Volume 1 Issue 21
February 5, 2014

Official Media
Partner of AHAI
In This Issue
Helpful Links
2014 State Tournament Brackets
State Brackets Online!
AHAI Adult State Tournament
This Premier Event is Selling Out Quickly! In just 3 Weeks Over 50% of Team Slots Have Been Reserved...
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 premier event, sponsored by USA Hockey and Labatt Blue has many new Women's and Men's Teams. Great awards, prizes, gifts and complimentary beverages will return! Register as soon as possible as the number of teams is limited. Contact Bob Fiorio- rfiorio4@yahoo.com for more details.

Recently our JV team entered at tournament in Michigan, only to find out at the last minute it was not USA Hockey sanctioned and we should not play in the tournament. Now the tournament will not refund our entry fee of over $1,000. How can this be avoided in the future?



First we have to say that we are really sorry your team was abused in this way; it is a lot of money, and it never should have happened. We have learned that this event was not USA Hockey sanctioned and was run by the folks behind the AAU in Michigan. They knowingly deceived your team, as well as 3 other Illinois JV teams. AHAI is making all efforts, along with the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA), to have your fees refunded. We believe the AAU operators knew Illinois HS teams could not play in the event. We are relying on the operators of the tournament to do the right thing. AHAI has no authority over AAU.


If this were a USA Hockey, AHAI or MAHA event then most assuredly you would not have this problem. That is why it is absolutely imperative that your team MANAGER get certification that any event you enter is a USA Hockey sanctioned event.  Look for the USA Hockey symbol on any tournament brochures or websites, and ask event coordinators to confirm that it is a USA Hockey certified tournament. That certification entitles you to know who you are playing against, that the opponents have legitimate certified rosters (no ringers in play), coaches and officials are screened and certified, and that you can play safely under the rules and governance of USA Hockey and AHAI.


If ever you have a question about an event you can always call the AHAI State Registrar, Laura Johnson at 224-636-3233 for absolute clarification.


Editor's Note: Readers may email any questions to Ask AHAI to be answered in future issues.
Scholastic Hockey League
2014 All League Team
Congratulations to the Players named to the 2013-14 Scholastic Hockey League All League Team!
High School Hockey with Ross Forman
The brackets were released in late-January for the annual Illinois State Championships.


Yes, we officially are now on the skate to State, also known as the Road To The United Center.


Let's start in the top-tiered Red Division, where New Trier Green grabbed the No. 1-seed and now await the winner of Crystal Lake South-Glenbrook South.  I'm guessing the Trevians will trounce the Titans, 7-1.


Loyola Gold stands in the No. 2 ranking, and faces the winner of Neuqua Valley-York.  I'm guessing the Ramblers will defeat Neuqua Valley, 6-2.


Glenbrook North is the No. 3 seed, followed by Providence Catholic and Benet.  Naperville Central is No. 6, followed by Stevenson, Highland Park, Sandburg and St. Rita to round out the Top 10.


I'll be shocked if the Trevians aren't skating for the state championship.  The question is, who will their opponent be?  There are so many potentially great match-ups in the bottom half of the bracket, including Loyola-Stevenson, Naperville Central-Glenbrook North.  That said, I'm predicting it will be New Trier Green vs. Glenbrook North for the title.




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.

4 Illinois Skaters Named to U-18 & U-17 Five Nations Tournament Rosters
Louie Belpedio
Ryan Wagner
Michael Floodstrand
Christian Fischer
The U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams -- part of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program -- will join teams from the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden in their respective Five Nations Tournaments next week. The U17 Five Nations Tournament will take place in Sundsvall, Sweden, while the U18 Five Nations event will be held in Dmitrov, Russia. Congratulations to our Illinois skaters:
Ryan Wagner - Park Ridge 
Louie Belpedio - Skokie 

