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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Notre Dame chapter.

This is an open love letter to the beautiful game of hockey.

This is not because I’m still riding the high from the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup. It’s not because I think hockey is always the middle child of sports, typically being overshadowed by basketball and baseball.

It’s because hockey is one of the most difficult sports out there.

I mean you try shooting in that goal…

And skating while simultaneously passing around a puck. Players are constantly swapped in and out during the game, a testament to how rigorous a workout hockey is.

I haven’t even gotten to the game.

First off, I don’t see how people can get bored watching it.

It’s a good two hours of entertainment. Three 20 minute periods and there are rarely time outs or reasons to stop the clock. It’s the kind of fast-paced sport that you can’t take your eyes off the game for a second without missing something big.

If you’re lucky, you might even see things get a little rough…

And the occasional fight when things get heated.

The players have a lot of integrity. Even though it doesn’t track a lot of media attention, what news coverage it does get rarely focuses on a scandal. These players are just humble and hard-working.

And I almost forgot to mention the fanfare.

Notre Dame does hockey right. We might not have a perfect record *cringe* but with the themed nights and free t-shirt give-aways, it still draws in the crowds.

Shoutout to the ’90s night theme

And the ND hockey band is worth coming alone… because where else can we shout, “loser, you let the whole team down” to the opposing team’s goal keeper when we score on them.

Jumping to the national arena, you’ve got a nearly one hundred year history of the NHL that started out with only three teams and has grown to 30, all with their own dedicated fan-following, rivalries, and some of the most original team names in professional sports.

Predators, Maple Leafs, and Penguins–Oh my? Where else will you find team names like these, but the NHL?

And when we win, we win big and know how to show it.

So until next season,

The HCND application is now open! For more information contact Rebecca Rogalski at rrogalsk@nd.edu or Katrina Linden at klinden1@nd.edu.

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Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (provided by author), 10, 11, 12

(cue typical college student intro) Natalie is a freshman from Notre Dame studying business and journalism.  She is originally from Kansas City, Kansas, aka the land of Oz.  She willingly admits that her inner monologue is narrated by the voice of Kristen Bell, or more commonly recognized as the voice of Gossip Girl (xoxo).  In her spare time in which she is not trying to find a semi-comfortable place to crash for a power nap, she loves to read anything and everything, craft and has the dorm decorations to prove it, plan out her outfits a week in advanced, make coffee runs at any time of day, and last, but never least, hang out with her friends.  She is so lucky to have found a family at Her Campus and finally, Love Thee, HCND!