AHAI Newsletter                                                                                           Volume 1 Issue 8 
OneGoal         Tournaments          Contacts

CORRECTION: Delaney Weiss
2013-14 CEP Clinic Schedule
Level 4 CEP Clinic
Farewell Illinois Ice
Adult Hockey: Hockey After Hours
Equipment Wanted!
9 Ways to Be a Great Teammate
Win a Signed Blackhawks' Jersey!
Back Up Goalie (BUG) Rule Clarification
Officials' Seminar Season Now Open
5 Young Men Represent IL at USAH National Jr. Evaluation Camp
Zarzecki, Skarzynski & Larson Invited to US Women's National U-18 Evaluation Camp
Blackhawk Convention: Growing the Game Panel Discussion
Ten Seconds of Joy
AHAI Golf Outing

Delaney Weiss was inadvertently omitted from the list of Illinois skaters attending USA Hockey's National Player Development Camps.  Weiss, who will play for CYA's U14 girls' team during the 2013-14 season, attended the Girls' Select 14 camp in St. Cloud, MN July 19-25.  Congratulations, Delaney.
My 13 year old son wants to attend a Coaching Clinic, but he is unable to register online.

USA Hockey does not allow anyone under the age of 18 to register for a Coaching Education Program (CEP) clinic.

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

All coaches are required to be certified at the appropriate level for the upcoming season.


All 2013-14 AHAI CEP Clinics are open for registration ONLY on the USA Hockey website


Click HERE for full listing of AHAI/USAH CEP Clinics 

Dates & Locations.

Saturday, August 24 ~ 8am-7pm
Sunday, August 25 - 8am-4pm
Renaissance St. Louis Airport


Click HERE for full

Level 4 Clinic Flyer.

Click HERE to register TODAY! 
What's the deal with the 2 Choice Rule?

Another good question.  All across the US and Canada kids play hockey where they live.  They play house league in their home town and they play travel hockey for their home town.  (AAA is another kettle of fish).  In Illinois we emulate Tier II hockey like it is done across the country.  We used to have our Tier II clubs centered around rinks in "Districts".  In the late 80's and early 90s some rinks closed and we built some new ones.  So the district boundaries kept changing and our players and parents became upset.  One year they were part of this club and the next year they were part of another club.  It was a lot of trouble for all concerned. So AHAI came up with the 2 Choice rule.


Originally it was to be the "one choice rule" - play where you live. That would most accurately follow the rest of the US and Canada (teams we would compete against).  But AHAI felt this would be too restrictive for those making an early and/or uninformed decision.  Perhaps there was some "issue" with the player or family and the club.  So AHAI chose to provide each player with a second choice for a Tier II club.  Then early uninformed decisions could be corrected and disagreements avoided. Illinois teams could also participate in regional, national and international competition. Without some governance about Tier II our teams could not play other Tier II clubs across the country or play in out of state tournaments.  That would be a pretty poor experience for our hockey players.  Now with the 2 Choice rule there is parity among teams. This is the reasoning behind the 2 Choice rule.


Some people come to AHAI's Tier II committee and ask for another or third choice still - some want to follow a coach, some want to play in another league, some want to play with a new friend from summer camp - but there are only a couple of reasons for granting more than the 2 Choices provided.  One is moving.  If you move to a new town that might be cause for another choice. Sometimes your club moves to another rink, which could also be reason for another choice.  And sometimes, regrettably, divorce in a family may change your address and hockey circumstances.  But these are about the only reasons for the Tier II committee to grant an third choice.


In Tier II AA/A hockey you play where you live. That is what makes it fair and provides the "level playing field" for all players and teams in our state and across the country. It also causes coaches and clubs to develop you as a player, making you "better", rather than looking for another "better" player to replace you. The clubs are motivated to get the "best out of you" as a player. The club is invested in you and you are invested in the club. 


The Tier II 2 Choice rule provides for an equitable experience for all who play travel hockey.


Got a question?  Send it to ASK AHAI, and we will get to it as quickly as we can...

