By Ross Forman
Oliver Lepinski, a junior defenseman for Lyons Township, wears uniform No. 0 as a nod to his first name.
“It’s a nice touch to have your initial on your jersey,” said Lepinski, 16, who lives in LaGrange and skated for the LT-JV last season, too.
The right-handed shooting Lepinski started playing years ago at the house level, then played two years for the Hawks association, then the Bruins.
“One of my major goals for the season is to try and lead our team to make it into the upper echelon of our league and play for the West Cup at the end of the season,” he said. “I would like to think that I am a defensive-minded player, but as soon as we get the puck back, I am always trying to push the tempo and move the puck up the ice.
“(The) team can go as far as we let ourselves go this season. If we show up to compete for every game, I feel like we can truly battle with some of the best teams the state has to offer.
“It has been a bit of a rough start, but we are making progress and I feel as though by the end of the year we will be (near) the top of our league.”
Favorite NHL Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Favorite NHL Player: Patrick Kane
Favorite Sport (beside hockey): Basketball
Favorite Athlete (any sport): Patrick Kane
Favorite app: Snapchat
Favorite TV Show: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Favorite Pregame Meal: Chicken and rice, “because it is easy to make and very delicious.”
Best Hockey Advise: “(Former LT) varsity coach Sean Nicholson would always tell us that you can’t choose how much talent you have, but you can always choose to be the hardest working guy on the ice.”
Teammate Who Would Most Likely Become a Coach: Paul Ovnik, who “has a great sense of the game and is always working hard, trying to get better in every aspect of the game.”
Most Accurate Shot On The Team: “Center Joey Dombkowski has a great wrist shot that he has put on display multiple times this season.”
Motivational Pregame Song: Mo Bamba by Sheck Wes “because everyone gets hype and goes crazy when it comes on.”
Favorite Sports Movie: Miracle
The 2019 Stanley Cup Champion Will Be: Tampa Bay – “I thought the Lightning had a really good team last year and I thought they were going to win it, so I am going to stick with my pick from last year.”
Best High School Uniform (other than LT): Wheaton West because “I like the simplicity.”
Worst High School Uniform: “By far, the worst uniform in all of Illinois hockey is, Hinsdale Central. No other uniform compares to the atrocity that are the Red Devil uniforms.”
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.