By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
After playing last season as an independent program, the Hun School ice hockey team once again has a league championship to play for.
The Raiders are now part of the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League which also includes Lawrenceville, Princeton Day School, Hill School, La Salle, Portledge and Wyoming Seminary.
“Last year was their second year and after their first year I had asked about us joining the league,” Hun coach Ian McNally said. “They had met and decided to do the same thing last year as the first year. So we tried to schedule all of the teams even though we were not in the league. We went 5-0 against those team.
“This time we asked earlier and this year we made the meeting conversation and we are in the league. And now they have some ground rules for new teams to enter the league. So we have a one year status to see how it goes.”
Hun had previously played in the Independence League and went 21-0-2 over its final two years in the league. Last year the Raiders finished 20-3-5 playing an independent schedule.
“A few years ago we had a league which was great because you had playoffs and standings and something the kids could strive for,” McNally said. “We kind of grew out of that league. We’re not looking to travel all over the country. For this area these are the toughest teams around and we think it is a good fit for us.”
The Raiders won the Mercer County Tournament and state Prep tournament championships last year. Now they will have a new title to play for on a one-year trial basis.
“For the kids that are juniors this year, we had first strong season two years ago in the other league,” McNally said. “We’ve had quite a growth in three years. We talk about it after every season, let’s try to figure out how to take another step next year. Last year we were able to win the prep championship, which we hadn’t done in quite some time. So what we discussed again was how do we get better? Hopefully getting into this league will be another step forward.”
Not only will the Raiders be playing a difficult league schedule, but there will be no breathers with the out of league portion as well.
“We have Delbarton which is new this year,” McNally said. “We had scrimmaged them last year but now it is a regular game. Everyone else we played last year. That was tough year with the teams that we played.
“We had a loose team meeting and I was reading off the schedule and there was a quietness as guys were waiting for a break and it never came. It’s a tough schedule but we want to challenge ourselves.”
The Raiders opened the season with a 5-2 loss to Holy Ghost Prep. They will be back in action on Dec.2 against Don Bosco and will open their MAHL schedule on Dec. 7 at PDS.
By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor