The quest for a third straight national championship got under way for the University of Mary hockey team as they opened practice today just three weeks before the first game.

The Marauders will have to replace some key members of the last two title teams, but they feel confident with the newcomers on the roster. The Marauders say their focus has 100 percent shifted to the new season, and closing out their final year at the DII level with another trophy.

“The past is fantastic,” Marauders’ head coach Dan Huntley said. “You know, we’ve got all kinds of things that have happened for our program that have brought accolades to individuals, and our team, and the culture we’ve developed, the fan base that we’ve created. All those things are in our past right now, and so we’ve got to dig in to the future and say, ‘what is this team? Where is this legacy going to be?'”

“This is our last year at the division two level and we know that, and we don’t want to leave without winning another one like we’ve done the last two years,” Marauders’ goalie Kyle Hayden said. “We want to prove that we’re able to play at the next level and that we’re going to compete there and take care of business here. We know how much fun we had with the last two. We want to go get a third one.”

UMary will raise it’s championship banner at their first game of the season on September 24 against Waldorf.