AHAI Newsletter
Volume 1 Issue 1 
Website     Inside AHAI     Events     American Developmental Model (ADM)     
OneGoal    Tournaments     Contacts
In This Issue
Upcoming Dates
Team Illinois Championship Game Video
2013 Adult State Tournament
2013 Award Recipients
Is Minor Hockey Worth It?
2 and 2 Challenge Recipients
2013 Boys Development Camp
Is There a High School Hockey National Championship?
2013 Illinois Showcase Team Selected
CYA U14 National Champs
Mission 16U National Champs
Hornets Youth & GLASA Adult Sled Teams National Champs
Central District Girls Advancing to National Camp Tryouts
2013 Illinois State Hockey Champions
Upcoming Dates
Now ~ May 13
USA Hockey Nationals

May 10-12
USA hockey Central District Festival Tryouts @ FonduLac, WI

June 2
AHAI Annual Meeting @ Woodfield Hyatt ~ 9am

June 5-9
USA Hockey Annual Congress in Colorado Springs, CO
AHAI Programs
Coaching Program

Disabled Program

Hockey is for Everyone

Referee Program

Safety & Protection

Screening Program
by Mike Mullally

"Where do hockey players come from...where do they go?"



This is a very good question...where do the 18,000 players in Illinois come from? Primarily they come from Chicago area families who want their children to be active and healthy through playing sports. Some have a family history rooted in ice hockey, some parents are inspired by the Olympic Games or the incredible success of the Blackhawks these past 5 years! In Illinois these are all factors drawing parents and their kids to the sport.


When do kids come to play? Ice hockey is unique in that the kids generally have to start young - 10 and under. In both court and turf sports the inherent ability to walk or run or stand upright will allow you access to those sports at most any age. Ice hockey is different. You must be skilled enough to skate - at some level of proficiency - that is generally why hockey players come from that 10 and under group. By the time kids are 13 entering high school and want to play the "greatest game on earth", it can be very difficult to break in. The acquisition of new players is generally kids 5 through 10, our largest age group...some 7,000 players.


Where do they go? In Illinois the numbers of players are growing larger until they are 10 years old. 40% of ALL hockey players, 7,000 in Illinois, are under 10 years old. But as they get older the kids find other things to do: specialize in only one sport or other interests. When kids get to High School there is another precipitous change in players as about 35% have left the game, again, to do things that compete for their interest. After kids enter high school if they play hockey, they usually continue to play throughout their High School careers...about 5800 players.


The Challenge! How do we expose the game to new players - and how do we keep their interest?  Better known in some circles as Acquisition and Retention. USA Hockey has offered to each individual hockey club, the "2 and 2 Challenge". Simply, this means get 2 more NEW players than you did last year - GROWTH - and keep 2 more players in your program that you did last year - RETENTION. Sounds simple enough. If every club could do that the players in Illinois would swell by more than 1,000 players! But this is not so easily accomplished.


This past year there were several clubs in Illinois that met the Challenge.  Please see 2 and 2 Challenge Article for complete list of clubs.  Kudos and thanks to these clubs for their efforts. This is USA Hockey and AHAI's future.


Why 2 and 2 Challenge?


In Illinois in 2008-2009:

  • 71% of all 4 year olds did not return as 5 year olds
  • 51% of all 5 year olds did not return as 6 year olds
  • 34% of all 6 year olds did not return as 7 year olds
  • 24% of all 7 year olds did not return as 8 year olds
We were losing 45% of all players 4-8 years old! We needed to make our sport more kid friendly and FUN!


In short those clubs were able to find ways to make hockey more fun for the players and meet the "2 and 2 Challenge". Basically, if the kids are having fun, the parents will sign the kids up for hockey programs and teams. One enormous key to making our game more fun has been the American Development Model, or ADM. But that is a subject for another day......

by Paul Jakubowski &
Doug Becht

"Can you please help me find out when my Level 2 CEP certification expires?"

