In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Stay Connected
Volume 2 Issue 20
February 4, 2015

Every year USA Hockey holds a mid-winter meeting in January. Representatives from all across the country attend to represent their home states or districts. The USA Hockey winter meeting is 3 days of meetings and is designed to be a shortened version of the USA Hockey Annual Congress held in June. Business at the winter meeting includes the USA Hockey Board of Directors meeting, various committee meetings (Coaching, High School, Officials, Junior Hockey and Youth Councils) and District meetings. Illinois is in the Central District along with Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.


The main topic of conversation at this year's meeting was best practices for providing the many USA Hockey volunteers with the support needed for the day-to-day operation of the players on the ice. I believe there is a very strong effort being put forth by USA Hockey to help local affiliates and organizations continue the work they do at the grass roots level. I see this as a very positive move by USA Hockey's leadership and believe we (AHAI and its members) will see the benefits of this movement in the very near future.


Another topic being discussed and addressed is the mandatory requirements for volunteers and officials. Is there too much being asked of the volunteers? It's a great question, but if you consider how important the mandatory requirements are - coaching and officiating education, background screening, SafeSport awareness - it would be difficult choose a requirement to change or delete. The discussion is ongoing.

With regard to AHAI 8U. It was announced that AHAI will be granted an extension of the current AHAI 8U exception for the 2015-16 season. That means no changes to the AHAI Mite program for next season. It was also reinforced that there are no planned changes at the Squirt/10U level in the near future. Also, through the financial support of USA Hockey and AHAI, all clubs participating in the NIHL 8U program were provided with electronic scoreboards for their cross-ice games and events; next will be the availability of mid-size nets for training and game use. These nets are designed to be size appropriate for 8U players and assist in making the cross-ice games competitive as well as being great training tools for all age players.

Those are some of the highlights of the winter meeting. Again, the movement of USA Hockey to emphasize the importance of the grass roots efforts was a major discussion topic at this meeting. Thank you for being part of USA Hockey and AHAI. The effort and support of coaches, officials, scorekeepers, managers, administrators, rink operators, and parents all help shape the environment for the players. The efforts and contributions of all these groups go to the development of the players and have a large impact on Illinois hockey.



John Dunne, President


By Ross Forman ~ Benjamin Allison - who played goalie for Crystal Lake South High School and also was a skilled, high-level referee - passed away Tuesday morning, January 27, at Advocate BroMenn Regional Medical Center where he had been transported after he was found lying in the street in Normal on Saturday morning, January 24, after being struck by a car in a hit-and-run. He was a sophomore at Illinois State University. Allison was 20. "Ben was an extraordinary kid. When he walked into a room, he was immediately liked," said Rich Perillo, Crystal Lake South head coach. "He was a genuine kid, very kind, a leader who helped all of the younger kids. I can't think of anybody who didn't like Ben; he was just so well liked by everybody." READ MORE>>

January Photo of the Month ~ Top 5!

Your votes have been counted and the The Top 5 Photos for January 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 January! Send those photos in for February; click HERE for complete photo contest details.

Johnny Gerardi (#44)
Garrison Schultz (#39)
Geneva Cyclones - PeeWee

Ryan Lopez
Sabres - Silver Mite 6

Jamir Wasil
Rockford - PeeWee Major
Ian Karas
Chicago RiverDogs - Mite
Nolan Flores
Rinkside Maulers - PeeWee
Volunteer Writers for SNAPSHOT Wanted
Are you interested in writing about sports, youth hockey in particular? AHAI is seeking fundamentally sound writers throughout Illinois to contribute content to our bi-weekly newsletter, SNAPSHOTand other media produced throughout the season. Click HERE for more information.
Win Unbelievable Hawks Tix!

You could win two (2) 100 Level Tickets (Section 102; Row 5) to the Blackhawks vs. Panthers Game on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 7:30pm at the United Center. Tickets include free parking in Lot H! Contest ends at Noon on Saturday, February 14! Winner will be announced in the February 18th edition of SNAPSHOT! 

2015 Coach of the Year Nominations
AHAI recognizes that Illinois Hockey is comprised not only of incredible players, but also of great Boys' and Girls' High School and Youth/Girls' Hockey Coaches that guide our teams both on and off the ice. Click HERE for nomination form. Deadline to nominate is Friday, February 20, 2015.

