Andrew Cole has been on the ice for 855 minutes over 19 North-Central Division regular-season games for the BG/H/W Stampede. He faced 457 shots during those games, stopping 420 of them. His save percentage was 92 and he had a 1.95 GAA.
Cole was the warrior of North-Central netminders, playing 28 seconds more than Asael Orozco, the goalie for St. Patrick, who surrendered 81 goals in his 19 games.
Antonio Sciarrotta of the Latin School of Chicago is the only other North-Central goalie to have played in all 19 regular-season. He surrendered 68 goals while facing a league-high 612.
Cole isn't just one of the best goalies in the North-Central, he is one of the best in Illinois - and one of the main reasons the Stampede could again be skating at the United Center for the state championship.
That doesn't mean BG/H/W will even win the North-Central playoff, though.
There are plenty of other challengers for bragging rights to the North-Central crown.
Highland Park, for instance, was the regular-season champion, finishing with a 15-1-3 record, including a league-best 23 goals-against. Maine Township, meanwhile, finished 15-3-1, and with its 31 points finished tied for second with the Stampede.
And I wouldn't be shocked if either New Trier team, Blue or White, makes a run deep into the North-Central playoffs.
Another league title that should be interesting to watch is out West, where it's a four-team race, in my opinion, with York, Glenbard and Neuqua Valley ranking among the darkhorse candidates. But the real battle will be, who can oust Naperville Central from the top spot? Perhaps it'll be Waubonsie Valley. Or Lincoln Way. Or Sandburg.
Editor's Note: Ross Forman has written about Illinois high school hockey for nearly 15 years, and is the only sportswriter to have covered Illinois High School hockey every year during that stretch. He played locally and then at Indiana University before becoming a referee. Ross was a referee for the State Championship game several years ago at the United Center. Contact Ross at Rossco814@aol.com.
Wear the Ring of a Champion!
Wear the ring of a champion! Win your very own authentic, personalized 2013 Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship Ring! Be a part of Blackhawks history and wear what the players wore to celebrate the historic 2013 season. One winner will be chosen March 21, 2014 and will receive the customized ring at the April 6, 2014 game. Tickets are only $2 each (with a minimum purchase of 5 tickets). All proceeds will benefit Chicago Blackhawks Charities.
The afternoon will include fans skating with Blackhawk legends from the past. Former Blackhawk greats, Stan Mikita and Tony Esposito will be on hand to sign autographs. Questions? Please contact Ben Morgridge at email@example.com or 630.623.2960.
Help the Bryan & Amanda Bickell Foundation which creates awareness for Pit Bulls and works with them to assist abused children. Purchase a Bick's Pits Calendar today!
Andrew Shaw, Corey Crawford and Bryan Bickell hold 8-week-old pit bull siblings named Zamboni, Puck and Bickell. The calendar also features photos of Patrick Sharp, Brandon Bollig, Ben Smith, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith with dogs who can be adopted.
AHAI representatives recently attended the annual USA Hockey Winter Meetings. Discussed at the meetings were programs and issues that involve the coaching, officiating, disabled, safety and protection and other administrative committees.
While all of the information discussed at these meetings have influence here in Illinois, some are more immediate than others. The major programs discussed that impact Illinois are the implementation and continuation of the ADM and SafeSport programs.
The continued education and implementation of the ADM (American Development Model), which utilizes long-term athlete development principles as its framework, is at the forefront of the programs here in Illinois. While Illinois still struggles with a very small portion of the ADM (8U cross-ice), the majority of associations or clubs have adapted and utilize the practices and concepts that the ADM provides. The associations and clubs that are providing good player development are seeing increases in new players and player retention. You will continue to see AHAI and USA Hockey educating the clubs, and more importantly the parents, as to the great benefit of skill development based programs.
The SafeSport program continues to be implemented throughout Illinois. The program is designed to help educate, guide and protect all members of the hockey community from physical, emotional and social misconduct. The program was designed by USA Hockey along with the USA Olympic committee, and provides free online education and support for all USA Hockey members. The online education covers awareness, identification and reporting training for physical and emotional abuse along with what might be proper or improper conduct for individuals. Here in Illinois many club administrators and coaches have completed the online education. Additionally, the Illinois Hockey Officials Association (IHOA) has required that any official who would like to work the Illinois State Tournament must complete the SafeSport training to qualify. All coaches will be required to complete the education for certification for the 2014-15 season.
Although at times it appears USA Hockey and AHAI are administratively heavy, these programs, ADM and SafeSport directly impact and benefit the players. The continued education of the membership over time will help the overall goal of development of the players in a productive and safe environment.
Finally, the highlights of the meetings included AHAI being asked to present the AHAI membership communication plan to all meeting attendees. The AHAI newsletter, Snapshot, and AHAI's use of social media was presented as a model for other states to follow. JJ O'Conner received the USA Hockey President's award from USA Hockey President, Ron DeGregorio for his work and leadership as Director of the USA Hockey Disabled Section. Known as a gifted public speaker, JJ was so surprised he could only muster a 30 second "thank you" speech. The acknowledgement of JJ's contributions are well deserved and the state of Illinois has benefited from his Illinois affiliation.