Any USA Hockey certified coach can look up their current CEP status on the USA Hockey website.  Click HERE for specific link and simply enter your last name and click the search button.  By entering ONLY your last name, you will access anyone in the USA Hockey CEP database with that last name.  You will then get a listing of all these names and can select your name from that list.  Simply place your mouse pointer over your last name and click.  You will then get your complete and current CEP records, including any Age Specific Modules that you have already taken.  It will also show the expiration date of your current CEP Level. 
Watch USA Hockey's America's Showcase Championship Game
Team Pittsburgh vs Team Illinois, USA Hockey America's Showcase Championship Game
Team Illinois
Team Pittsburgh
2013 Adult State Tournament
by Bob Fiorio
Over 4 days, The AHAI Adult State Championship, April 11-14 involved over 500 players, 31 teams and 61 games. There were Adult League Teams from Seven Bridges, Fox Valley, Darien, Leaf Center, Northbrook, Center Ice of DuPage, Naperville, Addison, WCHL, Rolling Meadows and Romeoville  to name a few.  There were fun, close games all weekend, and all participants received a Commemorative 2013 Adult State Championship jersey patch and complimentary beverages from Labatts. Finalists received awards and banners from AHAI, Labatts and USA Hockey. 
The AHAI Adult Committee thanks all the Captains, players and fans for participating, Addison and Center Ice Arenas and their great Staff for hosting, IHOA for providing top quality Officials and Labatts, USA Hockey and AHAI for contributing to make this event possible!  Many special thanks to JJ O'Connor who implemented the Tournament page on the AHAI website.  Many special thanks to Jim Smith of AHAI who worked long and hard on all the creative artwork & printed material for the Tournament which was first class!  Special thanks to the AHAI Adult Committee - Sue, Dara, Mark & Co-Chair Don Allord for all their time & effort!  We look forward to a bigger, better & even more fun 2014 AHAI Adult State Tournament! 
2013 Award Recipients
2013 Blackhawk Cup Alumni Scholarship Recipients!

Jaclyn Story
  Guerin College Prep High School

Duncan Coogan
 Glenbrook North High School

Michael Buche
St. Laurence High School

2013 Billy Reay 
Coach of the Year Award
Brian Noonan

2013 Award Selections
JJ O'Connor Boys High School Player of the Year
 Kyle Melton
New Trier Green High School

Cammi Granato Girls High School Player of the Year
Katy Ratty
New Trier High School

Boys High School 
Coach of the Year
Kurt Kabat
Fenwick High School

Girls High School 
Coach of the Year
Rob Hasemann
Naper Valley Warriors

2013 Youth Coach of the Year
Peter Rutili
Cyclones Hockey Association

AHAI salutes and congratulates each of these fine individuals and their great accomplishments and contributions to the great game of hockey.
Is Minor Hockey Worth It?
By: Don Gillmor
A look at some of the challenges of chasing a dream in the Greater Toronto Hockey League.

On a Monday night in late November, two Minor Midget AAA teams clash in the gloom of the Vaughan Sports Village. The lighting is funereal and the arena smells like stale sweat. This northern outpost has a Soviet feel, a sense of sacrifice rather than joy.


The Vaughan Kings are currently in ninth place out of 12 teams, the Markham Majors 11th. The boys are 15 and this is their draft year. For that reason, Minor Midget is an intense division. A lot is resting on the players' performance, which can mean the difference between the Boston Bruins and the Hershey Bears, between an NCAA scholarship to Michigan and sharpening skates at Sport Chek.


The play is ragged. The beautiful geometry of the game is never more obvious than when it doesn't work. Passes are a few centimetres out of reach, pucks angled off the boards go astray, wingers can't control the breakout pass. There are moments of brilliance but they quickly fall apart, a series of false starts for both teams.


In the bleachers, parents call out familiar laments. "Don't go in the middle! . . . Now why the hell would you go in the middle." "Take the man. Take the man! Jesus." "Go get it! Who wants it!"


The score is tied 1-1 with less than six minutes to play in the third period. A speedster on the Majors emerges from the chaos and stickhandles into open ice, shifting left then going right, creating space, the defenceman a half-step back. He lets go a slapshot, top shelf, short side, a blast that finds the only hole in the goalie's defence. One half of the bleachers erupts and the other half slumps and murmurs recriminations.

