Relationship between physiological profiles and on-ice performance of a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I hockey team

J Strength Cond Res. 2006 Feb;20(1):43-6. doi: 10.1519/r-17985.1.


Ice hockey is a game that relies heavily on both aerobic and anaerobic energy production systems as players perform in various game situations. However, we found no studies evaluating the relationship between a player's physical condition and individual success in games throughout a competitive hockey season. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between a player's aerobic fitness (VO(2)max), blood lactate, and percent body fat to his total minutes played during a season (Tmin) and net scoring chances (SCn). Players' (N = 29) preseason VO(2)max, lactate at the fourth stage of an incremental treadmill test (Lac 4), and percent body fat values from the 1999- 2001 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I hockey seasons were archived and retrieved for this study. The players' Tmin and SCn were used as the on-ice performance variables and were compared with their fitness measures. Lactate at 4th treadmill stage (r = 0.41, p < 0.03) and percent body fat (r = 0.39, p < 0.03) but not VO(2)max (r = 0.20, p < 0.24) were significantly related to Tmin. Both Lac 4 and percent body fat were entered into a stepwise regression model that accounted for 25% of the variance in Tmin among players (p < 0.02). Both VO(2)max (r = 0.41, p < 0.03) and Lac 4 (r = 0.33, p < 0.05) were significantly related to the players' SCn, but percent body fat was not (r = 0.10, p < 0.57). Only VO(2)max significantly predicted the players' SCn, accounting for 17% of the variance. These findings suggest a relationship between a player's conditioning level and on-ice performance. Our results support the value of implementing seasonal physiological testing, which will help strength and conditioning coaches make individualized modifications to a player's fitness regimens in an effort to improve specific physiological attributes.

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity*
  • Exercise Test
  • Hockey / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Regression Analysis


  • Lactic Acid