Tahoe Lakers enjoy success on, off ice; host homestand this weekend

The Lakers practice Tuesday in preparation for their homestand Friday through Sunday.
Bill Rozak/Tahoe Daily Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The Lake Tahoe Lakers ice hockey team was hard at work this week preparing for it’s upcoming homestand at Lake Tahoe Ice Arena.

The team had an hour-long practice on Tuesday and made the most of every minute with nonstop, high-energy drills.

The Lakers in their inaugural season in South Lake Tahoe have been enjoying success, both in the community and on the scoreboard.

“We’ve had great community support and we love playing in front of the fans,” said Dan Bogdan, coach and assistant general manager of the Lakers. “The atmosphere has been great.”

The Lakers contributed to a Caldor Fire fundraiser at the Celio Ranch in Meyers that raised $65,000 in support of the Community Disaster Resource Center. The Lakers helped put together a pumpkin patch and came back after the event to help clean up right before a snowstorm hit the area.

“They showed up on the Saturday before and asked what they could do to help,” Chris Celio told the Tribune shortly after the late October event. “They worked for a couple hours and it was amazing. Then, because we spent those three weeks getting ready, everything we had to do winterizing never got done, and snow came five hours after the event was over.”

The community has returned the support and has been showing up in strong numbers for home games. It’s becoming one of the hottest tickets in town.

Bogdan said tickets sold out on Friday and Saturday, about 650 tickets, during the last homestand last weekend and there was standing room only. And fans are getting a good show.

The United States Premier Hockey League expansion franchise plays in the Pacific Premier Division and currently sits in first place with a record of 16 (wins) 7 (losses) 0 (ties) 1 (shootout loss).

The Lakers are being led by two of their team captains, Jett Arminen and Luke Stevens.

Arminen has 55 points in 18 games, including 25 goals. Stevens is a defenseman but still has posted 44 points in 24 games, including 24 goals.

The Lakers are trying to sell out all three games this weekend when they face the Ontario Reign (7-13-0-1) for a three-game set on Friday (7:30 p.m.), Saturday (7:30 p.m.) and Sunday (10:30 a.m.).

They are looking for more support on Sunday and are offering a special “Skate the Lake” where guests can meet and skate with the team after it hosts Ontario to finish a three-game set. It’s free for kids aged 16 and under.

“There are only a handful of opportunities left with the season ending and nationals beginning in March,” Bogdan said.

Home dates remaining after this weekend include Dec. 17-19 against the San Diego Sabres, Feb. 4-6 against the Provo Riverblades and Feb. 25-26 against the Fresno Monsters.

For information about tickets, call the ice arena at 530-544-7465.

A Laker gets ready to fire a shot at goal Tuesday.
Bill Rozak/Tahoe Daily Tribune

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