Click HERE to read full article

Welcome to the new AHAI e-newsletter! In an effort to keep our Illinois membership informed, AHAI will be distributing our new e-newsletter bi-monthly.


The goals of the newsletter are to give correct, timely and factual information to the Illinois hockey community as well as to celebrate the successes we have here in Illinois. It is also designed to help answer questions that the hockey community asks AHAI regularly throughout the entire season.


Each newsletter will be designed to have a few regular columns that will appear in each newsletter - Ask AHAI, Rule of the month, Ask the Referee, Ask the Registrar, Association of the month, and an Upcoming Event Calendar. Additional columns or articles will cover topics and information of a timely nature. (Topics such as Tier II player movement, Player Development information and Coaching Certification information).  AHAI hopes you find this method of information valuable and important. AHAI intends for the information in the newsletter to coincide with when the information is most important. For example, during the summer months, you will see information that pertains to the upcoming season, possible rule changes and explanations of current rules that impact the start of the season.


To compliment our new e-newsletter, we have also launched both an AHAI Facebook Page and Twitter account.  Make sure to "Like" or "Follow" us so you don't miss out on great photos and news from Associations around the state,  USA Hockey and Responsible Sports links, videos and articles, and of course,  AHAI news, articles and photos. 


AHAI is very excited to introduce both the e-newsletter and Facebook and Twitter pages. We believe that the newsletter will help inform and answer many of the questions that the membership has, and that connecting to our membership via social media is a great way to share information from other trusted sources as well as celebrate our Associations' and individual members' accomplishments. 


John Dunne

If you have a question for one of our regular columnists or would like to share an accomplishment on AHAI's Facebook or Twitter pages, contact Gretchen Cockey, Communications Director at  newsletter@ahai2.org.-110
a2 and 2 Challenge 
OneGoal Equipment Recipients

Club President


Association Name




Mark Polistina

Springfield Youth Hockey Association


Thomas O'Brien

Evanston Youth Hockey Association


Patrick Rainey

Firewagon Hockey / The Yellowjackets


Jim Clare

Sabre Hockey Association


Bob Gohde

Leafs Ice Centre


Jill Rabin

Northbrook Bluehawks


Bob Veller

Rolling Meadows Park District


Bill Pickerill

Decatur Youth Hockey


Randy Jordan

Hoffman Estates Park District Wolf Pack


Richard Meiszner

Admirals Hockey Club



The 2 and 2 Challenge is a call-to-action for local associations. It is a blueprint that guides youth hockey leadership through national programs and tools to realize their goal of acquiring 2 additional players and retaining 2 additional players than the previous season's total. 



By participating in the 2 and 2 Challenge, your program will be accomplishing two things:

  1. You will drive participation in the 8 & under age group and ensure that your program continues to grow as these players graduate to older age levels.
  2. Your association will establish itself not just as the best hockey program locally, but as the best youth sports option in your community!

The Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois 2013 Player Development Process 
By Doug Becht

All Tier 1, Tier II, Prep and High School Varsity Illinois players within the 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 birth years are eligible by invitation only for the 2013 Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois (AHAI) Player Development/ Identification Tryout Camp held in Bensenville, IL the weekend of March 22nd - 24th.


The process started in mid-January with an online ranking of each of the age appropriate players. AHAI has developed a web tool that lists every player in these birth years that are registered in Illinois. ALL the IL Head Coaches, from each of the above divisions, are assigned a username and password to go online to rank ONLY those players they saw play during this past season. (Due date for these rankings was early February) Coaches were to rank the "best" player's in the State, NOT JUST THEIR OWN PLAYERS, within a particular birth year, by position, starting with number 1 as the best and so on down the line.


After these online rankings are compiled by the web tool software (in a weighted average verses the number of votes a player receives) the AHAI Player Development Committee conducts a Web Tool Ranking Evaluation Meeting.  This meeting was held in February and was broken into four different groups of coaches, for the four eligible birth years.  This meeting, which consists of the Player Development Committee, along with select Head Coaches from Tier I, Tier II, Prep, and High School Varsity meets to review the web tool rankings. All nominated players are reviewed, in each birth year, in the order they were ranked, in an unbiased manner, regardless of what club/association the different Head Coaches are affiliated with. This process determines the final selection of players who are to receive an invitation to the AHAI Player Development / Identification Tryout Camp. The invitation goes out to 36 forwards, 24 defensemen and 8 goalies within each of the eligible birth years.


