As part of a new weekly feature, Patch will be highlighting athletes on a weekly basis, looking at the efforts of players with Tewksbury ties from various sports.
This week we look at Taylor Lirakis, the junior goalie for the Tewksbury girls hockey team. Lirakis was recently selected to play in the Aleppo Shriners All-Star Hockey Classic. The game is scheduled to take place in Worcester on the ice of the DCU Center. The girls game begins at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, followed by the boys game. Tickets can be purchased for $11, and admission includes a ticket to that night's Worcester Sharks game. Follow this link for more details on the game.
What would you say has been the key to your success to this point?
Practice. I am always practicing to improve my skills. Six to seven days a week I make it on the ice with my team and goalie coach. I play all year around and always keep in mind that there's always room for improvement. Practice makes perfect!
What does it mean to you to have been selected to the Shriners All-Star Game?
It is a great honor to be nominated to play in the Shriners Classic and be recognized as one of the best players in the state and play with the best in the state. It's a great opportunity for me and I plan on taking advantage of it. Also, it's a great cause and I look forward to raising money for the Shriners Children's Hospital.
As a goalie, what kind of mindset do you have to have to be successful?
I always have a positive attitude 100% of the time. It's very important to not feel discouraged after letting up a goal so that you can keep your head in the game and save the next shot.
What do you think your biggest strength is on the ice?
My strong points on the ice is my lateral movement. I have always been stronger down low and moving across the crease. I am quick and can slide from point A to point B. also, I play the puck often, and I have been able to accomplish 12 assists in the season.
What do you like to do when you're not playing hockey?
Other than hockey, I also play lacrosse and field hockey. I am captain of the varsity lacrosse team at TMHS. Also, I coach youth hockey and lacrosse and always try to stay busy helping out as much as possible or working when I find the time.