The NDP Saints D1 hockey team played a close game against the Chaparral Firebirds on Sunday, September 30th. Sadly, it resulted in a hard-fought loss for the Saints.
The game was a well-played, penalty-filled event with several scoring opportunities for both teams. In fact, just two minutes in senior Jacob Poteet took “a two and a ten” penalty for a hit to the head. This led Chaparral to score its first goal during their power play scored by senior Thomas Glek. Soon after, however, the Firebirds received a penalty for elbowing and NDP junior AJ Fryer scored on the resulting power play. The first period ended with both teams scoring on the power play, leaving it 1-1 on the way to the second period.
In the beginning of the second period, both teams had little momentum. However, about nine minutes in, NDP took multiple shots on goal, giving them more momentum. Senior forward Neiman Ham set up two players for amazing shots, but the puck just could not find its way in.
Overall, there were three great shots attempted in a short time period by NDP, keeping the Saints in the game. After that moment, where NDP showed its dominance over the puck, both teams brought back their fight and there was a constant struggle for a goal for the rest of the game.
NDP’s puck-handling was great and both teams goalies played very well. With three minutes left, Chaparral attempted a close shot on goal, but it hit the crossbar instead. Throughout the whole game, but especially the second period, the puck was flying around, but no goals were scored, leaving the score at 1-1.
The third period started off quickly with Chaparral winning the face-off and senior Aidan Carney scoring their second goal. The Firebirds had a chance for another goal, but the puck did not find its way into the net. With around five minutes left in the period, Chaparral junior Ethan Eddleblute and NDP senior Judson Hayes got into a fight and both received minor penalties.
After that, the referee ejected Poteet from the game for arguing with him. By that point in the game, the Saints were ready to fight for it. Senior Adam Trupp tripped a Chaparral player while on a power play and, regrettably, gave the Firebirds a penalty shot. Luckily, this bought some time for the Saints to restore their energy and regain their focus. Fortunately sophomore goalie George Serbin blocked the shot.
Serbin showed off some great skills toward the end of the third period, blocking two great shots from the Firebirds. However, with just over one minute left to play, NDP decided to pull Serbin to give them a better chance at tying the game up. Now, with six players on the ice, the Saints had the Firebirds stuck on their side and getting tired. Sadly, the CHS goalie, Caleb Wall, had a great night and blocked three shots made by NDP senior captain Danny Doherty.
At the end of the game, the Saints walked away with a loss, but they played incredibly well. The Saints have upcoming October games against Hamilton, Horizon, and Sandra Day O’Connor.