Click HERE to continue reading article

Is There a High School Hockey National Championship?
By Bob Mathson
Is there a High School Hockey National Championship?  Just ask New Trier, Glenbrook North or Loyola and all three will tell you absolutely and New Trier may even show you the Championship plaque for the first two years of the tournament - which took place in 2010 and 2011 in Bensenville, Illinois.  That's right,  an Illinois High School hockey team won the National Championship two years in a row!


If Illinois participated in the first two years of the Tournament, what happened in 2012 and 2013?  Was the tournament cancelled?  Was Illinois not invited back? The first two years' of the Tournament was hosted by the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois to get the Tournament "off the ground".  In the third and all years' thereafter, the tournament, like all other USA National Tournaments was awarded on a bid basis.  In 2012, Salt Lake City, Utah hosted the tournament and in 2013 Coral Springs, Florida was awarded the tournament.  So, the tournament was not cancelled and in fact took place in two beautiful cities. 


Well if the National tournament has been continuing, was Illinois not invited back?  Illinois was invited to participate and will be again next year when Omaha, Nebraska will host the 2014 National High School Hockey Tournament from March 26th through March 30th.   The problem has been Illinois is the last State to declare its State Champion in the country.  For example, this year National's was held from March 20 - 24 and the Illinois State Championship game was played on March 24th.  Obviously, the dates are in conflict with each other.


The Chicago Blackhawks and the Wirtz family began the tradition of playing the High School Championship game at the old Stadium in 1987 and for 26 years they have hosted our state championship game.  It is indeed an honor and a privilege for our high school players to play at the United Center and we are grateful for the support provided by both the Blackhawks and the Wirtz family for youth hockey in Illinois.


Is there a way to avoid this conflict so that Illinois can be represented in the National High School Tournament?  This is a topic that will be addressed in the fall when the High School Committee meets with the High School organizations -stay tuned!

2013 Illinois Showcase Wins National Title
By Terry Stasica 

In early February 120 high school players were invited to the 2013 America's Showcase Illinois team tryouts. Evaluating the field of players were the 2013 Illinois team coaching staff led by former NHL player Brian Noonan (Naperville North), along with assistant coaches Jeff Nelson (Naperville Central), Kurt Kabat (Fenwick) and Mike Rohdenburg (Hinsdale Central). Twenty other varsity coaches from around the state were also invited to participate in the evaluations. After the final tryout session, the coaching staff collected information from all of the evaluating coaches, and put together a list of recommended players for the 2013 Illinois Showcase team. Coach Noonan in his 4th year as head coach of the team then made final selections for the team. On March 25, Those twenty-two (22) Illinois High School Juniors and Seniors assembled at the Edge in Bensenville to begin practicing for the first time as the team that would represent AHAI and Illinois in the annual America's Showcase event in Pittsburgh. After two practices the team played the National Bound Chicago Bruins Midget Major team for a tune-up game. The Bruins won that contest 1 - 0 but the Showcase boys learned a lot as a team. The next day the team traveled to Moline to play Team Midwest, another Showcase team representing the USA Hockey Iowa affiliate. Illinois came out on top 9 - 2.  After three more intense practices, the Illinois Showcase team traveled to Pittsburgh for the America's Showcase event. The America's Showcase started out as the Chicago Showcase in 1984 with the Illinois team winning their first, and some say, only Showcase event. In 2010, after 25 years in Chicago as an AHAI event, the Showcase became the USA Hockey sponsored America's High School Hockey Showcase and moved to Pittsburgh. Since the Showcase moved to Pittsburgh, the Illinois team has reached the final game one time and the semifinals two other years.