Michael Floodstrand- Hinsdale
Christian Fischer - Wayne
Zarzecki & Skarzynski Rostered to U.S. Women's U-18 Team
Sophie Skarzynski
Grace Zarzecki
Sophie Skarzynski, a defenseman from Wilmette and her U-19 Mission teammate, Grace Zarzecki, a forward from Chicago have been rostered to the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team that will take part in the International Ice Hockey Federation Women's Under-18 World Championship, March 23-30, 2014, in Budapest, Hungary. Zarecki also helped the U.S. Women's National U-18 Team collect silver at the 2013 IIHF World Championship in Finland. The team was selected following the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team Winter Camp, held Dec. 27-31, at Schwan's Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota.
Winter Frost Face-Off Classic Puck Off
Don't miss this FREE special event featuring Ryan Chiaverini of ABC 7's Windy City LIVE and Blackhawks Alumni on Friday, February 7 from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m at the MB Financial Park at Rosemont. After the game head to Five Roses Pub for a charitable Meet & Greet opportunity. With a $10 donation you will be able to meet and mingle with the Blackhawks Alumni and Celebrity Guests. Proceeds will benefit the Chicago Blackhawks Alumni Association.

Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame Inducts Eleven New Members into Class of 2013!
Belvedere Banquet Hall, Elk Grove ~ January 26, 2014

(Top Left) Mike Lebarre, Joe Day, Mark Kurzawski, Bates Battaglia and John Opoka. (Bottom Left) Buddy Meyers, Joe Olson, Efren Molina, Carisa Zaban Wahlig, Bud Monaco and Sean Berens Photo by John Sullivan


Nearly 300 people were present on Sunday, January 26, as the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame (IHHF) inducted its 9th Class of Inductees. Illinois hockey has a very long and rich hockey history, due in large part, to the foundation laid down by these inductees. Their tireless dedication ensures that every individual who has a desire to participate in this great sport has had the opportunity to do so. On behalf of everyone involved in the game of hockey, we admire and thank each of the Inductees of the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2013. They truly are in a class of their own. Click HERE to read full article on AHAI's website homepage.


AHAI's Media Partner, NoozeBox.com was on hand to capture highlights from this very special evening. Please click HERE or the photo above to watch. SNAPSHOT continues our IHHF Bio Series in this issue with Mike Lebarre; future issues will feature Joe Day, Mark Kurzawski, Bud Monaco and Joe Olson. Past IHHF Bios can be found in our SNAPSHOT Archive


"To honor the excellence of those individuals who, through their exceptional endeavors both on and off the ice, have contributed in an extraordinary way to enhance the sport and image of hockey in Illinois."   

Tier II State Tournament Sees Big Increase in 2014 Registrations
By Gregg Chudacoff, Tier II State Tournament Chairman

The 2014 Tier II State Tournament promises to be very competitive this year as 236 teams will vie for the coveted title of State Champion. Twenty-one additional teams registered over last year's number of 215. Team Managers are reminded that a copy of the scoresheet as well as the final score of all elimination games should be faxed or emailed to Gregg Chudacoff. First round elimination games need to be played by February 15 and second round elimination games by February 23. To accommodate our hockey families wishing to attend the Hawks vs. Penguins outdoor game at Soldier Field on March 1, all games will begin no later than 4 p.m. We wish all our players and teams the best of luck at State!

Gregg Chudacoff
773.247.2632 (fax)
Athletico Trainers Again Retained for State Tournament Games
Available for All "Checking Divisions"

AHAI is very concerned about the health and well-being of our players. As in 2013, AHAI has retained AthletiCo to provide licensed trainers at State Tournament games for all "checking divisions". Trainers will provide player evaluation and recommendation for all potential injury and head trauma incidents. They will be available for consult on any physical or head trauma issue. Expect to see a trainer at all the Bantam, Midget and High School State Tournament games. (Due to their arbitrary, short notice nature coverage cannot be provided for State "elimination games").


