The Difference: Professional v. High School Hockey


After their overtime win against Summit High School, the Lacers came together in group celebratory hug.

Fans of hockey all over the country agree that attending games is one of the best ways they can spend their time. On the other hand, though, they are kind of overrated. Living in the city of Colorado Springs, hockey is everywhere, and is something that doesn’t have to cost enormous amounts of money.  

This game is of the Chicago Blackhawks v. the Florida Panthers, a home game that took place on the 23rd of December.

After experiencing a few NHL games myself, one thing is for sure, the environment is incredible. Being surrounded by thousands of people who all chose to spend their night near a frozen sheet of ice, hoping to go home having watched their favorite team win, is something that has an enormous amount of energy. Not only is it amazing to be around some people that have a beautiful passion, but it is amazing to be involved in something that has this insane energy.

In Colorado Springs, almost everyone can attend some level of hockey game.  Whether it is a college game, a club game, a high school game, or a peewee game, they all take place in Colorado Springs. The nearest NHL game, however, would be an hour long drive to Denver. This time does not need to be spent if you want to watch a hockey game however.  

For instance, our very own Liberty Lancers have an ice hockey team, one of which works very hard and plays their hearts out. This team, unlike the professionals, does not get paid money to play, but instead play for their own love of the game. The team consists of 22 hard working players that each bring their own element to the game, and each have their own found love for it. Playing on a high school team shows how much they love the game, seeing as they could in turn be playing for a travel team that goes to more competitions.  Instead, they chose to play with pride, to represent their school, and to build up that reputation. Evan Hoehne, number 30, one of the three goalies on the team this year, explains “you get to represent your high school which will matter more later in life because high school tends to be a high point in a lot of people’s lives,” which shows how prideful the players on the team are. 

The attendance of these games has varied over the years and does not receive as much excitement as some other sports may. There are some things that come into play like the time and location at which they are played, that can affect how many people come. This does not mean however, that individuals cannot come on the weekends to help support the hockey team. Many games that Liberty does in fact play are right here in the Springs and are played against rivalry schools that are good match-ups. Rampart and Pine Creek are just two of the rival games played this season.  

Rather than sitting at home watching a game on TV or in efforts to procrastinate from completing homework assignments, students at Liberty High School can instead attend these games and can help support the Liberty Lancers. Many players on the team have stated that they perform better under pressure and are more excited to play in front of bigger crowds. Evan also explains that “the energy of having more people in the building makes the game seem important and that you are good enough to be represented in a positive way.” A higher attendance would hype up the whole team and create a much more energy in the building.  

While NHL games are very fun to attend and watch in person, there are other ways to watch the sport of hockey without having to pay nearly as much, while also supporting high school sports and teams. Our very own Liberty Lancers Ice Hockey team is a perfect example of this.