A-K Valley Senior Spotlight: Deer Lakes’ Ben Korol

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Sunday, November 20, 2022 | 1:09 PM


The winter’s first snow hasn’t even fallen, and the Deer Lakes hockey team has won its first four games while outscoring opponents 27-5. Among the talented players on the roster is senior goalie Ben Korol.

Ben actively coaches the Deer Lakes middle school hockey team as a part of his senior project. He’s been playing hockey for around 12 years and has been skating since he was 3.

“I chose hockey because my dad was into it,” said Korol. “It always interested me and was always on TV growing up.”

Korol took some time out of his busy schedule to sit down and answer a few questions for a senior spotlight Q&A:

The team is off to a great start so far. What did the team do in the offseason to prepare for this season?

We worked pretty hard, and that’s pretty much it. We practiced a lot and got to know each other and who each other are. We go to practice and work hard to produce.

The Deer Lakes varsity team is back after a few seasons of only having a JV team. Did you play on the JV team before this season?

I did not. I played for Avonworth.

What was it like to switch teams?

It was different and it was hard to find a place on the team. But after a while of getting to know each other, we’re in a really good place and nothing can break us up.

How did you get into being a goalie?

I really like Roberto Luongo, former NHL goalie, and looked up to him.

Tell me a little bit about your experience with Arctic Foxes youth hockey?

I do the same thing there as I do with Deer Lakes. It’s a bit more traveling than at the varsity level. It’s Double-A hockey and we had off-ice training during the offseason.

What advice do you have for those wanting to try hockey as a sport?

Go for it. It’s a lot of fun. There will be moments where you may be down but just remember to work hard and have fun. I don’t regret choosing it as my sport, and it’s a lot of fun.

Tell me a little bit about the leadership you bring to the team.

Considering I’m the only senior, I want to motivate everyone to want to train and be better. I am the oldest and will give wisdom out. Even though I can’t wear the C (captain emblem) on my jersey, I want to encourage them to be the best they can be.

What is your favorite memory from hockey?

Six years ago, we went to Niagara for a championship game. We went to a shootout and won. It’s my favorite memory, especially considering I had a big pile of people on me after the game. It was a lot of fun.

What does your pregame routine look like?

I have to be there an hour earlier, and I must have an energy drink for an extra boost. I do one for the team and get focused before the game.

What is one thing people may not know about you?

I used to play baseball until my freshman year and then hockey was my main focus.

Who do you believe is your toughest opponent?

I’d say Bishop Canevin so far. Every single game we play is a step forward.

Do you follow any superstitions?

Before the pads go on, my left skate goes on. Then the right pad goes on after. I also must be the last one going into the locker room after warmups.

What is one piece of advice you’d like to leave with the lowerclassmen?

Keep working hard. All the effort you give is worth it. Even if it doesn’t feel like it now, just keep pushing and don’t give up. It’ll pay off in the end.

What are your future plans? Is hockey included?

I hope it is included. I would love to play juniors. In college, I’d like to study sports management and marketing. Ultimately, the plan is to go to juniors after my senior year, but if that doesn’t work, then I’ll go to college and play hockey in whatever division.

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