Directed by Illinois' own Gabe Polsky, Opens in Theaters February 6!
From Oscar® nominated and Emmy award-winning filmmakers, RED ARMY is a feature documentary about the Soviet Union and the most successful dynasty in sports history: the Red Army hockey team. Told from the perspective of its captain Slava Fetisov, the story portrays his transformation from national hero to political enemy. From the USSR to Russia, the film examines how sport mirrors social and cultural movements and parallels the rise and fall of the Red Army team with the Soviet Union.RED ARMY is an inspiring story about the Cold War played out on the ice rink, and a man who stood up to a powerful system and paved the way for change for generations of Russians. READ MORE>>

Look for your special edition "Countdown to State" e-newsletter in your inbox on Wednesday, February 11, 2015!

Tier II State Tournament Sees Big Increase in 2015 Registrations

The 2015 Tier ll State Tournament promises to be very competitive this year as 255 teams will vie for the coveted title of State Champion. Nineteen additional teams registered over last year's number of 236. Team Managers are reminded that a copy of the score sheet as well as the final score of all elimination games should be emailed to Gregg Chudacoff. First round elimination games need to be played by February 14 and the second round elimination games by February 22. We wish all our players and teams the best of luck at State.

AthletiCo Trainers Retained for State Tournament Games!

The health and well-being of our players is of the upmost importance to AHAI. As in the previous 2 years, AHAI has retained AthletiCo to provide licensed trainers at State Tournament games. You will see AthletiCo trainers on site at all Girls 14U through 19U State round robin games at Hoffman Estates, Bantam, Midget and High School State round robin game sites, as well as in Bensenville for the State Finals for Tier I, Tier II and Girls. (Due to their arbitrary, short notice nature, coverage cannot be provided for the few High School State "elimination games"). Trainers will provide consultation, player evaluation and recommendations for all potential injury and head trauma incidents READ MORE>>

Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame Inducts Nine New Members into the Class of 2014!

Nearly 300 people were present as the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame (IHHF) inducted its 10th class of inductees into its Hall of Fame on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at the Belvedere Banquet Hall in Elk Grove. The honored inductees included (pictured above top left) John Murphy, Ray Berens, Derek Denoyer and Steve Cromie; (bottom left) Ned Forsberg, Sjoukje Brown, Lisa Chesson, Jon Raslawski and Rocky Wirtz. READ MORE>>

2014 IHHF Bio Series: Steve Cromie, Players' Category
Moving from Houston, Texas to Oak Park, Illinois in the 1970s, Steve Cromie loved both football and hockey, playing youth hockey with the Oak Park Eagles and joining the varsity squads for both sports at Oak Park River Forest High School. As captain of the hockey team, he was the first player to earn the John C. Cooper Award for outstanding player. In 1983, he accepted an offer from Iowa State University to play Division I collegiate football. During Steve's freshman year, he was recruited by legendary hockey coach Al Murdoch to play hockey at Iowa State University...and the rest is history. After four years playing Big 8 Conference football, and ISU hockey, Steve graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and a minor in communications. READ MORE>>
2015 Boys' & Girls' High School All-State Teams Announced!

The 26th Annual Boys' and Girls' High School All-State games will be played on Monday, February 9, 2015 at the Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville, Illinois. The Girls' game will start at 6:40pm and the Boys' game will begin at 8:35pm. Admission is free! AHAI salutes and congratulates each of these fine young student athletes on their accomplishment.


2015 Boys' All-State Rosters

2015 Girls' All-State Rosters

High School Hockey By Ross Forman

At 6 a.m., on Monday, February 2, more than 19 inches of snow had fallen in Chicago, making it the city's fifth-largest snowstorm ever, according to National Weather Service. Moments later, in Punxsutawney, PA the handlers of that state's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, reported with pride that the furry rodent saw his shadow, meaning, they are predicting six more weeks of winter. After all, German legend has it that if a groundhog sees his shadow on February 2, winter will last another six weeks. If not, spring comes early. Regardless of the temperature, or the snowfall, high school hockey is really a hot topic these days. It's the home stretch, crunch time, playoff time. There are less than seven weeks left in the season, as state champions will be crowned Sunday, March 22, at the United Center. Some teams will have their seasons ended before the calendar hits March. READ MORE>> (You don't want to miss Ross' High School State Championship predictions!)

Senior Nights Captured through Pictures
AHAI wishes all our Seniors good luck in their future endeavors both on and off the ice!

