“Stronger” Defines Miami Hockey

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The men’s hockey team had a rough season this year, to put it lightly. We lost more than half our games, had the longest winless streak Miami has seen since former Coach Enrico “Rico” Blasi was on the team, and we were once again knocked out of the NCHC tournament by St. Cloud State after we came in last in the conference. In spite of this, fan following (as far as I’m aware) remained strong among students and alumni. The energy of the crowd every night in Steve “Coach” Cady Arena was as high at the start of games as it was at the end.

Anyone who comes to a hockey game (and gets there on time—before the game starts) knows that the energy builds before the game even begins. Like all Miami athletic events, hockey games start with a “hype” video. The hype video is, essentially, a highlight reel of every improbable goal, every awe-inspiring moment that fans have witnessed on the ice, set to music that uplifts fans and promises that more of the same will be seen at that game too.

This past season, the hype video songs were Imagine Dragons’ “Whatever It Takes” and Panic! At the Disco’s “Say Amen (Saturday Night).” I don’t remember what the song was my first year, but I do remember looking up the video on YouTube and watching it during weeks when it felt like my classes were decimating me more than usual. Music from the hype videos inevitably gets tied to the program, and the values of the Brotherhood. I personally can’t listen to either of the songs from this year without thinking about the team. And the song lyrics, and the values they tie to the team? Both promise that the team will work hard for their wins, that they’ll do whatever it takes and give everything they have to give.

The hockey program is about to head into a new direction. Rico’s out; Chris Bergeron is in as Miami’s new head coach. Since Josh Melnick and Grant Hutton were the co-captains this year without any alternates, for the first time in several years, next season’s official team leadership will be brand new. The talk I hear surrounding the hockey program focuses on tentative hope in our new coach, but overall doubt in our team’s ability lingers. A major tool to inspire confidence in fans as we look towards our new future and this upcoming season is the hype video that will be shown at games come fall and the start of the season. The song behind the new hype video should be “Stronger” by The Score.

You may or may not have heard of The Score by name. They only gained moderate success in 2015 and even then they didn’t make any big waves. They’re playing a small concert in Cincinnati in May, on tour for a recently released EP. Their music has been featured in Riverdale and in Power Rangers (2017). None of that matters as much as this: every song by The Score sounds hardcore to a degree nigh on epic. They exist somewhere in the space between pop music, alternative rock, and electronic. Every one of their songs seems custom-made for a hype video (see: “The Fear,” “Legend,” “Glory,” etc.), but “Stronger” suits our hockey team the best.

Why? Well, because when The Score wrote it they were also trying to start a new chapter in their career (the song was literally announced on Twitter with the caption “The next chapter has begun!”). And with that, the lyrics really fit where the team is now.

The title alone suggests this. “Stronger.” This year, the hockey team is going to be stronger. Better. We have to believe that it’s only up from here. Then there’s the chorus, “I’m still alive/Bet you didn’t think I’d come back to life.” I like this line when thinking about the team because it nods at all the difficulty they’ve had over the past three years and comes back roaring with strength. No matter what other people have thought of us, we’re about to come back to life. Other lines in the verses conjure up the strength of the Brotherhood for me too; “I can’t stop with my ambition/Like a missile on a mission/I’m a force that you will dread” is a good one. So is “Fire, faster, everlasting/Higher, faster, never crashing.” The “everlasting” in this line especially reminds me that no matter what, even as we come and go from Miami, the Brotherhood and the traditions we establish here endure longer than we do.

Change is coming to Miami hockey, but there’s still strength in the program. Even after everything the Brotherhood endured this season, they’re not (quite) dead. And next season? They can only come back stronger.

Photo by Maddie MacFarlane | SCSU Athletics

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