AHAI Newsletter
Volume 1 Issue 2 
May 15, 2013
Website     Inside AHAI     Events     American Developmental Model (ADM)     
OneGoal    Tournaments     Contacts

Welcome to the second issue of AHAI's new e-Newsletter! We would love to get your feedback on how we are doing.  Are our articles pertinent and informative?  Are there topics you would like to see covered?  Do you have a question about Illinois hockey you would like answered? 

Also, AHAI has gone Social!  Find us on Facebook and Twitter.  We would love to share your Association's or individual player's news, accomplishments and photos! Contact me to find out how and don't forget to LIKE us on Facebook and FOLLOW us on Twitter.




Gretchen Cockey Communications Director

Upcoming Dates
IL Players Selected for USAH National Camps
Talking ADM with Chris Drury
CSDHL Midget Scholarship Recipients
2013 Academic Achievements
When No One Else Is Watching
IL Grabs 22 out of 56 Spots for USAH National Camps
Is ADM REAL Hockey?
Tier What?! HELP!!!!
Tier II 2 Choice Rule: Clearing Up the Confusion
Congrats Megan Bozek, Lisa Chesson & Kendall Coyne
Teaching Respect for Umps, Officials
June 2
AHAI Annual Meeting @ Woodfield Hyatt ~ 9am

June 5-9
USA Hockey Annual Congress in Colorado Springs, CO
Below is a list of the Players selected to represent the Central District at the USA Hockey National Camps this summer in Amherst, NY. 

Stefanos Lekkas - G
Peter Tischke - D
Ryan Wagner - F
Christian Dvorak - F
Ryan Blankemeir - F
Kevin Fitzgerald - F

Elliot Gerth - G
Dryden McKay - G
Vasili Kolias - D
Tory Dello - D
Charles Raith - D
Christian Fischer - F
Jason Dhooghe - F
Kip Hoffmann - F
Tanner Laczynski - F
Michael Floodstrand - F

Demetri Katsis - D
Ryan Carlson - D
James Sanchez - F
Martin Yale - F
Hugh McGing - F
Michael Cali - F
Talking ADM with Chris Drury


I need to take a CEP Clinic to be certified for the 2013 - 14 season, but there are none listed on the website. Am I not looking in the right place?



AHAI traditionally publishes their Coaching Education Program (CEP) Clinic Schedule in late May, early June on the AHAI website. Registration for these clinics begin in mid-July on the USA Hockey website. The first clinic on the schedule is usually a Level 3 and is held in late August or early September.


Editor's Note:  Readers may email any questions they may have to ASK THE COACH to be answered in future issues.


The 2013 Tier II Girls 12U State Champion was incorrectly identified in our last newsletter. Congratulations GLENVIEW GIRLS U12!  We sincerely apologize for the error.


Thank you to everyone who applied for the CSDHL midget scholarship award program.  There were many qualified candidates and we commend everyone on their achievements.  We would like to congratulate the following 2013 Scholarship Recipients:


Matt Poli 

Darien Huskies


Ryan Teagardin 

Rockford Icemen

Congratulations 2013 NIHL Chicago Wolves Academic Excellence Award Winners!
Click HERE for Recipients


Congratulations 2013 CSDHL Academic Award Winners!
Click HERE for Recipients
Congratulations to all CYA, Mission and Team Illinois Players who received the Academic Excellence Award in the High Performance Hockey League (HPHL)!  
Click HERE for Recipients
Champions Are Made in the Off-Season.  They don't just put in the time and effort when they have to. They do MORE - because they know that it's the hard work they put in on their own that puts them ahead of the competition.  Let's face it.... it's easy to give 110% effort in a game with your teammates there and your coaches and parents cheering you on. It's easy to work your butt off at practice when the rest of your teammates are doing the same and the possibility of getting more ice time or a chance to play on the power play might come as a result of your effort. It's even easy to get pumped up during an off-ice training session when you can feed off the energy and motivation of your team.
"There are 16 weeks until the season starts.  This IS the time when true Champions are built".


The problem is...no one ever became a champion by just doing the EASY stuff. I know you work really hard during the season to be the best player you can be, but the reality is....Champions are made in the off-season.  They are made when no one else is looking and when no one is keeping score. They are made with HARD work off the ice. Champions are the ones working out on their own in the park in June when most players are relaxing their way into summer. They are the ones working on their stick-handling and shooting every night in the basement even when the start of the season is still months away. They are the ones doing the "little things" like drinking enough water, setting goals, eating well and stretching each and every day - not just before big tournaments or when their coach tells them to. Champions don't sit around and wait for success to come to them. They go out and get it for themselves. They take action and put in the hard work every single day to make sure that their dreams become a reality. And they do it all without anyone watching them. They do it because they want it more and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get to the next level.   - Kim McCullough, Total Female Hockey
Illinois Grabs 22 out of 56 Spots for USA Hockey National Camps

The Central District 2013

 Player Development Process


The USA Hockey Central District is comprised of six (6) states, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin. (Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska are called the Midwest States) Mr. Norm Spiegel is the USAH Central District Player Development Coordinator who oversees the Central District Camp. Norm is also a USA Hockey Director Representative, serves on the USA Hockey Youth Council and the USAH Player Development Committee.


