NDP’s Division 1 hockey team is coming off a very successful 2018-19 season, falling just short of making the championship game last year. According to senior forward Jacob Poteet, “we were the best team [in 2018-19] by far but in our semi final game we were missing a lot of people and lost in overtime.”
The team had some key injuries last year including current junior forward Mason Lorraine with a broken arm, Poteet with a torn ligament in his leg, senior forward Marek Hertle with a broken hand, and senior forward Kaiden Mazahari with a head injury. The team finally has everyone healthy with the exception of Lorraine who is out with a broken arm. This season, they have ambitions of winning the championship and they are looking like a championship team so far.
In their second preseason game of the season, held on Sunday, August 25th at the Ice Den, the Saints took on the Tempe Desert Vista Thunder. The game started with a strong offensive push from Notre Dame Prep and it seemed they had control of the puck and offensive time for the majority of the first period. Then, NDP senior forward Neiman Ham scored the first goal of the game with 7:26 left in the first period. Not too long after that, Desert Vista answered with a goal of its own.
The second period of the game was quite eventful, with both teams getting in several little scrums. With around five minutes left in the second period, senior captain and forward Danny Doherty was sent to the penalty box for an illegal hit against the opposing team after the whistle was blown due to an offsides penalty. Doherty received a 10-minute major penalty for the hit, which started some pushing and shoving between the teams. The game got out of hand for Notre Dame in terms of the amount of penalties received, with five players being sent to the penalty box versus Desert Vista only having two.
Desert Vista was never able to capitalize on the power play chances, and after a scoreless second period, the game moved on to the third and final period. Not much happened in the beginning of the third period, but the game kept getting more and more physical. The Saints again had the most time on offense, and it paid off with a clutch, last-minute goal from senior Marek Hertle. It came with 23.3 seconds left in the game. That goal by Hertle was the game-winner for NDP, leading to a 2-1 victory against Desert Vista.