Dear Mom and Dad: Thanks for taking me to my very first "Learn to Skate"; for tying my skates before I knew how to tie my own shoes; for carrying my hockey bag when I was tired; for making ME carry my hockey bag when I was tired; for kneeling in a puddle of cold, dirty slush helping me take my teeny equipment off; for waking up before sunrise to get me to a practice; for staying up way past your bedtime to drive me home from practice or a game; for making sure I did my homework before practice; for giving me those pep talks in the car; for helping me learn that hockey is all about great life lessons...READ MORE>>

North Central Division News By Greg Mrofcza
The regular season has concluded for the North Central League's Champions Division and New Trier Blue has emerged the regular season champion with an impressive 18-1-1 record. The Trevians finished just 1 point ahead of Highland Park that posted a record of 17-1-2. Both teams will be the top seed in their respective IHSHL Champions league playoff brackets. Below is a complete listing of the final standings. READ MORE>>

QUESTION: The White team scores a goal that is unobserved by the Referee so play continues. At the next stoppage of play, which happens to be a goal scored by the Blue team, the Linesman informs the Referee of the White goal and it is determined that White did indeed score the goal. What actions should the Referee take in this instance?


ANSWER: The White goal is awarded, the Blue goal is not counted and the officials put time back on the clock to the point where the goal was scored by the White team. Rule Reference 617(a). READ MORE>>

NHL Analytics Tracking of 8U Hockey Players
A cutting-edge NHL analytics team put the test to youth hockey for the first time ever, comparing cross-ice hockey to full-ice hockey. Watch the video above and see what you think.
9 Illinois Locations to Try Hockey for Free!
Try Hockey for Free clinics on Saturday, February 21 will allow hundreds of children in Illinois to experience hockey for the first time. Try Hockey for Free Events are scheduled at 9 Illinois rinks. Click HERE for detailed information.
USAH on Pace for Record Number of Players

The 2014-15 season is on pace to include a record number of players according to data shared with the USA Hockey Board of Directors at its annual winter meeting at the Renaissance SeaWorld Hotel in Orlando last weekend. READ MORE>>

BMO Harris Bank December Player, Coach & Volunteer of the Month

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. Click HERE for Nomination Form.


Pictured Left to Right: Chris McComish, BMO Harris Bank, Volunteer - Ned Forsberg, New Trier Girls Hockey, Coach - Phil Zangara, Gurnee Maulers, Player - James Randolph, Lake Forest Winter Club, Annie Camins, Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey Director

Youth Hockey Referee Spotlight

The Youth Hockey Referee Spotlight highlights two amateur hockey referees from Illinois per month and gives them the opportunity to attend a Blackhawks game and meet the NHL refs prior to puck drop. The impact and contribution of youth referees in hockey is as important as the players, and this is a great opportunity to reward them for their contributions. Featured in the second spotlight are Scott Lapoe and Cameron Conner.

High School Captains' Spotlight
With the Illinois High School Hockey Championships coming up in March, Blackhawks Youth Hockey wanted to take a closer look at what it takes to be captain of a high school hockey team. Click on Captains' name below to watch their interview.

Danielle Bewald - Upper Fox Valley

Tommy Feldman - Benet Academy

Matt Iaciancio - Providence

Nick Feldman - Benet Academy

2015 "Pink in the Rink" Overwhelming Success
For the past six years, the Chicago Mission U19 Girls Team has held a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society with proceeds targeted for Breast Cancer Research. Sophie Skarzynski, who plays on the Girls U19 team and is one of the "Pink in the Rink" event coordinators stated, "this year we raised $17,044.50 for the American Cancer Society...that will all go towards Breast Cancer Research. I am overwhelmed by the response and support of the Illinois Hockey Community." It's not too late to make a donation! Click HERE to donate.
2015 Hobey Baker Awards Include Russo & LaPorte

The Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois is proud to share that Robbie Russo (Westmont) and Nolan LaPorte (Mokena) are part of the distinguished list of nominees for the 2015 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. READ MORE>>

NAHL's  2015 Top Prospects Include 7 Illinois Skaters!


JM Piotrowski

Tanner Salsberry

Brogran Rafferty

Tanner Creel

Casey Linkenheld

TJ Black

Ivan Chukarov


4 IL Skaters on Rosters for U17 & U18 Five Nations Tournaments 

James Sanchez
Clayton Keller

Michael Floodstrand
Christian Fischer