"It was an exceptional year for Illinois. This also speaks to the integrity of the process. Our staff of evaluators sent the top players to the National Camp regardless of where they come from. This happens consistently every year. I'm very proud to work with all of them!" - Norm Spiegel

Norm took the time to go into each team's locker room on the first night to explain to all the players that they would ONLY be evaluated on their on ice efforts and the skills shown during this camp. He also explains that the allocations to move players on to the USA Hockey National held in Amherst, NY is very limited. Of course, Norm also had the same discussion with all of the evaluators.  During this three (3) day camp held for the 96, 97, and 98's last weekend, May 10th - 12th, in Fond du Lac, WI, Norm had 17 very highly respected evaluators in attendance. These included USA Hockey's Matt Walsh, the Central District Coach-In-Chief and newly hired Assistant Coach at the University of Wisconsin. Also, Guy Gosselin, USA Hockey's American Development Model Regional Manager, a two-time U.S. Olympian and member of three U.S. Men's National Teams. In addition to the other unbiased, high quality, very knowledgeable evaluators that come from within each District which includes ex-pro players, High School, College and Junior Coaches.  
Click HERE to continue reading article.


The USA Hockey National 

2013 Player Development Camps   

It is very important that the evaluators at the Central District Player Development/Identification Tryout Camp select only the highest quality and skilled players to compete at the USA Hockey National Camps. 
At the USA Hockey National Camps, the very elite level of evaluators rank all the players attending from around the country with an "A", "B" or "C" grade. The "A" players are D1 quality players, the "B" players are D2 quality and the "C" player is not likely to move on. If a District moves "C" players into the National Camp, they will lose a portion of their player allocation to send to the National Camp for the next season.  


"The Central District is considered one of the leaders when it comes to the quality of players they move on to the USA Hockey National Player Development Camps. Their process of selecting players to move on to the National Camps is transparent, fair and inclusive. This is something we strive for with all of our District Camps." - Jim Smith, USAH Executive Committee Member, USAH Treasurer, USAH Finance Committee Chair and USAH National Player Development Chair


At the National Camps, the staff selects the top players in the country at the 16 and 17 birth years to make up two teams that travel to Europe over the summer to compete and represent the United States in International competition. We, at AHAI, are equally as proud of those coaches and evaluators from IL who made the hard decisions to choose the right players to represent our State's hockey programs. Clearly, with the recognition that we in Illinois are getting at the District and National levels, the whole Player Development/Identification process is definitely working. Congratulations and the very best of luck to all those players selected for participation in this year's USA Hockey National Player Development Camps.  - Doug Becht, AHAI Player Development Chairperson

Is ADM REAL Hockey?
10 Myths About the American Developmental Model

Editors Note:  Original article was edited for length, please click HERE to view article in its entirety.
1.  It isn't REAL hockey.  Using half the surface and the smaller nets won't help kids learn the REAL game.  Smaller fields and equipment are used everywhere except in hockey.


2.  It will be too crowded on the ice.  NHL teams put 30 grown men on the ice at one time, so how would 3 or 4 mite teams be too crowded?


3.  The kids won't learn teamwork.  How much teamwork is involved with one skater taking the puck from end to end?


4.  The kids won't learn to skate.  Smaller areas also help kids increase their quickness and explosive speed.


5.  The kids won't learn about positioning.  Teaching positions too early can stifle creativity and the ability to think of the fly.


6.  The ADM is only for the average player. The 7-year-olds who you think might be the next superstar may not develop as fast as others later on.


7.  How will kids get in shape or get their conditioning? There are a lot more ways than skating lines on a full sheet to build up conditioning, especially with fun drills.


8.  Too much fun is a bad thing. I just don't get that comment, but hey people have said it (I can't make this stuff up).


9.  The rinks and associations are just trying to make more money by jamming more kids on the ice. More efficient use of ice can decrease your costs and can increase the number of times you practice each week.


10.  The kids won't have as much fun. More scoring opportunities and less stoppages make for a more enjoyable game for everyone.
USA Hockey put a lot of research and effort into looking at how to approach the game-so give the ADM a chance when your organization implements the model. I am very confident you'll be pleasantly surprised with the results!   
Editor's Note:  Thank you to Kevin Universal, president of the Carolina Amateur Hockey Association, for this story.
Tier What?!  HELP!!!!  
What Level Should My Child Play?

Tier I (Open hockey): Designed for the top players at each age group (Second year Squirt to Midget Major 18U). The average cost to play per season ranges from $4500 - $8000 plus travel expenses. Travel is generally twice a month and anywhere in the United States. Selected in the summer, Tier I teams play in the Tier I Elite League or the High Performance hockey League. 


Tier II (Club Travel Hockey): Designed as geographically based "travel" hockey, the average cost to play ranges from $2500 to $5000 plus travel expenses.  Most Tier II Travel Clubs participate in 1 or 2 out of state tournaments. AHAI divides Tier II into two levels:  AA - The Clubs 1st team at an age level and A - All other teams for that club at an age level. 


