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Senior travels to Alaska to play hockey

Luke Mobley plays for the NAHL’s Ice Dogs

Senior+Luke+Mobley+scans+the+ice+during+Park%E2%80%99s+game+against+Benilde-St.+Margaret%E2%80%99s+Feb.+22.+Mobley%E2%80%99s+Fairbanks+Ice+Dogs+are+the+number+one+seed+in+the+Midwest+division+of+the+NAHL+entering+the+playoffs.
Senior Luke Mobley scans the ice during Park’s game against Benilde-St. Margaret’s Feb. 22. Mobley’s Fairbanks Ice Dogs are the number one seed in the Midwest division of the NAHL entering the playoffs.

Senior Luke Mobley scans the ice during Park’s game against Benilde-St. Margaret’s Feb. 22. Mobley’s Fairbanks Ice Dogs are the number one seed in the Midwest division of the NAHL entering the playoffs.

Josh Halper

Josh Halper

Senior Luke Mobley scans the ice during Park’s game against Benilde-St. Margaret’s Feb. 22. Mobley’s Fairbanks Ice Dogs are the number one seed in the Midwest division of the NAHL entering the playoffs.

Ndunzi Kunsunga

Leaving home after his high school season, senior hockey player Luke Mobley said playing in Alaska has been a worthwhile experience.

“I’m very excited (to be here). It’s an opportunity I’ve been looking forward to,” Mobley said. “I just want to improve and make the best of it.”

According to Mobley, he is spending his second semester of senior year playing hockey for an Alaskan team in the North American Hockey League.

“I came up here to play for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and it’s pretty much for development,” Mobley said. “We skate everyday, we train every day and then on the weekends we usually have a two-game set or a three-game-series. We just finished up our regular season last weekend so now we’re preparing for playoffs.”

Athletic Director Andy Ewald said junior level hockey is a stepping stone between high school and college hockey.

“So typically from what I know that if you’re going to go play college hockey, most schools want you to go play a year of junior hockey before you go play hockey in college.” Ewald said. “So it’s kind of like a gap-year where you’re not taking any classes and you’re putting off college for a year or so and playing hockey.”

Mobley said he hopes his season as a member of the Ice Dogs will help him earn a scholarship and garner attention for colleges.

“My goal for a while has been to pursue a D1 scholarship somewhere and a lot of those hockey teams want you to play a bit of juniors to grow up a bit and develop. So that’s a plan: to grow up a bit, to develop and then hopefully get a scholarship and go to school,” Mobley said.

According to Ewald, playing juniors as a high schooler is a rare opportunity reserved for experienced players.

“They have to want you,” Ewald said. “So they send scouts to watch kids and then they make offers and so they can decide which school works best for them.”

Senior Park hockey teammate Shea Pekarek said Mobley proved himself many times on and off the ice to be a strong player.

“He’s always looking to improve he’s always going to be the first one to the puck, he’s always working even when there’s off time,” Pekarek said. “I mean when there’s an off day or something he’s always working to get better. He’s always just a huge competitor always trying to be the best.”

Mobley said he’ll be playing with the Ice Dogs until May before returning to Park to graduate.

“I think the season goes until about mid-May, so I’ll be able to come back for graduation and walk with my class and that’s pretty special,” Mobley said.

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Senior travels to Alaska to play hockey