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Volume 2 Issue 16
December 10, 2014
By Spencer Montgomery
Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey Coordinator

On Friday, November 28th, The Chicago Blackhawks officially welcomed Chicago Blackhawks Special Hockey to their organization. The Special Hockey program received new jerseys as well as hockey socks and a letter from Blackhawks captain, Jonathan Toews. The event took place at Glacier Ice Arena in Vernon Hills, IL and the players participated in a scrimmage after unveiling the new logo and jerseys. The jerseys are Blackhawks traditional colors with a special hockey patch on the shoulder.


Chicago Blackhawks Special Hockey is dedicated to providing children and adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to play hockey. Chicago Blackhawks Special Hockey team members range in age from 5 to 55, and include both male and female athletes. The team is comprised of players that have Autism, Down syndrome or other intellectual disabilities. Chicago Blackhawks Special Hockey strives to promote and emphasize the development of sportsmanship, team spirit, increased confidence, pride, and team unity while having a great time in the process! Click HERE to check out a video of this historic event.


On December 28th, USA Hockey and AHAI will take over the United Center for the Mid-Season Classic Mite Cross-Ice Tournament for AHAI Mite U8 teams. The United Center ice will be transformed into three ice surfaces with teams competing in three divisions; Gold, Silver, and Bronze.


Due to the high level of interest (40 applicants) and a little help from the Chicago Blackhawks, we were able to expand from 18 to 24 teams to accommodate an additional 6 teams of mite players. Thank you to all who applied, and please understand that it is never fun to have to say "no" to anyone. For those that applied and are not playing in the event, or other AHAI mite-aged players and/or teams, you are invited to come down that day and watch the Blackhawks practice at noon and take in some of the events and on-ice action at the United Center.


Schedules and payment information will be posted and sent shortly. We are looking forward to a great day of mite hockey in Chicago!

David Heritage and his son Jackson, a Pee Wee with the Jaguar Hockey Club in Joliet were the winners of two tickets to see the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, December 16 at the United Center. Congratulations!

December Photo Contest
Don't forget to send your photos to for your chance to win an AHAI/Howies T-shirt! Deadline to submit photos is Monday, December 15. Voting runs December 17-21 and the winners will be featured in the December 24 issue of SNAPSHOT! View photos on Facebook>>

By Jim Clare, AHAI Director

The dream for many a young hockey player is to play college hockey as part of the NCAA. The opportunity to do that exists amongst the 59 Division 1 and 80 Division 3 Men's teams that exist across the country as well as the 35 Division 1 and 57 Division 3 Women's teams. While on its face this may seem like a lot, it actually represents about 4,170 athletes on the men's side and 2,760 for the ladies.


As parents and players we need to keep in mind where these players come from. With over 150 Junior teams and countless players from overseas and Elite Prep teams, if a skater is not part of the Junior hockey scene the odds of making an NCAA roster are greatly reduced. One glance at a D1 or D3 roster and you can see what I am talking about.


Don't be discouraged as there is a hidden gem - the world of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA). Don't be fooled, the hockey played at the highest level of the ACHA can be competitive with many D3 NCAA programs across the country. READ MORE>>
Click Division Name for Complete State Tournament Information

**Please note there has been a date change to the Men's & Women's Adult State Championship which will now be held April 23-26, 2015 at Darien SportsPlex. Click Adult State Tournament link above for more information.**

QUESTION: I have heard in the rinks that all coaches will now need to take the online USA Hockey SafeSport Training as part of their USAH/AHAI CEP Requirements for the 2014-15 Season.


ANSWER: That is true. Beginning with the 2014-15 Season, all USAH/AHAI Coaches must take the online SafeSport Training! Click HERE for easy instructions on how to take this FREE online course. All coaches/managers MUST have this SafeSport Training completed by December 31, 2014!

Screening Program Information
Anyone recently fingerprinted through the AHAI/IHOA Screening Program whose Authorization to Release Information Form and WHITE copy of AHAI Screening Program Receipt that was NOT collected at the fingerprint location, please mail these forms directly to: Sports Chek, Ltd., P.O. Box 7025, Algonquin, IL 60102-7025.
High Performance Workshop
There will be a High Performance Workshop specialized for coaching the female player ages 8U to 19U Jaunary 11-12 in Amherst, NY. Coaches attending will receive CEP credit one level higher than their current certification up to Level 4. Click HERE for more information.

Ray Berens was born on October 13, 1943, the last of eight children. He was very active is sports throughout his life. Ray participated in football, basketball, wrestling and track in High School. He played football and wrestled at North Park College. Ray transferred down state to attend University of Illinois and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering. He also completed his Masters Degree in Business Administration at the University of Loyola in Chicago. After College, Ray worked for The Trane Co. in engineering sales for 23 years. In 1992 he opened his own company, R J Berens Sales Co., as Manufactures Rep of HVAC Equipment which he still operates today. READ MORE>>

The IHHF Induction Dinner will be held on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at the Belvedere Banquet Hall in Elk Grove Village. We encourage the Illinois Hockey Community to join us in welcoming the Class of 2014 into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame. Tickets are available by contacting Norm Spiegel at 847.269.2922 or e-mail Norm at
Holiday Hockey Classic

The best high school teams throughout the Midwest will compete in the 21st Annual Chicago Blackhawks Charities High School Hockey Classic on December 26 at the Edge Ice Arena. Click HERE for ticket information and tournament bracket and schedules.

