The Lesson: Take Nothing for Granted, Leave it All On The Ice
Notre Dame Hounds / Jamie Neugebauer
An Oct. 4 showdown with the high-flying Estevan Bruins proved to be a perfect object lesson for the 2017-18 Notre Dame Hounds Junior ‘A’.
Forty minutes of tremendous effort and attention to detail, two periods in which almost no shift was taken for granted, had yielded Notre Dame a 4-1 lead, and the Bruins’ attack mostly toothless.
But then it all turned on a dime. Estevan put in three goals to force overtime, and only a beautifully-worked winner between Hounds forwards Alec Zawatzky and Chaz Smedsrud saved the day, as the club headed into the Thanksgiving Break with a precariously earned two points.
The lesson: take nothing for granted, leave it all on the ice.
"Leaving it all out there means playing with no regrets," said team captain Chance Longjohn.
"After the game when you look in the mirror, the worst thing for a player is to wish you had a shift or a moment back, so it’s all about knowing you did all you could every minute you’re out there. For me, it really is all about leading by example. This is a different level, this isn’t midget or wherever you came from, these are young men on both sides trying to make it somewhere in the game without any guarantees."
An early October visit from Notre Dame’s National Championship-winning coach Barry MacKenzie, who guided the Hounds to the title in 1988, left the current club with the message of taking pride in the process of preparation; in finding consistency of effort and focus with each opportunity to represent the school and organization, both on and off the ice.