The 2013 schedule had Illinois playing Indiana (5 - 0 win), New Jersey (4 - 3 win) and Ohio (4 - 5 loss) before reaching the semifinals against a strong New England team (2 - 1 win). This led to a rematch from last year with the powerful Pittsburgh team in the final game. Pittsburgh had gone 4 and 0 to reach the finals outscoring their opponents 24 to 4 and outshooting them 132 - 76. The final game against Illinois saw Pittsburgh score the first goal and lead 2 - 1 after the first period. The game changed in the second when Illinois scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game then took the lead for good later in the second. The third period saw Illinois play at a level Pittsburgh could not maintain.  At the final buzzer, an elated Illinois team accomplished a feat that some say only happened one other time since the Showcase event began....Champions of the America's Showcase.


Congratulations to all of the players of the 2013 Illinois Showcase team on this great accomplishment!


Click HERE for 2013 Team Illinois Roster


Click HERE for Tournament Recap

CYA 14U Takes National Title
San Jose, California
Congratulations CYA 14U for capturing the 2013 USA Hockey Tier 1 Girls 14U National Championship with a 5-4 Triple Overtime win over the East Coast Wizards. 
Mission 16U ~ National Champions
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Congratulations Chicago Mission 16U for capturing the 2013 USA Hockey 16U National Championship in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 
Hornets Youth & GLASA Adult Sled Teams Win National Titles!
USA Disabled Hockey Festival, West Chester, PA

Congrats go out to all of the players on the Hornets Youth Sled Hockey team. They captured the USA National Sled Championship in the Youth B Division in West Chester, Pennsylvania at the USA Disabled Hockey Festival. They defeated a tough Sitting Bulls team from Pennsylvania 5-2 in the Championship game.  Congratulations also to the GLASA Adult Sled team who won the Adult B Division National Championship at the USA Disabled Festival by knocking off a stubborn Turnstone Flyers team from Ft. Wayne, Indiana 2-1 in the final game.
Thank You, Jenny MacDougal 

AHAI would like to announce the "retirement" of Jenny MacDougal from the AHAI Girls Committee after 11 years of dedicated service.


Jenny has been involved with the girls for these many years and was always available to help with any event or attend any meeting to support and guide the girls programs in Illinois. AHAI would like to take this opportunity to thank Jenny for the years of generosity with her time, experience and insights toward the girls game. She has always been a delight to work with and a beam of intelligent light in the girls hockey community. A person as tireless and dedicated as Jenny cannot be replaced.


Thank you again, Jenny. AHAI and all the girls that play hockey in Illinois thank you for your years of dedicated service.

Central District Announces Girls Advancing to National Camp Tryouts
Central District Girls National Camp tryouts were held March 22-24, and were open this year to any registered USA Hockey player. Over 290 female players tried out in the 1996-1997 birth years. Click HERE to view the players that have accepted an invitation to the 2013 USA Hockey National Development Camps being hosted in St. Cloud, MN.  We wish to personally thank all players and parents who attended these tryouts. At this time the list represents only the Central District allotment, any at large player will be notified in mid-May by USA Hockey.  
~ 2013 Illinois State Champions ~

12 & Under AA - CYA
14 & Under AA - CYA
16 & Under AA - Mission
19 & Under AA - Mission
10 & Under A - Glenview
12 & Under - Falcons
14 & Under Sabres

 Red Varsity - New Trier Green
White Varsity - Carmel Catholic
Varsity Combined - Rockford
Girls Varsity - Lake Forest
Junior Varsity - Stevenson
Junior Varsity Combined - Rockford

Squirt AAA - Team Illinois
Pee Wee Major AAA - Mission
Pee Wee Minor AAA - Mission
Bantam Major AAA - Mission
Bantam Minor AAA - Mission
Midget U16 AAA - Mission
Midget U18 AAA - Mission

Squirt AA - Falcons
Squirt A - St. Jude
Squirt B - Falcons
Pee Wee AA - Falcons
Pee Wee A - Winnetka
Pee Wee B - Winnetka
Bantam AA - Falcons
Bantam A - Falcons
Bantam B - Blues
Midget U18 AA - Bruins
Midget U16 AA - Falcons

Men's B - Backdoor Bandits

Men's C1 - Ice Age

Men's C2 - Medicine Men

Men's C3 - Chicago Creeps

Women's B - Illinois Stars

Women's C - Frozen Snappers


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