Over Thanksgiving weekend, both NDP hockey teams traveled to South Bend, Indiana to participate in the Adam Milani Tournament. The teams played at the Ice Box and the Compton Family Ice Arena on the University of Notre Dame campus against teams from all over the Midwest.
For the first game, the D3 hockey team played against St. Joe, a hometown team from South Bend. The team did not have a full roster for the trip, leaving them with a short bench of nine players. Thus, each game, one junior player from the D1 team played with the D3 team to give them two full lines.
In the first game, Connor Shank, a junior from the D1 team, helped out. The first period of this game was slow and evenly matched. The first goal was scored two minutes into the second period on a penalty kill by team captain, junior George Simon. Simon scored again with two minutes left in the second period. The players then left the ice for an ice cut and retook the ice for the third period. After retaking the ice for a fast and furious period, Shank scored with two minutes left in the final period, making for a final score of 3-1.
The second game played by the D3 team, along with D1 junior Andrew Pessin, was against Brother Rice, an all-male Catholic high school in Chicago. Brother Rice came out strong, scoring only four minutes into the first period. The Saints came right back with freshman Drake Sullivan’s goal at nine minutes and 45 seconds in the first period, tying it at 1-1. In a fast-paced first period, Brother Rice came back and scored with two minutes left, but Pessin scored with 57 seconds left, tying the game at 2-2. Moving onto the second period, the Saints had a scoring frenzy of four goals from freshman Tyler Posch, Pessin, and two from Sullivan. After an action-packed second period and a quick ice cut, the players took their places at center ice to start the third period. Brother Rice scored in the middle of the third period, but the Saints held on, with the final score ending at 6-3. After winning this game, the Saints secured their spot to play in the championship game.
In the last game before the championship, the boys had a preview of the competition they would face the next day, Moeller, an all-male Catholic high school in Cincinnati, Ohio. The first goal was made by the D1 player for this game, junior Mason Lorraine, with 12 minutes left in the first period. In the last 50 seconds of the first period, freshman Adam Fry scored with an assist from freshman Zach Jazwin. Coming back into the second period, Posch scored the third, fourth, and fifth goal for the Saints, making the score 5-0 going into the third period. After an ice cut, a running clock was started and Posch scored again with ten minutes left in the third period. The game ended with a Saints win with a score of 6-0.
In the championship round at the Compton Family Ice Arena of the University of Notre Dame, the Saints came out strong and their first goal of the game was scored 30 seconds into the first period by Posch. After a rough two periods, Moeller was up 3-1 going into the third period. 11 minutes into the third period, freshman Evan Kobley scored, making it 3-2 Moeller. The Saints could not tie up the game, and Moeller ended up winning 4-2. The boys seemed to have a lot of fun regardless, and this team bonding experience was exactly what they needed in order to grind to the state championships and hopefully nationals for a chance to go back to South Bend.