Leaside hockey player gets the jump on power skating
September 30, 2014. TOWN CRIER. By: Brian Baker.
Leaside hockey player and Power Skating Academy member Kosta Likourezos received some unexpected attention from TSN’s BarDown this summer.
His feat of jumping over two hockey nets on ice caught the eye of bloggers, who joked that it should be made an Olympic event.
But Likourezos plays down any suggestion of making long jump on skates an event for the 2018 games in PyeongChang. When he jumped, he said in a recent interview, it was all on a lark.
“We started doing the jumping around several years ago and then we kind of evolved it into something bigger,” the 17-year-old Leaside HS student said.
What began as “higher, more elite dives” grew into jumps over nets and over sticks, and finally over things “a bit more difficult.”
“The best one we had so far was the double-net jump, and it was caught on video,” he said.
Power Skating Academy, started by Dave and Laura Levtov, runs a series of skating camps across the GTA. Mixed in with the programming is figure skating, a discipline designed to train young hockey players to find their edge and keep their balance when on the ice.
“I feel that the Power Skating Academy is a very elite club,” Likourezos remarked. “We do things that are totally different and bring a whole different level to the game by bringing in the figure skating.
“Figure skating brings in the edges and your balance on ice — where on the blade you have to jump from and land on. You learn all that stuff with the figure skating coaches.”
Most NHL teams and players have consulted with figure skaters to fine-tune their skating. Olympian Barbara Underhill, who represented Canada at the 1980 and ’84 games, took the helm as Toronto Maple Leafs’ skating coach in 2012. In the 1970s New York Islanders winger Bob Nystrom took lessons from Laura Stamm.
Though Likourezos’ hockey season hasn’t started yet (he’s healing from a sprained ankle suffered in late August), he is still looking to reach the next level.
After his 2013-14 season with Midget AAA Vaughan Kings, he was invited to Kitchener Rangers’ main camp to try some OHL hockey on for size. That didn’t pan out, so he is pursuing a roster spot on Orangeville Flyers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. He skated with that Junior A club on Sept. 22.
He’s not letting either injury or being turned down by an OHL team deter him.
“Before, my goal was to be in the OHL,” he said. “That was what I was planning for, but now I’m considering both options.
“I just want to keep going to the next level — OHL or college. I’m going to try and pursue a professional career from there.”