Blackhawk Alumni Scholarship

Graduating Illinois High School Players are encouraged to apply for the annual Chicago Blackhawk Alumni Association (CBAA) Scholarship. Each year the CBAA awards 3 $5,000 4-year scholarships to the most deserving high school hockey players in the state. Click HERE for more information.


Jake Olsen is wrapping up his final season on the ice, playing left wing for the Deerfield Warriors, and prepping for a sporting career next fall off the ice. He is going to the University of Dubuque and will be playing lacrosse. "I'm very excited (for college); I feel I'll be a big help on the team by scoring a lot," he said. Olsen, 17, a senior in his second season on the school's varsity, shoots left-handed and sports jersey No. 24 after Martin Havlat - his favorite playing while growing up. "My style of play is more of a gritty and physical (player) because I'm not the fastest kid out there, but I'm one of the biggest on my team and I love to hit and it creates me more opportunity to get the puck," he said. READ MORE>>


Top 5 High School Rivalries

1. New Trier Green vs. Loyola Gold
2. Glenbrook North vs. Glenbrook South
3. Deerfield vs. Highland Park
4. Fenwick vs. St. Rita
5. Naperville Central vs. Neuqua Valley
Top 20 Illinois HS Hockey Rankings*

1. New Trier Green
2. Providence Catholic
3. Glenbrook North
4. Benet Academy
5. Loyola Gold

*As compiled by Ross Forman
IHSHL Scholastic Division News

The Spartans had much to be thankful for during the Thanksgiving Holiday. In the traditional rivalry game between Glenbrook South, the Spartans came away with a 6-2 victory in front of a sold out crowd in Glenview. Zach Knudson opened the scoring when his shot from the left point beat Titan goalie Matt Grinde and Spartans never looked back. Chris Zhang was magical scoring 3 goals 2 of which were on the power play. READ MORE>>

IHSHL North Central Division News

The season chase is underway in the Champions Division, and with a mark of 7-0 through just over a month of play Highland Park looks unbeatable. The Giants have given up just 11 goals in 7 games. Goaltender Liam McCann can take the credit as his goals against average stands at 1.33. This Saturday the last remaining unbeaten teams will meet as Maine will visit Highland Park although Maine has come to their undefeated mark through mostly tie games. READ MORE>>

Academic Excellence Program

All 2014-2015 NIHL players are encouraged to participate in this season's "Academic Excellence" Program. Click HERE for program information!

Game of the Week

Make sure to tune into for the best coverage of the Northern Illinois Hockey League and the NIHL Game of the Week!

CONSIDER THIS: Opposing players are involved in an altercation and their helmet(s) come off during the altercation. It cannot be determined how the player's helmet came off. Does this constitute a rule violation?

ANSWER: YES, Rule reference 615(c). All players are responsible for properly wearing their helmet and facemask at all times. If a player participates in an altercation without their helmet properly worn, then they should be assessed a game misconduct penalty along with any other penalties that they have incurred as a result of the altercation.
US Men's University Team Roster Set

John Olen- Hawthorn Woods

Tyler Benson- Lakewood

Joe Olen- Hawthorn Woods

Team Doctor: Dr. Douglas Evans- Chicago

Team Trainer: Jennifer Janczak- Schaumburg



 US National Jr. Team Preliminary Roster

JT Compher- Northbrook
Anthony Louis- Winfield
Don Granato (Asst. Coach)- Downers Grove

US Women's U18 World Championship Roster

Alyssa Gorecki- Monee
Sophie Skarzynski- Lake Forest
Mikaela Gardner- Plainfield


Left to right: BMO representative Dave Casper, Player - Mick Mullady, Kankakee Irish JV, Volunteer - Roy Phifer, OPRF Huskies, Coach - Jackie Wedster-Koistra, St. Jude Knights U12 Girls, Spencer Montgomery - Youth Hockey Coordinator, Annie Camins - Youth Hockey Director

The Chicago Blackhawks and BMO Harris Bank are committed to honoring our hockey community by congratulating each month during the season, a Youth Hockey Player, Amateur Hockey Coach and a Hockey Volunteer. Criteria is based on hockey accomplishments, volunteer activities in the nominee's community and a demonstrated passion, dedication and spirit through commitment to community. In determining the Youth Hockey Player of the Month, the judges will also consider the nominee's academic accomplishments and involvement with his/her school. Click HERE for Nomination Form.

Blackhawks Breakaway Scholarship

University of Phoenix is pleased to collaborate with the Chicago Blackhawks to offer a scholarship program. Click HERE for more information regarding eligibility and selection, terms and conditions, and consent and release and how to apply.

Top-Shelf Teachers Program

Know a teacher who is top shelf? The Chicago Blackhawks and University of Phoenix have partnered for Top-Shelf Teachers, a program that recognizes and rewards hardworking educators in the states of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. Click HERE for more information and to nominate a teacher today!


Are you interested in learning to play hockey or sharpening your skills? Girls aged 5-12 can give it a shot at the Elmhurst YMCA on Tuesday, December 23! Meet Kendall Coyne, 2014 Team USA Winter Olympics Silver Medalist and Annie Camins, Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey Director and 1996 NCAA National Champion University of New Hampshire. Click HERE for complete program and registration details.

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