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Volume 2 Issue 17
December 24, 2014
Happy Holidays! 

It's the holidays and that means the hockey season is half over. Can you believe it? Before you know it, it will be time for playoffs.


There is a lot of hockey being played over the next few weeks. There is the 21st Annual Chicago Blackhawks Charities High School Holiday Hockey Classic which will take place at The Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville December 26-29. The Chicago Blackhawks, USA Hockey and AHAI are hosting the Mid-Season Classic, a Mite cross-ice tournament December 28th at the United Center for AHAI registered teams. All players and parents will be able to watch a Blackhawks practice prior to the tournament and will enjoy many concourse activities throughout the event.  There are also numerous local tournaments and outdoor High School games hosted by many of the High School leagues. If we are lucky and the weather cooperates, there might be some outdoor pond skating in the near future.


I also want to encourage all of you to use the AHAI communication tools; read the AHAI newsletter, SNAPSHOT, send information on your teams or club to AHAI for posting on Facebook and Twitter. These are great tools for getting and giving information.


Enjoy the season with your teams and families. The time goes much faster than we realize. As we move into the second half of the season, please remember why the players play the game: they love to play! As parents, coaches, officials and administrators, it's all of our responsibility to ensure that the players have a safe, fun and positive environment as part of their experience. Players might not remember many of the games they play in, but they will remember the experience, good or bad, that the entire season brings.


Thank you for being part of USA Hockey and AHAI and we hope you have a safe and happy holiday season!




John Dunne

AHAI President

The Top 10 Photos* for December have been selected! Congratulations to our winners! Click HERE to view our 25 Finalists and visit AHAI's Facebook Page to see all photos submitted in December!

Jason Castaneda
Leafs Squirt Elite

Jack Board & Samantha Lutsch

Maulers PeeWee

Shayna Grais
Wilmette Girls U12

Coach Vinny Volini
Homewood Flossmoor Vikings Youth/HS
Nolan Goudy

Grayson Mandl
Team USA

Jonathan Wood
Chicago Blues

Jack Cacciabondo
Glenview Grizzlies Squirt
Davis Jegers
Falcons Squirt Major

Nathan Kimento

*Due to a Polling glitch on December 21st five additional photos have been added to the December Photo Contest.

Click HERE to View Full-Size Pictures
Mid-Season Classic This Weekend!

It's almost here - the Mid-Season Classic Mite Cross-Ice Tournament is this weekend, December 28th at the United Center. Twenty-four (24) mite teams representing 20 associations or rinks, will hit the ice at 2pm for a day full of hockey, friendship and fun! Three Divisions (Kane, Toews, and Keith) will compete throughout the day, culminating in a Championship Game that evening.



2nd Annual USA Hockey Midwest Pee Wee Invitational Tournament

For the 2nd year, AHAI will be sending the Pee Wee Illinois State champions from the Tier II AA Division as well as a second Pee Wee Tier II team to Sun Prairie, Wisconsin to face off against the State Champions from around the Midwest. Last year Illinois was represented by the Deerfield Falcons and the Chicago Huskies. State Champions from Wisconsin, North Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan are invited and are expected to participate in this invitational tournament March 27-29, 2015. READ MORE>>

January Photo of the Month Contest
Submit photos of your players' wicked slapshots, great saves, backyard rinks or of your kids just plain having fun playing hockey to AHAI's Facebook Photo of the Month contest. Send photos to Gretchen Cockey at and please include a caption with players' first names, your organization or club, and playing level. ALL photos will be posted on AHAI's Facebook Page, but 5 lucky photos will be featured in AHAI's newsletter, SNAPSHOT and receive an awesome AHAI/Howies Hockey Tape T-shirt. Deadline for the January Photo of the Month is Saturday, January 24. We will select 20 finalists; YOUR votes will select the top 5! Voting will be conducted January 25 - 30th; winners will be contacted via email and announced in the February 4th issue of SNAPSHOT!
Host a Try Hockey For Free Event on Saturday, February 21st!

