In my opinion, there is no better exercise then playing hockey. I run 3-5 miles every now and then, lift weights every day, play football, softball, kickball, tennis, raquetball and many other sports, but nothing gets my heart racing and the sweat pouring off of me like a hockey game.
I believe part of the reason is the lateral movements needed to ice skate. It's a very un-natural movement for humans as we tend to constantly move forward and backwards. Never really side to side. So when I skate, I am constantly using muscles that rarely get any work.
I have tried lateral lunges, ice skater simulation cardio machines and many other exercises in the gym to try and build my endurance for hockey but it is really tough. It's no wonder an average hockey shift is 30-45 seconds. That's it. It's a quick burst of energy then back to the bench to recover.
My hockey team finally won a game this weekend. We won 2-0. We have a great goaltender and a bunch of great guys on the team. We started off the season slow but I think we are finally putting it together. I play center and here is a picture of me taking a faceoff. I'm lower then the other guy because of all the squats I do, I can hold that position longer and lower then he can which helped me win this faceoff.
I LOVE THIS SPORT!!!