Click HERE 
for Final Issue
Wednesdays and Thursdays are tough, Jeff Cover admits. He leaves work, tries to have a quick bite to eat, then heads to his weekly game in the Yorba Linda Adult Hockey League. Often relegated to less-than-ideal game times due to crowded rinks and priorities rightly given to youth players, the midnight-warrior adult hockey players soldier on because of a love of the game. "You take ice time when you can get it," Cover says. "When it gets in your blood, you just want to play." READ MORE 
The "Hockey Is For Everyone" Program is seeking used equipment for its players. If you have any used equipment you would like to donate so underprivileged kids can also enjoy the opportunity to play our great game, you can drop it off at either the Homewood Flossmoor Ice Arena or All Seasons Ice Arena. 


Click HERE for list of items needed and rink locations. 

1. Set the Example - Instead of worrying about the lack of performance, productivity and commitment of others you simply decide to set the example and show your team members what hard work, passion and commitment looks like. Focus on being your best every day. When you do this you'll raise the standards and performance of everyone around you.

2. Use Your Strengths to Help the Team - The most powerful way you can contribute to your team is to use your gifts and talents to contribute to the team's vision and goals. Without your effort, focus, talent and growth the team won't accomplish its mission. This means you have an obligation to improve  so you can improve your team. You are meant to develop your strengths to make a stronger team. Be selfish by developing you and unselfish by making sure your strengths serve the team. 

Click HERE for full article


With the summer coming to a close and preseason conditioning clinics starting up, it's time to make sure players and parents are choosing the club and/or team that is the best fit for them.  What is best for each family may vary based on several factors - club proximity, player development, coaching, reputation and administration are important things families need to consider when choosing a club and or team.


Some High Schools will not be represented in a High School program. As AHAI moves to make High School hockey a true High School team through the creation of districts with schools that can sustain programs year to year, that will leave some schools without the ability to combine as in the past. However, these players still have options to play at local Tier II and Tier III clubs.


Tier II players need to consider several things when looking at where to play, one of them is the Two Choice Rule.  The Two Choice Rule has been highlighted in past newsletters and is a very important component in the decision making process of where to skate this season. Don't let a club tell you it's easy to get a choice back so you can play at that club, because it is not. As of Monday, August 5th, there have been 33 applications submitted for substitute choices and only one substitute choice has been granted thus far.  Make sure you are aware of the rule and how it applies to your situation. Click HERE for more information on Two Choice Rules.  See left side bar for link to the Choice Substitution Application.


For Mite families, when looking at programming, consider what is being offered at your local club. All of the Tier II and Tier III clubs offer what they consider to be the best development for the younger players. All U7 and U8 players will have the opportunity to play both cross ice and full ice games this season with their USA Hockey registered associations.  The programs offered by each club should allow every mite-aged player to develop, grow, and most of all have fun this season.  Families should not need to seek other options for their Mite players. Talk to your local program about their plans for the Mite levels for the upcoming season.


A new season with new teams, new coaches, new players and  new hope. 




John Dunne


Win a Signed Blackhawks' Jersey!
Your Feedback Wanted:  A Step aHead ImPACT Baseline Testing Survey

Over the past two years, AHAI, the Chicago Blackhawks, Athletico and NorthShore University HealthSystem have teamed up to provide concussion education and complimentary ImPACT baseline testing to youth hockey players. We want your candid feedback as we look to educate more athletes, parents and coaches on concussion prevention and recovery.  Please take a moment to complete the A Step aHead ImPACT Baseline Testing survey so that we can determine how we can better serve our youth hockey athletes, their parents and coaches in Illinois through the A Step aHead program. This survey will only take approximately 2-5 minutes of your time. Once you complete this survey, you have the option to submit your answers anonymously or you may enter your name, phone number and email to be eligible to win a signed Blackhawks' jersey!

