"We hate them, they hate us, that's all there really is to it."
I've mentioned this quote in the past - uttered by an RPI Engineer who will forever remain anonymous. It's pretty much a perfect one-sentence coverage of RPI-Union. As much as RPI hated Clarkson for generations, there was never as much mutual hatred as there has been in RPI-Union for years (Clarkson always saved that for St. Lawrence).
Records are irrelevant this weekend - if you need proof, just look at last year's ECAC home-and-home. The defending national champions against a team that just got swept at home against Bentley. So of course the team that got swept at home against Bentley swept all four points. Union's victory over RPI last year in the Mayor's Cup - an equally bizarre outcome, especially considering the condition of both teams heading into it - was the Dutchmen's first win over RPI in four tries.
And it means there's some payback owed. Whoever lost the last round always owes some payback. Period.
It's the opening weekend of ECAC play for the women, too, as they travel to take on a Cornell team that's not quite as mighty as they had been in recent years (they just got taken behind the woodshed by a current power team, Boston College, in Ithaca, 12-1 in two games), and a Colgate team that has been a major competitor for playoff positions in those same years.
Important? All ECAC games are important. But this weekend, both teams face games that, for one reason or another are just a little more important.
Stick tap to Tyler Hinman for this week's pumpup.