West Seniors Lily Dorval and Alex Denton on Salt Lake Stars Hockey

Barrett Carpenter, Sports Editor

West High has many athletic opportunities, but did you know that we have an ice hockey team? Well…sort of. Since West High does not have enough individuals to form its own high school team, students playing high school hockey do so for the Salt Lake Stars, an independent team that takes kids from around the Salt Lake Metro Area, including schools like Highland, Judge, Rowland Hall, Waterford and, of course, West. Since the 2016-17 season, the Stars Division 1 Varsity squad made 4 consecutive State Championship appearances, winning the State title and advancing to nationals 2 times. I was able to get an interview with 2 players, Senior Lily Dorval and Sophomore Alex Denton, to discuss the current state of Salt Lake Stars Hockey.

Denton plays on the Division 1 Varsity team as a Defenseman. “We are doing very well” he said about the season so far. “Our record so far is 7-1-1 and I believe we have a very good chance at making it to the state championship this year.” Dorval plays for the Division 2 Varsity team, mostly on Defense. Despite the D2 Team’s 0-8-1 record so far this year, Dorval stayed optimistic, saying “I wouldn’t say we’re killer but it’s super fun.”

Both Dorval and Denton also play for competitive travel teams outside of High School. When asked about the different experiences between travel and high school, both cited high school hockey as much less of a time commitment while still being fun. Although High school is less competitive, Dorval states that High School is “a bit rougher [than travel teams]” Another major difference is that High School Hockey is significantly cheaper than competitive travel teams, as players aren’t having to pay for travel and extra team fees for increased practice time. When asked about playing for an independent team, Denton said “I like being able to play with people from other schools…I think it’s awesome that Utah High School hockey gives everyone the opportunity to be able to play such a fun sport.” Dorval said she has made a lot of good friends on the team, but added “I wish we could have our own [team] though. We never get any recognition.”

Both the Division 1 and Division 2 Teams typically play one game a week, with some weeks having 2 games. Full schedules are available on the Utah High School Hockey website, www.utahhighschoolhockey.com, with Denton highlighting Division 1 games against UCI-North (Utah County), and Park City, who currently sit first and third in the standings respectively. He also mentioned Playoff games which start in February, saying “those would be the most fun [games] to have supporters.” Upcoming games for Division 1 and Division 2 are Monday, January 3 at 6:45pm at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex (D1) and at the Weber Ice Sheet (D2). The Junior Varsity team has a game on Saturday December 18, at 7:45pm at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex. Come on out and support your fellow Panthers, they really appreciate it!