HockeyKind of like soccer, except on ice

It was a very dreary Tuesday afternoon. While many students were doing homework, playing video games, and just hanging out, a select group of teenagers were sprinting long lengths of ice with blades strapped to their feet. Armed with sticks, and protected with pads, helmets, and mouth guards, these high school students were deeply engaged in their favorite sport, ice hockey. The stands were empty during this practice, despite an amazing display of talent and passion. Several students at the high school did not even know that Ames had a hockey team that they could participate in. The team consists of around thirty players ranging from freshmen to seniors. After a disappointing season last year, when the team finished ninth out of eleven teams, most of the players feel they will do much better this year. Although the team lost some good players last season, like 2006 graduate Mikie Owen, the players lost have been replaced by players just as strong or even stronger. With seniors on the team like Aaron Mostrom, Travis Heithoff, and Brendan Babcock, the team is sure to do well. “I am confident that we have improved our game, both in our offense and our defense,” Heithoff said. Teams in the conference include the Oak Leaves, Capitals, Warriors, Junior Stars, Metros, Junior Lancers, Mohawks, Blues, Mustangs, Devils, and Junior Outlaws. “Probably the best teams are the Oak Leaves and the Capitals,” several team members said. Both of these teams are from Des Moines, so this has created a strong rivalry. The teams in the conference teams stretch from Omaha to Dubuque, and as far south as Kansas City. “We are going to do better than last year, but we need more fans to come and cheer,” goalie Mostrom said. After seeing the team in action, it is easy to see that Mostrom is right. The players shot the pucks at high speeds with pinpoint accuracy. Despite a half-hour of constant bombardment by pucks, Mostrom had still let in less than a dozen. While some sports teams like football are losing strength, fans need somewhere to go to see exceptional wins. Hockey will be that place. The hockey games will not start for a little more than a month, however, practices are viewable at the Ames City Ice Arena. The practices start around 5:15 in the afternoon on weekdays. Every team needs spectators, and the hockey team is in desperate need. These games will be exceptionally played and enjoyable to the spectators. Keep in mind, though, that the games are much more fun with a sweatshirt in hand. “Although I haven’t gone to any of the games before now, I plan to this year with the way the team is looking,” senior Rohan Agarwal said.