Apparently there were several of these type of films with Scott Baio. I only saw and remember this one. I believe it was aired at night by CBS so I do not know if it was an "afterschool special" or not but it was VERY well done. Scott definitely played a high school hockey player in this one with Lance Kerwin as his very understanding teammate and friend.
What no one has mentioned is that it was one of my favorite actors from that era, Don Murray who did a great job of portraying Scott's dad, also an alcoholic. As I recall the movie made some really good points about how alcohol was poisoning the relationship between father and son.
This is one of many excellent made for TV movies that came out in the 1970s...Brian's Song, The execution of Private Slovick,Sweet Hostage, Son-Rise, The Jericho Mile. The Lonliest Runner, Leave Yesterday Behind, and Helter Skelter just off the top of my head. As someone else mentioned, it is too bad there is not a cable channel that features these and other movies and miniseries from that era. The encore channels have dabbled in showing some of them but there is room for many more.