Lakers skate into the playoffs

On Tuesday, Feb. 1, the Lakers hockey team takes on Chicago North in their first playoff game of the season.


Lucas Baronello

As the playoffs approach, the Lakers continue to work hard in practice to have success.

The Lakers’ first playoff game will take place at the Pleasant Prairie RecPlex ice rink at 8:30 pm. The Lakers are a combination of students from Antioch, Lakes, Grayslake North, Grayslake Central and Grant community high schools. They compete against other clubs and high school teams in the area. As one may expect, as the playoffs come, the mood at practice changes. Players and coaches shift into a more focused and intense mindset.

“Pretty much everyone is being more serious, especially coaches,” senior Gavin Frank said. “They are making us work harder in practice to get us in proper shape for playoffs.” 

It’s every athlete’s goal to be as fit as possible going into the more important part of the season. For some players like Frank, that could just mean going harder in practice, but some people have an exact muscle group and movement in mind to train.

“Usually before playoffs, I’ll start to focus my home training on leg strength, balance, and watching old games to learn from them,” sophomore Samuel Hanes said. 

Another thing players may change going into the playoffs is their routine and behavior outside of the sport. Athletes can change their whole routine into a healthier one to achieve peak fitness at their high-stakes games.

“Usually when playoffs start, I try to get as much sleep as possible and eat well to make sure I’m in the best shape I can be for games,” Frank said.

Teams also try to get better as a cohesive unit, making sure they are all on the same page going into their most intense games yet.

“I think one last-minute thing we do to help improve is look back at how we did against the opponent as a team,” Hanes said. “We will start to focus on knowing our strengths and weaknesses and improving on them before the playoffs start.”

Furthermore, the players make sure to study film so they can skate onto the ice feeling as confident as possible and have a grasp on what everyone has to do. The Lakers seem confident in their game against Chicago North. This game is the most important yet, especially for seniors like Frank, so students and staff can show their support through attending.