Local rinks and associations next chance to be a host site for Try Hockey For Free Day presented by Kraft, is Saturday, February 21st. This event is part of the eighth annual Hockey Weekend Across America.


During this event, host sites give local children the opportunity to try youth hockey for the first time. Jerseys, goodie bags, grassroots promotional tools and an online registration platform will be provided to the first 300 host sites that register. Local programs are asked to put forth an hour of ice, have an adequate volunteer staff on hand and provide participants with a minimum of helmets, skates and gloves. READ MORE>>

USA Hockey's National Girls Player Development Process Update!
USA Hockey's Girls'/Women's Department is making changes to the National Camp Program effective 2015. Please click HERE to view a slideshow of the changes. If you have questions/concerns after reviewing, please feel free to email me at or call 920-758-3063. Remember, to be eligible for the Central District Camp you MUST register online (registration will start February 15 and close March 1) and tryout April 17th-19th, 2015. The Central District camp is forALL registered USA Hockey players who reside in the district for birth years 1996-2001.
Click Division Name for Complete State Tournament Information

**Please note Tier II registration has begun and will end on January 8, 2015**
Ask the Coach

QUESTION: I keep receiving notices from AHAI that I have not completed the required USAH SafeSport Training. I have already done this and have the Certificate from USA Hockey proving so. Should I email AHAI the Certificate?


ANSWER: Please do not email AHAI the SafeSport Certificate. The issue here may have two different answers: 

  1. All Club Registrars must do an update/sync with USA Hockey/AHAI to capture the most current SafeSport (and CEP) data available. If your Club's Registrar did their update prior to your completion of SafeSport (Age Specific Module, CEP Clinic, or Level 3 online Re-Cert) your recent completion will not be visible. The Registrar must do another update/sync to capture your additional data. READ MORE>>
On Ice Counts but What Happens Off Ice Sometimes Matters More READ MORE>>
For St. Jude Hockey Parents, Seeing ADM Was Believing READ MORE>>
ACHA: Hockey Beyond High School & Juniors
USPHL Announces MidWest Division READ MORE>>
Hornets Youth Sled Hockey Game and Benefit READ MORE>>
Coach Gregg Lee Memorial Hockey Game READ MORE>>
Commit to the Cure 2014: Puck Cancer Event
"Unite on the Ice" Opens Coyote Logistics Hockey City Classic  READ MORE>> 
Sjoukje Brown - Officials' Category 

Sjoukje Brown started her officiating career in 1987 at the Barrington Ice Arena. She officiated for Bob Updike and Steve Cohen primarily, and worked 250-300 games in each of her first three years. She was asked to work her first high school three-man game by Don Olynyk and Ken Michel in 1990. After working as a linesman in Metro North for the 1990-91 season, Sjoukje was invited by Scott Brand to attend the USHL's training camp, the Buc Bowl, in the fall of 1991. Sjoukje was hired to work the USHL, and became the first woman in the United States to officiate hockey at the Junior 'A' level of play. 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
Ross Forman's High School Hockey

Glenbard is making a strong push for a return trip to the United Center, to avenge last season's second-place finish after losing to Waubonsie Valley in the Combined Division state championship game.


Glenbard is 21-8-1 overall, 15-4 in the West Division of the Illinois High School Hockey League, which puts them in second-place, four points behind league-leading Neuqua Valley (17-1). Glenbard rolled into Christmas on a four-game winning streak after victories over Wheaton West, Plainfield, Hinsdale South/DG, and OPRF. READ MORE>>

Ross Forman's Tournament Predictions

Stan Mikita Division:

First-place: Glenbrook North

Second-place: Notre Dame


Glenn Hall Division:

First-place: Providence

Second-place: Neuqua Valley


Denis Savard Division:

First-place: CBC

Second-place: Naperville Central



November Player of the Month
Ryan Willock
The Chicago Catholic Hockey League (CCHL) is proud to announce its November Player of the Month award goes to St. Ignatius' senior forward, #17 Ryan Willock. For the 6 games played in the month of November, Willock scored 8 goals and 7 assists for 15 points. READ MORE>>
New Trier Green defeats GBN in the Culver Academy Cornfield Cup

Two Illinois teams played for The Culver Military Academy's Annual Cornfield Cup, New Trier Green and Glenbrook North.  In an epic game, New Trier Green defeated Glenbrook North by the score of 5-4. The 8 team field included Shattuck Saint Mary's, St. Ignatius of Ohio, Carmel of Indiana, host Culver Academy, Gilmore Academy and Walsh Jesuit of Ohio. READ MORE>>

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.