Be mindful, any player removed from a game for a concussion or head trauma will be subject to standard concussion protocols. The player must be cleared for play by the AthletiCo trainer on site, or have a written confirmation from a doctor or certified trainer before he can return to play. This is of course for the players own safety. Good luck to you and your team in State! - AHAI Board of Directors

AHAI to Send Teams to USA Hockey Midwest Regional Pee Wee Invite
Madison, Wisconsin ~ March 28-30, 2014

AHAI will be sending the Pee Wee Illinois State Champions from Tier II AA and Tier I AAA youth divisions to Madison, Wisconsin, to face off against State Champions from around the Midwest. State Champions from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan and Mid Am will be participating in this invitational tournament. The dates for the tournament are March 28 - 30, 2014. The goal of the tournament is to offer a USA Hockey National Tournament atmosphere and a competitive environment without extensive travel and loss of school days. Each team will play a minimum of three games in a Round Robin format. Further information regarding the tournament will be sent to the clubs through the State Tournament Committee in the following weeks.
2014 AHAI Boys and Girls High School All-State Games 
Monday, February 3 ~ The Edge, Bensenville
Hundreds of High School hockey fans descended on the AHAI Hockey Center in Bensenville Monday night to watch the best take on the best during the 2014 AHAI Boys and Girls All-State games. Fans were treated to two great games as the Girls Red vs. Girls White ended in a 2-2 tie and the Boys Red vs. Boys White finished in a 5-5 draw with just seconds remaining. Congratulations to all our 2014 All-State athletes! Click HERE for the Girls' Roster, coached by Jeff Bruns of Upper Fox Valley and Claire O'Connor of the Latin School of Chicago (Red Team) and Nelson Forsberg of New Trier and Conor Sedam of Loyola Academy (White Team). Click HERE for the Boys' Roster coached by Dave Dyson of OPRF and Jeff Nelson of Naperville Central (Red Team) and Jon Grzbek of Benet and Brian Noonan of Naperville North (White Team).
To order team pictures visit www.photosbysully.com and don't forget to check out AHAI's Facebook Page for more photos of the 2014 AHAI All-State Games!
Meet Mike Lebarre, Builders' Category
Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame (IHHF) Inductee Series

Mike Lebarre started playing hockey in 1965 at Michael Kirby Park, an outdoor rink on South Loomis Avenue. He spent his youth playing in ice rinks around the Chicago area; Oak Park, Glenwood, Saints Spectrum, and Willow Springs. As a senior in high school, Mike, his brother Joe, and several friends started the first ever hockey team at Bogan High School.


After starting a family, Mike returned to hockey in the 1980's, back to Saints Spectrum in Bridgeview. He started as a referee, and then turned to coaching a Squirt House League Team for the Chicago Hawks. It was there that he met Bob Arturo, the Learn to Skate director. Bob was quick to recruit Mike as a coach for the Hawks Learn to Skate program. Soon after, Mike was appointed to the Chicago Hawks Board of Directors and was elected President. Under Mike's direction, the Hawks became one of the largest hockey clubs in Illinois.



Central District's Mary Ann Robinson Presented the 2014 Joe Burke Award
Named in Honor of a Girls'/Women's Hockey "Superfan"

Mary Ann Robinson, the Central District's Girls'/Women's Section Director, was recently awarded the 2014 Joe Burke Award. This award is presented annually to the person who has given outstanding contribution, support, and dedication to women's ice hockey." It is named in honor of a girls' and women's hockey "superfan". Robinson has been involved with and dedicated to girls' hockey development for over 20 years. With Robinson at the helm, the Central District's Girls' Player Development Program has been instrumental in the development of many collegians, USA National Team and Olympic players such as Illinois players Kendall Coyne and Megan Bozek (2014 U.S. Women's Olympic hopefuls) and Grace Zarzecki and Sophie Skarzynski (U.S. Women's National U-18 Team). Additionally, she has served USA Hockey in numerous capacities from USA National Tournament Director (2006-2009), Camp Director for Girls' USA Hockey National Player Development Camp (2001-2009) in Lake Placid and St. Cloud, USA Hockey Team Host for Team Sweden in 2004 during the Four Nations Tournament in Lake Placid, NY, Team Host for Team Canada in 2005 during US Tour and was in charge of the 7 team hosts for the IIHF U-18 Worlds, April 2010 in Chicago. Robinson's non-hockey activities include serving as a part-time reading teacher to developmentally disabled 7th and 8th grade students. She worked with the Service League of Manitowoc County (Wisconsin), was President from 1994-1998, receiving their highest award for volunteerism.

