By Ross Forman – Lake Park played the D155 Black #1 team last December in its final game before Christmas – and center Tommy Christopoulos delivered the gifts and plenty of cheers.
Christopoulos, who shoots right-handed and sports uniform No. 31, scored all three goals for Lake Park, including the game-winner with :33 seconds remaining in the third period, as the Lancers slipped by with a 3-2 win at Center Ice in Glen Ellyn.
It was Christopoulos’ career highlight night.
Christopoulos, 17, who lives in Itasca and formally played for the Chicago Bruins, also last season represented Lake Park in the annual North-Central Division All-Star Game.
“I am a playmaker and bring the puck up fast. I take low shots on net so my wingers can get the rebounds,” he said. “It was a lot of fun to play in the All-Star Game alongside players from rival schools. It was a great experience, and it was the only game since my freshman year playing that we didn’t have any penalties.”
Christopoulos was joined in the All-Star Game by AJ Biango, since graduated. “It was an honor to play alongside AJ. His aggressiveness on the ice represented how our defense played all year and kept us in many games.”
Christopoulos had 8 goals, 5 assists last season in league games for a team-leading 13 points.
Lake Park finished 5-16-1 in the 12-team Champions JV League.
“Our team started slow, but, by the end of the season, we were very competitive against the top teams in the state,” Christopoulos said. “We have a young, talented group of players, with 7 freshmen this season. Our goal is to keep developing so they can be a powerhouse team when they are upperclassmen.”
Christopoulos’ goal this season isn’t just goals: He wants to have more assists than goals.
“Tommy is a leader on and off the ice,” said Lake Park head coach Tony Brogan. “He is very coachable and always willing to put in the extra work on and off the ice for the team.”
Slapshots With… Tommy Christopoulos
Favorite NHL Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Favorite NHL Player: Jonathan Toews
Favorite Sport (other than hockey): Football
Favorite Pro Athlete: Wayne Gretzky
Favorite App: Snapchat
Favorite TV Show: Blacklist
Favorite Pre-Game Meal: Steak & Mashed Potatoes
Favorite Hockey-Playing Memory: “Playing at the outdoor rink at the Elmhurst YMCA in below- zero temperatures with ski masks on.”
Celebrity You’d Like To Meet: Donald Trump
One Pre-Game Motivational Song: Remember the Name
Favorite Sports Movie: Miracle
Best Hockey Tip: “Backcheck, Backcheck, Backcheck!” – Lake Park Coach Tony Brogan
Teammate Who You Could See As A Hockey Coach: Frankie Panzeca
Hardest Slapshot On Your Team: Matt Schrack
Most Accurate Shot: Henry Wurtz
Fastest Skater: “I am.”
Best HS jerseys (other than Lake Park): Deerfield
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.