People commonly associate sports on the ice as graceful and delicate; however ice hockey is the exact opposite. Seniors Nikhil Mehta and Zachary Potmesil are a part of the Sharks Ice hockey team.
According to Mehta, he has been playing since he was 12. He was introduced to the sport when he first saw a T.V. commercial for a place called Winter Lodge and he enjoyed his experience there and was introduced to a new facility, Sharks Ice, Mehta said.
“Competing with a team is fun for learning about the intricacies of the sport that you don’t necessarily see if you’re just watching it,” Potmesil said. “Playing goalie is really fun. When you stop the shots you get the satisfaction when you say ‘ha you didn’t score because I [blocked] it’.”
According to Potmesil, the team is at the local level and he plays on the C-Division. There are three divisions: A, B, and C; the travel teams are the best people with A being the in-house people that are very good but not good enough for the travel team and C is the lowest division.
“I play for the high school league, so there’re two parts, junior varsity and varsity. So, first you play junior varsity and then in March you play varsity. Only the best players from junior varsity get to go to varsity,” Mehta said. “We have players on our team that play on the Junior Sharks, which is the local travel team and they go all the way to New York, and Chicago.”
The farthest that Mehta has gone is San Francisco and Oakland. Because of school, Mehta does not participate with the travel teams, Mehta said. He plans to continue playing ice hockey in college, although just for fun.
“I like [ice hockey] because it’s fast and physical and aggressive,” Mehta said. “There are so many skills involved because even if you can skate well, but you can’t stick-handle, you’re not going to score goals and if you’re really good at stick-handling, but you can’t skate or you can’t hit, then you’re not going to score goals either, so you have to be the complete package.”
According to Potmesil, the players in the team practice shooting and the goalies practice stopping. It’s best to have high-calorie intake and high-carbohydrate intake the day before a game in order to build energy, but ice hockey is mostly about eating healthy, Potmesil said. The diet for ice hockey players is not necessarily high-protein, but a balanced diet, Potmesil added.