Boys Hockey: League Championship


Nick Wnuk

Last Sunday, on February 17th, the Boys’ Varsity Hockey Team (17-5-2) swept the Loyola Ramblers (17-8-3) out of the league playoffs.

Lake Forest College amassed what looked to be 100 high school students. The students applauded every slapshot, backhand, and wrist shot leaving fans feeling more like they just left the United Center than Lake Forest College. Dues being owed of course to the 4-0 playoff run that the Scouts have garnered thus far.

Having won the last two league playoff rounds, Lake Forest heads into the League Championship against New Trier White (24-7-2) on February 22nd at 8 PM and the 23rd and 24th at 6:30 PM. The series will be played at West Meadows Ice Arena in Rolling Meadows which is about 35 minutes from the school. All fans will be welcomed.

New Trier, being first place in the league, is a force on the ice and Lake Forest will surely be seeking vengeance as they lost both regular-season match ups by 4-3 scores.

Senior Center Griffin Slobodnik uses this to fuel his play saying, “…The fact that we’ve lost to them this year sparks more of a fire under us because we have more on the table. We want to prove ourselves.”

The Scouts have already proved themselves by competing in the League Championship, but this team has set a whole new standard for expectations and has inspired school spirit like never before.

A multitude of change has taken place that has allowed the Scouts to venture into unfamiliar territory.

According to Coach Steve Sarauer, “The biggest improvement has been the team’s ability to adapt and accept the plan I have given them.”

While it may have taken some time to get used to, the first year coach at LFHS has proved himself beyond capable. With the Scouts boasting second place in the league, there’s no looking back to the whimsical play that kept them at last in 2018.

Furthermore, the Scouts have improved their physical game as well and have “improved by pushing each other,” according to Sarauer.

Before they could push each other, they knew that their bond had to expand beyond their time on the ice.

Goalie Colson Stutz added that, “The team really came together in the second half of the season and we have been playing some of our best hockey lately.”

In addition to Coach Steve’s game plan, the boys have definitely made some changes of their own being close not just as teammates, but as friends. Students have seemingly gravitated towards this massive forming student sections, and with the infamous ‘chopped’ snapchat stories, it’s easier than ever to keep up-to-date with the Varsity Hockey Team.

With all this in mind, New Trier will still be a strong opponent. They are a team that emphasizes fundamentals, helping them make few errors. Lake Forest will surely have to capitalize on their mistakes, but the Scouts don’t make too many of their own.

More importantly, according to Steve Sarauer, this team “…has a unique trait that only great teams have, and that is a ‘refuse to lose’ attitude.”

Whether that confidence was born or built in them, it will surely play its part in the League Championship.

Further on the horizon, on February 27th at 8:00 pm at Lake Forest College, the Scouts will be beginning their road to state in a massive single elimination bracket. With every game the Scouts play, the stakes get higher and higher, but for a talented team with a remarkable coach, they look to the competitions with excitement.

So be sure to get out to West Meadows Ice Arena and support the scouts in a weekend jam-packed with League Championship play. Follow @lfscouthockey to stay up to date with news and watch some game play.