Back Up Goalie Rule Clarification

This rule pertains to Youth and Girls teams. Rules for High School are listed in that section. USA Hockey rules allow any player to play in any position provided that they are a member of the team that is registered. All teams are required to have two goaltenders. At least one of the goaltenders on the team must be a regular member of the team. They should be identified on the roster with "G" for goaltender. The second goaltender may be an active member of the team that will not regularly play goalie. They should be identified on the roster with "IG" for Identified Goalie. In the case where the position of goaltender will rotate among the players, two players should be selected and identified as the IGs for the team. In addition to members of the registered team being identified as the goaltenders, a Back Up Goalie (BUG) may be registered on the team as the second required goaltender. The BUG must be a player from within the organization and come from a team that is playing at a level beneath the team. For example - the goalie on a Squirt A team may be the BUG on the Squirt AA team. It may also be a goaltender from any of the Mite teams within the organization provided they are from the same category - namely house or travel. The BUG on the Squirt A team may not be a Squirt AA goalie since they are from a playing level above the team. House teams are balanced so the BUG on a House B or C team may be any house player from the same playing level or from a playing level beneath the team. For example, a Peewee House goalie may be the BUG for any Peewee House team within the same organization. They may also be the BUG for any Bantam House team within the organization. House players (B or C) may not serve as the BUG for a Tier II or Tier I team. Tier II goalies may not serve as the BUG on a House or Tier I team. Tier I goalies may not serve on a Tier II or House team. BUGs may only participate with the team in the event that the designated goalie(s) are injured or unavailable. The team must notify the AHAI Registrar or President if they will be using the BUG in a game. That notification should be made by phone. The only exception to this rule will be at the discretion of the AHAI Registrar if both rostered goalkeepers are ill, injured or unable to participate. This request must be documented and sent to the AHAI Registrar, in writing, before an exception will be considered.

Officials' Seminar Season Now Open

Summer is in full swing and starting to wind down. Can you believe it's already August?


As you may know, the ice hockey officials' registration period started on August 1. It is now nearly a week into registration in Illinois, and I just took a look at the registration numbers for this year's seminars. At this moment, there are more than 600 officials registered to attend an IHOA seminar. That's a great number this early in the registration process, but it also means that the locations are filling up fast. Remember, there are only a limited number of seats at the seminar locations and once the seats in a particular level or location are filled, it is entirely possible no more seats will be available. If you are interested in officiating this year, head to the IHOA website and take a few minutes to register and secure your seminar spot. All of the pertinent information to register and become an official is on the IHOA website, or check out the quick links below:


Find an Illinois Seminar 

Register for USA Hockey

My Referee Status


Enjoy the rest of the summer. Hockey season is right around the corner!


Michael Barrett

Illinois Referee in Chief/Supervisor of Officials


Hinostroza, Carrick, Matteau, Compher & DiPauli Represent Illinois at USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp (NJEC)
Five skaters will represent Illinois August 3-10 in Lake Placid, NY during the 2013 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.  The 44 athletes participating in the NJEC have been separated into two groups for the first three days of practices and games vs. Finland and Sweden.  On August 6, Team USA will trim its roster and a single U.S. squad will finish the camp with practices and games against Canada, Finland and Sweden.  
  Vince Hinostroza
Connor Carrick 
  Stefan Matteau
JT Compher 

   Thomas DiPauli
UPDATE:  Roster Trimmed to 31
As of Tuesday, August 6, thirty-one of the 44 players in attendance at the 2013 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp remain. Carrick, Matteau, Compher and DiPauli  will  face Canada, Finland and Sweden later this week. These 4 Illinois skaters will be auditioning for a spot on the U.S. National Junior Team that will take part in the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship December 26 through January 5 in Malmo, Sweden.

Zarzecki, Skarzynski & Larson Invited to U.S. Women's National U-18 Evaluation Camp 
Zarzecki, Larson & Skarzynski
3 Illinois Girls were invited to 2013 U.S. Women's National Under-18 Evaluation Camp set for August 13-18 in Lake Placid in preparation for 2013 Under-18 Series vs. Canada. The players will be auditioning for spots on the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team that will take part in the 2013 Under-18 Series vs. Canada, Aug. 22-25, in Lake Placid. The 22-player roster will be announced on Aug. 19.  Grace Zarzecki was a member of the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Evaluation Camp that advanced to the Under-18 Series vs. Canada last year. Zarzecki, Larson and Skarzynski are all members of the 2013-14 Chicago Mission Girls U19 Team. 