Ask the Official by Dave Zednik
QUESTION: A 6'2" player checks a 5'2" player legally separating him from the puck. Neither player is knocked down and both players continue to play. The Referee stopped play and called a Head Contact penalty. Does the Head Contact rule mean that our larger players have to play zero contact hockey against anyone who is small? I am not sure that this is the intended interpretation.

ANSWER: The 2013 Rule Changes that mandate a minor plus misconduct penalty for Boarding, Charging, and Head Contact incidents were put in place to remove dangerous contact from the youth game. Dangerous, punishing and intimidating hits need to be removed if we want to see players enjoy the sport and reach full potential. READ MORE>>
Barrett Keeps Game of
Hockey about the Players

With a quick flourish of his hand, Michael B. Barrett drops the puck and drifts out of the way as hockey sticks clap together, fighting for control.


Amidst the blur of green and white jerseys, Barrett moves back to the edge of the action, eyes fixed on the puck and players. He floats to and fro, swiveling across the ice, always watching and waiting. In milliseconds, Barrett does a quick hop and pivots to skate backwards as the players charge toward him like a herd of steers. Watches. Waits. Faster than you can blink, Barrett throws his right arm in the air and his left hand to his mouth to blow his whistle. He holds his arm up for a moment then drops it down to his knee, lightly tapping it once with the palm of his hand. Kneeing penalty. READ MORE>>

Skatium Legacy Class of 2014 To Be Inducted: Congratulations Holly & Norm Spiegel

The Skatium Ice Arena officially announced its Hockey Legacy Class of 2014 on December 16 during a ceremony at the venerable Skokie Park District rink. The new Legends' names will be engraved in brick and laid into the Skatium's outdoor legacy brickyard. AHAI congratulates Norm and Holly Spiegel on this great honor: Norm and Holly Spiegel - Skatium hockey would not be the success that it is today if not for the influence of Norm and Holly Spiegel. Soon after their children, Nicki and Jason, first donned skates at the Skatium, Norm became Skokie Amateur Hockey Association president in the 1980s. READ MORE>>

2 Illinois Players Invited to Women's Winter Training Camp 

Megan Bozek
Kendall Coyne

2015 U.S. Women's National University Team Announced 

Hayley Williams
Amanda Antos
Dr. Haemi Choi (Team Doc)
2 IL Skaters Rostered to National U-17 Team

Clayton Keller
James Sanchez

Blackhawks Announce Fourth Annual Eddie Olczyk Award for Youth Hockey

The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that the organization will partner with Blackhawks Television Analyst Eddie Olczyk and Blackhawks Charities for the fourth annual Eddie Olczyk Award, which supports youth hockey players, teams and organizations in Illinois that may not have the means to play at a competitive level. Since its inception in 2011, the Eddie Olczyk Award has distributed over $100,000 in grants, raised through Blackhawks Youth Hockey Summer Camps, to 46 individuals and two organizations. Individuals and families in need of assistance for participation in an Illinois sanctioned team or organization, sanctioned teams in need of assistance for tournament expenses and Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois (AHAI) organizations in need of assistance to run programs which increase the participation in, and quality of, youth hockey who wish to be considered for the grant process must submit a letter of inquiry by Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. READ MORE>>

The Chicago Blackhawks Have Teamed up with the Chicago Park District
The Chicago Blackhawks have teamed up with the Chicago Park District to host FREE outdoor learn to play hockey clinics for kids ages 6-12. Each clinic is one hour long and equipment is provided free of charge. The clinics will run through the end of February. To learn more and view the schedule please click HERE.

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!

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