Tier III (Recreational / House Hockey): Designed for entry level and/or learn to play, as well as those looking for a lower cost option with less travel.  Cost ranges from $500 to $3500. There can be travel within the Northern Illinois area and teams often participate in one out of state tournament.  


Leagues: Most Tier II and Tier III leagues divide the participating team's into divisions or levels of play. The decision for which level can be based on a seeding round (a limited number of games played to determine team competitiveness) or in some cases the age of the players on the team. (Major, second year of an age group and Minor, 1st year of an age group). The goal of this is to make the season competitive and fun for all the teams.  Click HERE for more information regarding Tier II and Tier III Leagues.


So Now What?.....The decision on what level to play depends on many variables - cost, travel, and level of commitment are just a few. The reality is some of these levels of play overlap. For instance, some Tier III teams are equal in skill and ability to some tier II teams. The same can be said for Tier II and Tier I, though not as often. It comes down to what works best for the player and family. At an entry level, enjoyment and development are most important. Look for programs that offer good coaching all the way through the program. Are they focused on development of your skater or just winning? Does the Hockey Director help and oversee all of the clubs teams or just the team they coach. Most often, good programs can be measured in player and family retention, not necessarily in state championships. 

Tier II Two Choice Rule:  Clearing Up the Confusion
Two Choice and Player Movement Rules for Tier II


Tier II are travel teams in the State of Illinois that compete at the "AA" and "A" levels. Players are given the opportunity in Tier II to change organizations once during their playing years from Mite to Bantams. Players are allowed a third choice at the Midget age. These choices should be made with the same care that a parent would use to choose a school for their child.


What is a Choice? Essentially, every player will have a total of two Member Associations for which they can play for from Mite through Bantam Major. This is a community based rule. The rule does not allow for 2 viable choices available at all times. Players that are aged U16 and U18 will be granted a substitute choice. They will not need to petition AHAI for that substitution. 


Tryouts are NOT a Choice. You can try out for as many Member Associations as you believe is prudent.


When is a Choice made? When you make a team and the roster is certified by AHAI registrar, WHICH IS before THE FIRST GAME (Leagues may have more restrictive rules). The player or their parent(s) will need to complete the declaration process on line before they will be allowed to be rostered on a team with a new Tier II organization. An email confirmation is sent to the parents.


Counseling Required: IT IS REQUIRED that every player and their parent(s) new to Tier II hockey or new to a Member Association be counseled when they enter into those Tier II travel hockey programs by some official of the Tier II Member Association.


What is My First Choice? If you have never played for a Tier II Team before, your first choice will be the Tier II Member Association where you first roster on a Tier II Team.  


What about my Second Choice? A player has the option of leaving the original club they started at and playing for another Tier II club. Once the player is on a certified roster and signs the declaration form, the second choice is made. 


Is there a Restriction on Making a Second Choice? There is no restriction on a player's right to choose a second Member Association up to their Bantam major age or for a third Midget choice. The exception to the Two Choice Rule is when player movement violates the 2/4/6/8 Rule (click HERE for the complete 2/4/6/8 rule).


Member Associations May Be Able to Set More Restrictive Rules. The By-Law is silent on Member Associations being able to set their own rules. Member Associations are not currently restricted in setting their own rules for accepting players back once the player makes their second choice or skates for another Member Association. Click HERE To Read the full article and learn more about Appealing a Choice, Things to look out for when making a second choice, and when a substitute choice may be granted.


For more details, consult the actual By-Law and AHAI Rules available at www.ahai.org

Congratulations to our Illinois Girls!
 2013 US Women's National Team Selection Camp

AHAI would like to congratulate our 3 Illinois young ladies who were invited to attend the U.S. Women's National Team Selection Camp that will take place at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., June 16-23.

Megan Bozek
Buffalo Grove ~ University of Minnesota

Lisa Chesson
Plainfield ~ Ohio State University

Kendall Coyne
Palos Heights ~ Northeastern University

The camp, which will consist of daily practices, off-ice testing, and three intrasquad scrimmages, will be used to determine the U.S. Women's National Team roster that will train together and participate in various competitions in the build-up to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. USA Hockey will unveil the players selected to the U.S. Women's National Team on June 24 and that group will continue to train in Lake Placid until June 27. The final 21-player U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team roster is expected to be announced in late December 2013.


Click HERE for full article 

Teaching Respect for Umps, Officials
Steve Wulf, ESPN.com

It doesn't matter if the official is a teenager making $20 a game, or a man orwoman moonlighting as much for love of the game as for money, or Joe West, who's been working major league games since 1977. It's a tough, usually thankless job, but somebody has to do it. We often hear, "The most important thing is to get it right," and while that is very important -- the more replays the better -- it's not the most important thing. First and foremost, we owe the umps and zebras and refs a foundation of respect and a debt of gratitude. There would be no games without their commitment.  

Click HERE for full article.