Sometimes my clients work like Greek Gods all summer long and then once the season starts, they fail to see the inside of a gym or work on their speed and skating stride until the following June. You need to moderate your training regime, but you still need to balance training with practice and games effectively.
Ah but, they say to me, I have 3 practices, 2 games and have a team dryland session each week, surely that is enough. The easy answer is that, if that is the bare minimum that everyone else is doing, and if you do not do anything above and beyond that amount, how can you expect to be better then everyone else or improve beyond the slow average rate of everyone else?
Everyone focuses on developing their skills and building their physique in the summer which is all well and fine, but the 8 months of the playing season cannot be ignored. You still need to work on your individual skills during the season as teams only have so much money to spend on ice-time for you to improve.
I just heard that a local U17 team was paying over $300+ dollars an hour for a mid-week, evening ice-time. It’s no wonder that teams do not have 5 extra hours a week that they need so that you can work on your shot or stick-handling skills properly. You need to go out of your way to develop those skills yourself.