Overall Illinois is identified as a leader in USA Hockey. Systems developed in Illinois to assist in electronic registration, reporting and communication are at the leading edge of USA Hockey. These systems are designed to make it as easy as possible for the membership, mostly volunteers, to participate. Illinois has also been recognized as having identified and provided high quality players to the USA Hockey Player Development system. This is in large part due to the quality of the youth and girls' programs and coaches working hard at player development plans and goals.
AHAI will continue to communicate with the Illinois Membership with the intent of providing the feedback, concepts or concerns to USA Hockey.
Click on your Division name above to view your bracket. Good luck, teams!
2014 High School & Youth Hockey Coach of the Year Awards
Nominations Accepted Through Saturday, March 1, 2014
AHAI recognizes that Illinois Hockey is comprised not only of incredible players, but also of great High School and Youth Hockey Coaches that guide our teams both on and off the ice.
Candidates for AHAI's High School and Youth Hockey Coach of the Year Awards should embody good sportsmanship and respect towards team, parents and officials while providing a positive High School or Youth Hockey experience. Candidates should also teach positive life skills while demonstrating dedication, passion and commitment to community.
The High School and Youth Hockey Coach of the Year Award Recipients will be announced during the High School State Championships at the United Center on March 20, 2014. Deadline to nominate is Saturday, March 1, 2014.
2013 Coach of the Year Recipients
Youth - Peter Rutili, Cyclones
Boys' High School - Kurt Kabat - Fenwick High School
The AHAI Adult State Championship Tournament, hosted by the AHAI Adult Committee, Center Ice of DuPage, Seven Bridges Ice Arena and USA Hockey will be held April 3-6, 2014. This event, sponsored by Labatt Blue, has grown every year with 32 Women's and Men's teams from over 10 Adult Leagues in 2013 and more expected in 2014. Great awards, prizes, gifts and complimentary beverages will return! Register as soon as possible as the number of teams is limited. Contact Bob Fiorio at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
The week of January 6, USA Hockey converged on the Chicagoland area for the ADM World Tour. Eight members of the USA Hockey ADM team presented to just under 400 parents and coaches in 11 locations in 3 days. There was a mix of on-ice clinics and presentations discussing a myriad of topics surrounding the American Development Model. The feedback from those in attendance was fantastic. The prevailing theme coming out of each meeting was, "Why aren't we doing this?" and "More people need to hear this message". The attendees were very appreciative of the experience and expertise that the ADM Managers brought with them, especially from the other regions of the country. It was eye opening to hear what has worked and not worked in regions more traditionally known as hockey playing states.
Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame (IHHF) Inductee Series
Bates Battaglia spent nine seasons in the National Hockey League from 1998 to 2007, totaling 80 goals, 118 assists (198 points) and 385 penalty minutes in 580 career regular-season games with Carolina, Colorado, Washington and Toronto.
Drafted by Anaheim in 1994, the Chicago native was acquired by the Hurricanes on March 18, 1997, and made his NHL debut with Carolina on January 3, 1998. Battaglia went on to play 402 games with the Hurricanes between 1998 and 2003, earning 150 points (63 goals and 87 assists) and becoming one of the team's most popular players during its early history in North Carolina. His best NHL season came in 2001-02, when he set career regular-season highs in goals (21), assists (25) and points (46) as Carolina won the Southeast Division.
From Youth to the NHL: An Interview with Notre Dame's Kevin Lind
NoozeBox.com's Mike Romano sits down with Notre Dame's Senior Defenseman, Kevin Lind to discuss his path from youth hockey here in Illinois to being a 6th round NHL draft pick for the Anaheim Ducks.
2014 Labatt Blue USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships
Eagle River, WI ~ February 7-9, 2014
The 2014 Labatt Blue USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships, February 7-9, on Dollar Lake in Eagle River, Wisconsin have been sold out for some time, but are still accepting teams for the wait list. Due to Pond Hockey popularity, USA Hockey has added two more Adult Pond Hockey Tournaments February 14-16 - the UP Pond Hockey Championships in St. Ignace, Michigan and the Lake Champlain Pond Hockey Classic in Colchester, Vermont. Both events are sponsored by Labatt Blue and grow in popularity each year.
USA Hockey presents the Girls'/Women's Coaching Symposium at the Omni Hotel in New Haven, Connecticut March 22 through 23, 2014. This specialized clinic for coaching the female player ages 8U through 19U is $175 and includes tickets to all three NCAA Division I Women's Frozen Four games. Coaches attending this symposium will receive CEP credit one level higher than their current certification up to Level 4.
The USA Hockey Mobile Rulebook is the digital version of the current USA Hockey Rulebook. Use the search bar or click on 'Sections' to navigate the vast hockey resources including rules, descriptions, casebook examples and videos. All content can be shared on Facebook and Twitter.
The Official Rules of Ice Hockey is the essential resource for s, es, referees, parents and fans. Included are USA Hockey's official playing rules and interpretations, referee signals and detailed rink diagrams. This book is the singular source for the rules of the game.