The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media


Lakers win the silver division championship in Grand Rapid

Lakers finish first in the silver division of the Avalanche Tournament over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.
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Both of Lakers teams traveled to Michigan over MLK weekend. Varsity played in their final Sunday against Lake Hockey winning 4-2. JV played in their final Monday against the South Stars winning 4-3. Both teams bringing home a championship banner.

The Lakers hockey team headed out to the east to compete in the Avalanche tournament in Grand Rapids, MI. Most of the team headed out early to beat out the winter storm but arrived ready to redeem themselves from finishing second in their last tournament.

The Lakers would take on their first team, The Huron County Barn Burners, on Friday, Jan. 12. As soon as the game started, it was apparent that the Barn Burners were no match for the Lakers. Halfway through the first period, Lakes Community High School senior Vinnie Steffen would open up the scoring by putting the Lakers up 1-0. Zion Benton senior Sebastian Phillips would quickly follow this by a rebound goal, giving the Lakers a 2-0 lead for the remainder of the first period.

As the Lakers came back onto the ice for the second period, they floored the gas pedal and kept the offense booming. LCHS senior Josh Monge would stickhandle through the Barn Burner’s defense and put one in the back of the net. The scoring would continue for the Lakers, as four more points were put on the board from Antioch Community High School junior Keith Watkins, Grant Community High School sophomore Paul Gravedoni, and Grayslake North junior Riley Parpan. 

Heading into the third period, the Lakers were confident in their game but still wanted to make a statement to the other teams in the tournament. Shortly into the period, Watkins would score a beauty bar down goal. With five minutes left in the game, Phillips would score, giving the Lakers an 8-1 victory for their first game. The Lakers left their first game feeling triumphant and ready to take on the rest of the tournament. ACHS senior goalie Jack Davidson enjoys these tournaments as he believes they also help to make the team closer and bond better.

“When you spend time with each other, you just build better relationships and better friendships so I think it definitely helps,” Davidson said.

The Lakers would have a bright and early game the following day on Saturday, Jan. 13, against the Timberwolves. With confidence going in, the Lakers believed this team would be an easy win. However, this was far from the case, as the Lakers came out flat and unprepared for the team. The Timberwolves would score within the first five minutes, putting the Lakers down 1-0. Although the Lakers had countless chances, such as breakaways and power plays, they were ineffective as the first period came to an end.

Heading into the second period, the Lakers knew they had to step up their game. However, as the Lakers were assessed a penalty for crossing-checking, the Timberwolves would cash in another goal, making the score 2-0. The Lakers would struggle to battle back despite getting high-quality chances; they could not find the back of the net. Towards the end of the second period, the Lakers’ defenseman misread led to the Timberwolves’ third and final goal.

With the third period underway, goalie LCHS senior Joey Rivas held the Timberwolves to a three-goal lead. Unfortunately, the Lakers would join the scoreboard, losing the game 3-0. ACHS senior Joey Duetschmann believes that they should have beaten the Timberwolves, but the execution just wasn’t there.

“We should’ve been better prepared before the game and gotten a better sleep the night before,” Duetschmann said.

The Lakers knew they couldn’t dwell on the loss and instead had to focus on their game later that night against Belle Tire. The team had some downtime in between their games and went out to lunch, then headed back to the hotel to relax and get ready for their next game.

As 8:30 p.m. rolled around, the Lakers hit the ice to take on Belle Tire in a must-win game. However, this would be the shortest game ever in Lakers’ history. As the first period was underway, Belle Tire believed they had scored first, but to the Laker’s advantage, the goal was waved off due to offsides. As the period continued, Belle Tire began to get very physical. The teams increased in hitting and showing more aggression towards the Lakers. The Lakers, however, would push past this and open the scoring from a shot by LCHS defenseman Cooper Buckingham, giving the Lakers a 1-0 lead heading into the second period.

With the second period underway, tensions began to flare as more scrums would break out after the whistles. The Lakers knew that taking penalties could cost them the game, as they continued to avoid fights to keep their lead. Grant Community High School sophomore Eros Rabor would score on an odd-man rush quickly after the Lakers were put on a power play. Within five seconds, a shot from ACHS senior Aydin Zakrocyzmski would be tipped into the net by GCHS senior Jacob Tomassetti. 

Despite the triumph of their back-to-back goals, the game took a sharp right turn. With 10 minutes left in the second period, Grayslake North senior Max Bouma hit a Belle Tire player, leading both players to fall on the ice. In turn, as Bouma was still on the ice, the Belle Tire player proceeded to punch Bouma multiple times. A brawl would ensue, with players on both teams grabbing a hold of each other while Bouma was still being punched, defenseless, on the ice. After the fight, Bouma and the Belle Tire Player were ejected from the game and given match penalties.

This enraged the parents of the Lakers as Bouma never punched back and would ultimately cause the referees to end the game early. It would be later discovered that this was not the first time this had happened in the tournament, as Belle Tire had not played a complete game yet in the tournament. Many Lakers players and parents believed that Belle Tire should have been kicked out of the tournament, along with players voicing that Bouma still should not have been kicked out.

“I thought it was unfair; our guy was getting his face beat in, and he got a penalty. It was ridiculous on how it was handled,” Duetschmann said.

Due to the nine teams that were in the Lakers bracket, there were two championships, a silver and a gold championship. If the Lakers had won the game against the Timberwolves, they would have been in the gold championship. Nonetheless, the Lakers still wanted to come home as champions as they took on the Lake Hockey Club from Ohio. With the puck dropped and the first period underway, it did not take long for the Lakers to take control. Towards the end of the first GCHS, sophomore Paul Gravedoni would score, putting the Lakers up 1-0 for the remainder of the period.

As the Lakers headed into the second period, their coach reminded them not to fall into the trap of letting up and playing down to the team’s level. However, as the second period began, Lake Hockey Club would score, evening up the game at one a piece. The Lakers knew they had to step it up, and they did just that with a goal from Watkins, who sniped the puck into the top corner to give the Lakers a 2-1 lead. More chances were coming to the Lakers, and close to the end of the period, Zakrocyzmski would score off a rebound, increasing the Lakers lead to 3-1.

During the intermission, the Lakers coach reminded the team to keep their foot on the gas again. During the third period, the Lakers would have control of the puck for most of the period. Midway through the third period, Rabor would take the puck up the right side and shoot a rocket past the Lake goaltender, giving the Lakers a comfortable lead of 4-1. The Lakers, however, would take just one shift off, which led to Lake scoring and making the game 4-2. As the game came to a close, the Lakers were happy to come out victorious with a 4-2 win, as medals and a banner were handed out to celebrate their championship win.

Although the Lakers didn’t end up in the gold championship, they were still very happy with a silver championship for the long car ride home. The team hopes they can continue this success with the last two regular season games they have left. The Lakers enjoyed their time in Michigan, with some deciding to play football in the mass amounts of snow outside the hotel and hanging out with each other in rooms, ultimately building the team connection and chemistry.

“Hanging out with the fellas, it’s a good time at the hotel, in the locker room and especially on the ice as well,” Davidson said.

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About the Contributor
Sam Hanes
Sam Hanes, Tom Tom Staff
Sam Hanes is a senior and this is his first year on staff. In his free time, Sam likes to work out, play drums, listen to music, and play hockey for The Lakers. This year, Sam hopes to have a chill and fun year, then go on to attend Illinois State University to play hockey and study kinesiology.
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