-- what does that do for recruits and helping your players on a day-to-day basis?
MIKE: Well, it provides our athletes with a first class experience. And for us, it was the last remaining piece of the puzzle. The best education in the world, best fans in the country, a winning tradition, but we still lacked the facility from a recruit to come in here and know that he could develop into becoming a tremendous player. And we have that now. And as Doug said, there's no comparison. These guys are-- and the girls-- are spoiled--
MIKE: --from when we played here. We had a very small facility. But I think we've kept that kind of atmosphere, the family atmosphere, in our facilities. And where it's not really cushy, but everything that they need is here for them to develop and become a great player and a great team.
DAVE: So from here, we're going to head over to the training room. What was the training room like when you were here compared to what it is now?
DOUG: I can honestly say I can't even remember us having a training room. I think there was basically one bed like this for the whole team. And it was a room about the size of a closet, basically. And yeah, so I mean now you can see what we've got. And as Coach Schafer said in the dressing room, spoiled, I would say.
DAVE: [LAUGHS] So Mike, I want to head over here. What are some of the ways these players use this? I see we have an ice bath over here. Does this get used a lot? Do players use these things?
MIKE: Yeah, the biggest thing for us is that we've had everything possible for rehab for any type of injury. And the ice baths and the hot tubs here for a cool down after games or for injury rehab also. So our trainer, Ed Kelly, for our program has done a tremendous job for us over the course of time. But again, when they put a wish list together-- we asked Ed to put a wish list together and he was-- every wish was granted. And so we have all the facilities needed here for rehab.
DAVE: So I can also see out this way we have a cool down room with a full team worth of bikes. Is this something the team does after every game?
MIKE: It is. We use these bikes for a warm-up in practice and before they go on the ice surface-- an opportunity for the team to come in here and cool down after games, for extra conditioning. But it's also another area for rehab for our athletes, that any type of injury where they don't need to go down to the weight room or to the training room somewhere else, that we have all the necessary equipment right here for them to develop.
DAVE: Absolutely. So from here, before a game, they'd head down to the ice. So that's where we're going to head now. Let's head this way. Well, here we are at the top of the stairs to the ice. Mike, how is this different with stairs from when you were a player?
MIKE: Well, we didn't have stairs. But when we built the place, everybody was concerned about going up and down the stairs in our skates. And had to explain to a lot of people, hockey players and skates, it's a second nature. It's no big deal for them to come up and down. And they work so hard-- it's easy for them to get on and off the ice. And it really isn't that big of a deal.
DAVE: Doug, what's going through your mind as a coach and through your players' minds as you're walking down these stairs onto the ice here at Lynah?
DOUG: Well, it's really exciting, because you're in your own little world up there in the dressing room. And then all of a sudden you come down here, and this little beam of light coming out here, and you're all by yourself. And then all of a sudden you come out, and the fans are on top of you and cheering loudly. And so it's a really exciting atmosphere to come out into.
DAVE: And here we are on the ice. And you look around, and as a player you see these banners and these retired jerseys. It's got to be just an incredible feeling.
MIKE: Well, it is. When you come out here for game night and play it, the electricity in this building with the fans is just unbelievable. And to come through that, it's really-- it's actually really emotional when your skates hit the ice. And it's the best memories that I've ever had playing sports. So I know our guys, when they hit that ice surface, they want to live up to the tradition that's in this building of being a champion and a tradition of excellence. But it is just an unbelievable sporting event, and it's so much fun. And it's something that our players obviously look forward to, is playing hockey on a Friday and Saturday night.
DAVE: Well, Mike. Thanks so much. I know you got things to take care of and whatnot. So Doug's going to take us through the rest of the way. But I really want to thank you for taking the time to take us through here. And good luck on the season.
MIKE: Well, I appreciate it. And hopefully the fans and alumni get a chance to see some of the facilities that we're very fortunate to be part of here as coaches. And thank you very much for your time.
DAVE: Thanks so much. We'll head this way towards the stick room. How do your players use this incredible facility?
DOUG: The shooting room, actually, when I was a player here, I remember I used to take a corner of the rink, and just with my shoes on I'd go and shoot pucks and drive the coaches nuts, because they'd hear the clang, clang, clang of the pucks all the time. What's nice about this is it's a polyethylene surface. It's called synthetic ice. You have to spray it every once in a while. The players have to wear their skates on here. So you can actually shoot pucks with your skates on, which simulates exactly what they do on the ice.
So our players, they'll come in here, shoot pucks on their own. They can shoot heavy pucks. We can put targets up. They can shoot at targets, work on their accuracy. You can pass it, work on one-time shots. You can put a goaltender in the nets, work on some goaltending things. So lots of different things that we can do with it. Obviously, a very valuable tool. And it's open 24 hours a day. So our players will come in here anytime they have a break in classes and just work on their shot.
DAVE: That's great. So I think from here, we're going to head over to the skating treadmill, which is right this way. Here we are at the skating treadmill. And this is something I've never seen before, anything like it. Can you tell me how it works and how you use it?
DOUG: Yeah, it's a very unique instrument, obviously, the skating treadmill. It's synthetic ice, like in the shooting room. So the players will come in here, they get on this harness here. The harness goes around their legs and around their back. Then, they step on here. This clips on to their back here, so that they do not fall on the treadmill.
You have a coach running it right there. So it's one-on-one feedback between the coach and the player. You've got the mirror right in front of you. And the nice thing about this tool is, yes, you can work on skating on the ice, obviously. But on the ice, you never-- you might get feedback from the coach saying you need to do this or that. And you might think you're doing it, but you can't see yourself.
DOUG: Right here you can see yourself in the mirror. And you can say, OK, look at what your right leg's doing. And they can see what's happening as they're doing it. And that direct feedback really helps them to develop better skating habits.
DAVE: Mm-hmm. So does this tilt up at all? Or is it often that players fall? Or why are we-- harness players in and all that kind of stuff? It sounds almost crazy.
DOUG: Yeah, I mean, in the five years that I've been here, I've only had one player fall on it so far. I mean, we're careful with it. But yeah, safety always comes first. But yeah, so you can put it up on an incline, so you can have them skating, theoretically, uphill.
DAVE: [LAUGHS] Wow.
DOUG: And it used to be used a lot for conditioning. We use it mainly now just for skating technique. You know, back when I played, there wasn't very much ice available in the summertime. So you would do biking, you'd run, you'd do those kind of training things. And then you'd go to get on the ice, and you'd just feel like you hadn't done anything until you got your skating legs going. And this was a great go-between, conditioning-wise. You do your biking and running. You get on the treadmill and keep your skating legs going. And then when you got on the ice, there wasn't as big a gap.
DAVE: Well, there you go. Well, thanks so much for taking us through Lynah Rink. Really appreciate it. And thanks again for your time. We really appreciate it, and good luck on the season.
DOUG: Thanks, Dave.
DAVE: Thanks so much.
Thanks for watching Sidelines. Tune in next time. Let's go Red.
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A special, behind the scenes tour of Lynah Rink with men's hockey head coach Mike Schafer and women's hockey head coach Doug Derraugh. Mike and Doug take us through the locker room, training rooms, down to the ice, and show off the unique shooting room and ice skating treadmill.