Hockey tripped up by Lakers

Photo courtesy of CHFS Hockey.

Photo courtesy of CHFS Hockey.

Tim Moran, Staff Writer

The CHFS (Conant, Hoffman, Fremd, Schaumburg) Chiefs hockey team, comprised mainly of Fremd students, fell to the Lakers, 4-0 on Friday, Nov. 13. The late-night loss sent the disappointed Chiefs home on Friday as their record dropped to 8-8-1. The Lakers, coming from the Grayslake/Antioch area in Northern Illinois, poised a tough challenge and went home victorious.

The game started out evenly, with both teams having a few solid chances to score. Some of those opportunities ended up in missed shots while others led to great saves by the two goalies. The contest continued like this for the rest of the first, until the final minute. After the Lakers possession in the Chiefs’ end, the puck got loose in the middle of the ice. After a fierce battle of sticks, Jason Volpe, #41 of the Lakers,  got control of the puck and fired it behind the Chiefs’ goalie, Fremd junior Peter Kolodziej, to give the Lakers the lead with just 16 seconds left in the period.  

Matt Park, a sophomore forward from Fremd, points out that the Lakers’ offensive control was a recurring problem.

“We couldn’t control the puck down in their end well, they would always be in our end,” Park said.  

The Lakers kept the pressure on during the second period, scoring quickly off a faceoff six minutes in. Blake Berry recorded the goal that increased the Lakers lead to two. For several ensuing minutes, the Lakers dominated puck possession and kept the Chiefs on the defensive. CHFS created some chances, although none of their shots found the back of the net. Additionally, two penalties at the end of the period stopped any momentum the Chiefs had generated.

Assistant coach and applied technology teacher Jason Volgi felt the Chiefs’ drive was lacking at times, opening up scoring opportunities for their opponents.

“We had a good first period and then we let our foot off the gas the rest of the game,” Volgi said.  “We slid downhill in that second period, which we lost big time.”

Desperate to score in the third, the Chiefs were held back for the first ten minutes. Then, with five minutes left, a Lakers forward maneuvered around a Chiefs defenseman and converted the open chance, essentially sealing the game. Two minutes later, a slap shot zipped into the Chiefs’ net, and the Lakers’ lead increased to four. Fremd senior Drake Danzer hoisted one into the net as time expired, but the official call was no goal.

Coach Volgi feels his team’s play in their own end was often less than stellar.

“The biggest thing for us is they had their second guy in our zone open the whole game, and he was able to finish those shots,” Volgi said. “We struggled to get the puck out of the zone a lot, gave them a lot of second chances.”

Fremd junior Jason Gadawski reasons that the Chiefs felt intimidated from the start.

“The first time we played them we were down a lot of people, and they dominated the whole game and were physical,” Gadawski said. “We came out knowing that was going to happen, and that got us.”    

Regardless of the outcome, the Chiefs had some positive play in the game. Volgi explains that the Chiefs kept pace and created chances at certain points.

“The biggest thing that we did well is we skated with them, and we had a good first period,” Volgi said. “We also had a lot of shots on net.”

Park briefly summed up what the Chiefs can learn from this game.

“Move the puck around and play more physical,” Park said.

Looking ahead, the Chiefs can hold their heads high on their ability to create chances, skate well, and play efficiently in the first period. Heading into the midseason stretch, Fremd players look to capitalize on their strengths and gain momentum before they skate into the playoffs.

You can see your favorite Fremd students in action soon, as the Chiefs play next on Friday, Nov. 20, at 9:00 P.M. at West Meadows Ice Arena vs. PREP Hockey Club.