Wolves' McCudden Going to Sochi with Women's Olympic Team
By Lindsey Willhite & Justin Skelnik, Chicago Wolves

Chicago Wolves skating and skills coach, Kenny McCudden, who has served in the same role for the United States Women's hockey team for the last two-and-a-half years, will continue to aid the team's pursuit of the gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. McCudden, who departs on Thursday morning stated, "I'm there to do a job. I'm honored. I'm privileged. It took a lot of hard work to get to this point, to be part of the program and to keep moving on within the program." McCudden's primary role during the Olympics will be as the team's advance scout. He will provide reports on every other team for USA coach, Katey Stone and the Olympians.

"My daydream is watching the women celebrate, knowing what they've gone through. If they have a chance to wrap this up and win a gold, I will be so proud to watch them. And on that stage? Holy Cow! That's my big dream: to have them have their dream come true."

USA Men's & Women's Olympic Team Schedules
By USA Hockey 

The Opening Ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, are only 2 days away - Friday, February 7. But, in the eyes of the Illinois hockey community, the games don't really begin until that first puck drop. See links below for full Women's and Men's Olympic hockey schedules. AHAI gives a special shout-out to our Illinois Olympians, Megan Bozek, Kendall Coyne and Molly Schaus...GO TEAM USA!
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.



U19 Mission Girls Score Big at Annual Breast Cancer Fundraiser
7th Annual Pink in the Rink, Seven Bridges Ice Arena

On Saturday, January 26 hundreds of Breast Cancer supporters gathered at Seven Bridges Ice Arena for the Mission U19 Team's Annual Pink in the Rink Fundraiser. When U19 team member, Paige Gorecki was asked what she most loved about this annual event she stated, "Coach Cachey always told us to give back, and I think there is no better way than to do something that affects so many women in our society today". Sophie Skarzynski, one of the event coordinators, noted "that we have raised $8,800 so far this year, but donations are still coming in. In the past two years we have raised over $35,000 to help with research, wigs for women undergoing chemotherapy and transportation to and from doctor's appointments". Although the Mission U19 coordinates Pink in the Rink, all the younger team members volunteer throughout the day selling T-shirts, bracelets, baked goods, and raffle tickets. All four teams don bright pink jerseys for their games which culminates in a very touching luminary ceremony between the 2nd and 3rd periods of the U19 game to honor those who have been affected by or lost their battle to breast cancer. All proceeds from Pink in the Rink go to American Cancer Society's "Making Strides for Breast Cancer". 

"Pink in the Rink is a great experience because it brings all four levels of our club together while we raise money for a cause that touches so many people we know" - Senior, Cara Piazza

Bozek, Coyne & Chesson Gift OneGoal Starter Sets to 2 Local Youth Programs
by USA Hockey.com

Members of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team, Megan Bozek and Kendall Coyne and 2014 U.S. Women's National Team member, Lisa Chesson recently made a significant contribution of 12 sets each of OneGoal starter equipment to The Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey Program and the Tomahawks Special Hockey program respectively.

Great Outdoor ACHA College Hockey
Saturday, February 8 at MB Financial Park at Rosemont

10:00 am ~ ACHA Division 1 Women
Robert Morris University vs. Grand Valley State 

1:00 pm ~ ACHA Division 3 Men
Northwestern University vs. Loyola University

4:00 pm ~ ACHA Division 2 Men
NIU vs. DePaul University

7:00 pm ~ ACHA Division 1 Men
Robert Morris University vs. Lindenwood

Wear the Ring of a Champion!
Chicago Blackhawks Charities

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.

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