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


Push for the Playoffs

The Lakers varsity and JV prepare for the playoffs as the regular season winds down.
Trinity Lopes
The Lakers vs. Glenbrook South in October.

As the regular season comes to an end, both the Lakers varsity and JV teams only have a few games left to secure a better spot in their respective playoff brackets. Both teams have been ramping up practice with conditioning, physical, and overall grit. However, with both teams going into the playoffs with a 5-28 overall record, work needs to be done to put both teams in the best position for success.

JV assistant coach Will Dausman knows how both teams have been struggling but believes that there is a simple fix that will change their entire game.

“We have to keep improving on what we’ve been struggling with,” Dausman said. “Defensive zone coverage has been bad, so hopefully we can improve on that. Then we just have to find the back of the net.” 

Lakers before their first game against New Trier at the beginning of the seaon.

With that, another major issue for both teams, especially varsity, is the constant increase in penalty minutes. As of now, varsity leads the league with 384 minutes. Grayslake Central senior TJ Halvorsen, who has been out since October, has had the best view of this problem.

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“I would say taking stupid penalties just happens too much,” Halvoresen said. “I think we’ve all had dumb penalties. I mean, I got suspended a couple of games ago.”

The coaches have been actively emphasizing the importance of avoiding bad penalties. However, practice has changed drastically, with the playoffs less than a month away. Lakes Community High School senior Joey Rivas has been feeling the change in pace since the beginning of the month.

“Coach skates us more, feels like everybody is working harder, trying to improve before those big games,” Rivas said.

Playing 20 games for the regular season has built up chemistry between the players. They are leading to more success in finding the back of the net. However, chemistry and successful shots become that much more critical in the playoffs. 

“[Chemistry] is everything, man, especially when you get deep into the playoffs,” Halvorsen said.” “It matters how good you are, but the team that always ends up winning is the team with the best chemistry.”

Before the playoffs officially begin, both JV and varsity are anchoring in on the skills they need to improve on the most. However, from a coach’s perspective, both teams have a similar skill that falls short.

“Biggest skill, honestly, is being able to utilize everyone on the ice,” Dausmen said. “Both teams, there’s a lot of really good individual talent, but at the end of the day, you’re only as good as your weakest link. So when you play as a team, we play great, but a lot of times, it is an individual effort,

While both teams have a short window to improve, these changes must happen to ensure success for both teams in the playoffs. Though playoffs are a critical time in a high school hockey career, for the 13 seniors, senior night is the most important game as it is the last game they will play at the Recplex in a Lakers jersey. Senior night is set for Jan. 27 at 8:50 PM against Carmel.

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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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