Skating the way to success

A look inside the practice of the Lakers High School Hockey team and how they prepare for games.


Laila Salata

Players on the Lakers hockey team practicing their passing skills.

The Lakers hockey season is moving quickly as the team continues to prepare for their upcoming games. Their preparations consist of on-ice practice as well as off-ice conditioning. Practicing allows the Lakers to prepare to the best of their abilities for each of their games.

Christian Peterson is a junior at Grayslake Central High School and has been playing hockey for eight years in total. This is his second year playing with the Lakers. Peterson said that the on-ice drills that benefit the team the most are the drills that have to deal with teamwork, power plays, penalty kills and quick awareness passing. Other preparations include workouts outside of the rink.

“Off-ice conditioning that I do to prepare myself before a game is definitely stretching as much as possible,” Peterson said. “The sport is so much faster than it used to be, so stretching in the upper leg areas is so important.”

Peterson also uses his own time to prepare himself not only physically, but mentally as well.

“I use my time after school to go to the gym because I believe lifting as an athlete not only gets me stronger, but it benefits [me] on and off the ice with mental strength and confidence,” Peterson said.

Another asset to the team is Shane Bystrek, a senior at Lakes Community High School. Bystrek has been playing with the Lakers since the spring of his eighth-grade year.

Bystrek explained that the drills that the team does at practice can switch up every day. Similarly, Bystrek stated that the team often splits up between offense and defense to ensure that they can work on each aspect of the game. These practices are crucial to the Lakers’ performances throughout the rest of the season.

“I think our team has the capabilities to be great,” Bystrek said. “I think this is the team that has worked the best in all my years [of] playing. Everyone is super close and we always have a good time.”

Similarly, Sam Hanes, a junior at Antioch Community High School believes that if the team keeps practicing their passing and power-play drills they will continue to see success throughout the rest of the season.

“We see each other almost seven times a week, and our lines stay mostly the same, so the chemistry is really there,” Hanes said.

The Lakers will continue to practice to make sure that they see success throughout the rest of their season. Their hard work and dedication will allow them to continue to grow as a team to see more victories in their season record.