Blackhawks' Convention: Growing the Game Panel Discussion  

On Friday July 26, the Chicago Blackhawks held their 6th Annual Convention. Saturday the 27th, Peggy Kusinski of NBC 5 moderated a panel discussion called "Growing the Game".  The Blackhawks invited AHAI's Mike Mullally and Mike Durkin, Annie Camins, Director of Youth Hockey for the Blackhawks, Kevin Erlenbach of USA Hockey and West Dundee's own First Round Draft Pick Ryan Hartman to participate in the discussion.    


The panel covered a broad range of topics and questions including growth statistics, the Chicago Blackhawks success and effect on local youth hockey, USA Hockey's support, tools, and programs and AHAI's efforts to maximize the partnership.  Kevin Erlenbach stated that nationally over the last 5 years, 8 & under youth hockey players grew by 12.4% while Illinois grew by 43%.  The whole panel clearly was excited about the prospects for growth this coming season after the recent Stanley Cup victory and the upcoming Olympics,  another major drive in the past in growing the youth participants.  The panel also discussed the great partnership between the Chicago Blackhawks, USA Hockey and AHAI to grow the sport of hockey in Illinois.  Through the partnership, One Goal starter sets of equipment, Chicago Blackhawks' Minorhawks Program and involvement in the community, and USA Hockey's "Try Hockey for Free" programming and membership development collateral have all been outstanding tools used by AHAI to grow the game.

Peggy also discussed with Ryan Hartman his progression in youth hockey from playing for the Schaumburg Kings, the Crystal Lake Leafs, Team Illinois and the Mission.  He also shared his love and involvement in other sports and that he didn't finally focus on one sport, Hockey, until his Freshman year in High School. Ryan also shared the sacrifice and commitment that his family made for his hockey career.  The excitement was obvious; Ryan is proud and thrilled to play for his home town team.   

Ten Seconds of Joy
Danny Payne (@dannyapayne)

An hour and a half for ten seconds. What was this wait for? A really short roller coaster? No, try again. An autograph and handshake with a famous athlete or rock star? No, but on the right track - for ten seconds with the Stanley Cup.


On July 25, I had the great opportunity of going to see Lord Stanley's Cup at Blackhawks Senior Director of Team Services Tony Ommen's house. Now, as you may know, when a team wins the Stanley Cup, everyone in the organization gets a day to do whatever they please with the Cup. Without getting into detail, my neighbor knows Ommen and was kind enough to invite me to the party.


The night began around 7:30, when we made the 15-minute drive to Ommen's home. On the ride there, I didn't really know what to expect in terms of how many people would come to see the Cup. As we pulled into the subdivision, there were lots of cars lined along the street and suddenly there was a sea of red. Toews sweaters, Kane sweaters, Sharp sweaters, Hossa sweaters, even a Dan Carcillo sweater, were everywhere. Wasting no time, we parked and got into the line, which wrapped around the left side of the house, onto and down the sidewalk away from the gate into the backyard.  Click HERE to read full article. 


Danny Payne, a Naperville native, graduated from St. Francis High School in Wheaton in 2012.  He is currently a sophomore majoring in Sports Journalism at the University of Iowa.

AHAI Golf Outing - Still Time to Register!
The 17th Annual AHAI Golf Outing is set for Friday, August 16 at 1pm at the beautiful Indian Lakes Golf Resort in Bloomingdale, Illinois. Slots are filling up FAST!  If you haven't registered yet and would like to play, please email Golf Outing Chairman, Don Allord at donallordtravel@gmail.com. All proceeds for this event go toward assisting the Tomahawks Special Hockey Program, the Hornets Youth Sled Hockey Team, the Hearing Impaired Hockey Team and the AHAI Diversity Hockey Program.