By Ross Forman
Randy Apter is leading Sandburg, with 22 goals, 12 assists in 21 games. He has 34 points, followed by Joey Gigliotti (26 points in 26 games) as the Eagles are 9-20-2 overall and finished 2017 with 3 consecutive losses.
Apter also has been the main offensive star for the Huskies Midget Minor (CS) U16 team, which entered 2018 with a 21-16-1 overall record and wins in 3 of their final 4 games last year.
“I love playing on both teams because it gives me more time on the ice,” said Apter, a right-handed shooting center who is a junior at Sandburg and still undecided on his college plans. “(The) Huskies comes first; I had to convince my parents to allow me to play for my high school team, (too).”
The strength of his Huskies team is, speed. Plus, “we are a close group of friends,” he said.
The strength of Sandburg this season is, scoring.
“I get to play in a lot more games than most, but (it) does get grueling. There is rarely a day off from hockey,” said Apter, who enjoys the competition from high-level hockey and the chance to play with alongside his classmates.
Apter, 16, lives in Orland Park and sports jersey No. 43 – in recognition of his birthday, April 3. He is in his first season playing high school hockey and it is his fourth for the Huskies. Apter previously has skated for the Orland Park Vikings.
He has been skating since he was 2.
“It was, (early on), much tougher than I thought. My parents tell me stories about when I was younger and they (had to) bribe me to go around the rink,” he said. “I do not remember (playing in) my first game, but I do remember always loving the game.”
This season, though, has been “hot and cold, mediocre so far,” he said.
Apter skated solo for the Huskies U16 Central States team last year.
“I am a playmaker (who) looks (to) pass first. I have always had a knack for scoring goals as well. My game is speed, not physical,” Apter said. “My parents and grandparents (have) had a big influence (on my career). My grandfather and dad both coached for many years.
“I try to stay confident (on the ice) and always believe I can score on the next shift, even when I am in a slump.”
Highlight goals from his career include an overtime tally in a peewee AA state playoff game.
Slapshots With … Randy Apter
Favorite NHL Team: Minnesota Wild
Favorite NHL Player: Zach Parise
Favorite Sport (other than hockey): Baseball or golf
Favorite Pro Athlete: Conor McGregor
Favorite app: NetFlix
Favorite TV Show: NHL Tonight
Favorite Sports Movie: Benchwarmers
Hardest Slapshot On Your Team (excluding yourself): Josh Gilbert
Teammate Who Someday Would Make a Great Coach: Kevin Normoyle
Best HS Jerseys: OPRF
Worst HS Jerseys: Lake Park
On The Run: Ran cross-country for two years at Sandburg.
In The Family: “I have three brothers who play hockey and a sister who goes to Butler, where she is a swimmer.”
Ross Forman has written about Illinois high school hockey for more than 15 years, and is the only sportswriter to have covered Illinois High School hockey every year during that stretch. He played locally and then at Indiana University before becoming a referee. Ross was a referee for the State Championship game several years ago at the United Center. Contact Ross by email at Rossco814@aol.com.