Volume 8 Issue 14 | December 2, 2020
Michael Svac, Coaches Category
Michael was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania under a strong family and community influence of football ... Steeler football, where black and gold ruled all sports in the burgh. But his love and passion for the game of hockey led him and his friends to the backyard driveways for street hockey or the frozen pond (aka "the swamp") where he experienced broken ice more than once on those sunny days in late March. Growing up, he was glued to players that came to play with intensity and his favorites were Rick Kehoe, Stan Mikita and Dave "The Hammer" Schultz. 

Michael was introduced to coaching hockey in the 1990's where he and a friend started a player development program for the South Hills Amateur Hockey Association to help grow the sport in Western Pennsylvania. He coached his first hockey teams while in Pittsburgh, before transferring himself and his family to Chicago in 2000 for a leadership opportunity with GE Capital. With his wife, Kathy and three boys (David, Brandon and AJ),  they established roots in the western suburbs and immediately became integrated members of the local club hockey community, and seemingly spent every holiday at a rink somewhere in the country. READ MORE>>
Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Update
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be holding an induction ceremony this year. We will be inducting this 16th class into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame on Sunday, January 30, 2022 at the Belvedere Banquet Hall in Elk Grove Village beginning at 5:00 pm. More information will follow when we get closer to the event.
Miss the AHAI Girls College Hockey Night Webinar?
By Anita Lichterman, AHAI Girls Committee Chair - During this pandemic, it IS more important than ever to be sure to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally and physically. The AHAI Girls College Hockey Night webinar keyed in on a variety of topics including, health and nutrition, other opportunities in the hockey industry, being a college athlete, and how to get yourself and your love of the game in front of college hockey coaches and scouts even if there are no games being played. Our speakers even went into detail on how they arrived to where they are now......if you listen closely, you will notice a trend. WATCH VIDEO>>
After 4 Years of House League Play, Mulligan Is 4-Year Varsity Skater
By Ross Forman - The Chris Mulligan Hockey Story started in fourth grade, late for most players. He was an Ice Dogs house league player for a few years, then, in seventh grade, finally tried out for a travel team - and he was confident heading into the tryouts. But he didn't make the team. "I felt like I had been cheated," he said. Mulligan didn't fill with self-pity. Instead, he went right back to work, determined to make a travel team the next season. READ MORE>>
Remembering Grandma Carol
By Ross Forman - James Dingle knew that every game he played at the Crystal Ice House in Crystal Lake, he simply had to glance at the top row of the bleachers in the home section for support and motivation. That's where his grandmother (Carol Dingle) sat, always, from the time he was 4 in learn-to-skate sessions to every home game after that. She was, of course, ever proud of her grandson, and even if there was a blizzard outside, she was inside cheering for James. "Her life was the Ice House," said Dingle, whose dad and uncles also have played at the northwest suburban rink. Grandma Carol died this summer. READ MORE>>
AHAI to Host Virtual Level 1 & Level 3 CEP Clinics in December
By Jim Clare, Illinois Coach-In-Chief - AHAI will be hosting a two-day Virtual Level 1 CEP clinic on December 5 and December 6 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and a Virtual Level 3 CEP clinic on December 8 and December 10 from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. We recommend registering as soon as possible as these clinics will fill up quickly. USA Hockey is also hosting many Virtual CEP Clinics at all levels. Click here to view current CEP Clinic schedule and to register! 
Not All Practices Are Created Equal, But All Should Have These Five Elements
By Greg Bates, Special to AHAI - USA Hockey has solid relationships with a number of European countries, including Sweden. Recently, USA Hockey representatives - ADM Regional Manager Dan Jablonic being one of them - were on a call with some Swedish hockey representatives. The Swedes mentioned they get their players on the ice an average of six to seven times per week. When asked how many times the Swedish skaters have off-ice practices each week, they stated that every on-ice practice is matched by one off-ice practice. The USA Hockey officials were blown away by the fact that the Swedish players are getting up to 14 hockey-related sessions per week. Since coaches in the United States aren't able to get their players practicing anything close to over a dozen times a week, utilizing practice time is paramount. READ MORE>>
IHOA Concludes Scheduled Seminars for 2020-21 Season
IHOA has concluded all scheduled seminars and would like to thank all the officials and instructors who participated in officiating seminars this fall. Should the current Tier III Resurgence Mitigations in Illinois be lifted, IHOA may plan for additional seminars this season. You can also access a list of virtual seminars offered through USA Hockey at www.usahockey.com/officialseminars.
Ask the Official by Dave Zednik

QUESTION: A player in a Body Checking category makes no effort to play the puck and instead drives the opponent into the boards with excessive force. Should this be penalized as boarding?

ANSWER: Yes. The purpose of a body check is to separate the opponent from the puck. By accelerating through the check and causing the opponent to be thrown dangerously into the boards, the focus of the check is to punish or intimidate the opponent and must be penalized under the Standard of Play for Body Checking.

QUESTION: What degree of force is necessary to be considered to be thrown dangerously into the boards?

ANSWERFor USA Hockey youth games, the onus is on the player delivering the check to not place the opponent in danger. The purpose of a body check is to separate the opponent from the puck. Anytime a player delivers a check for the purpose of intimidating or punishing the opponent, and therefore causes the opponent to be driven excessively into the boards (uses the boards to punish the opponent), a boarding penalty must be assessed. The degree of force with which a checked player contacts the boards varies. A more practical question may be "was the check necessary and/or what was the vulnerability of the player being checked?" For example, a boarding penalty may be assessed when a player in a vulnerable position is unnecessarily hit with sufficient force to be thrown dangerously into the boards. In contrast, a penalty may not be warranted when a player is hit much harder, but his preparedness for the hit causes him to go only mildly into the boards. USA Hockey is not eliminating a good, hard and clean check. However, players must be aware of the situation when delivering a check and then held accountable for taking "liberties" and therefore endangering an opponent.
There Is Still Time to Give Without Spending! 
The Chicago Blackhawks Foundation has partnered with Express Feedback for Good™ to launch a new program and they would love your support in a way that requires only a little bit of your time! Your participation in this innovative program will help the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation create a healthier, smarter and more secure world for children and families in and around Chicago. Every time you share a brand opinion, you will generate money to help invest in Chicago's youth, support local families in need and honor the sacrifices of others. It will also help support our disabled programs as well as our Blackhawks Warriors.

Here's how it works: Now through December 8, each time you share a brand opinion via Express Feedback for Good™, up to $2 goes to spreading hope in our community! You can personally create up to $150 of value (75 opinions).
P.S. When you join Express Feedback for Good on behalf of the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation, your personal information is not sold or shared. During the 30-day campaign, you will receive reminders from EFG to submit feedback for the foundation. You may opt out at any time.
2021 U.S. National Junior Team Preliminary Roster Unveiled; Includes Illinois' Alex Vlasic & Alex Turcotte
USA Hockey today named 29 players, which includes Illinois' Alex Vlasic (Wilmette) and Alex Turcotte (Chicago), to the preliminary roster of its 2021 U.S. National Junior Team. The group, which includes 10 members of the 2020 U.S. National Junior Team, will gather for a training camp at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich., starting Dec. 6. 

Players are auditioning for a spot on the final 25-player roster that will represent the United States in the 2021 World Junior Championship set for Edmonton, Alberta, from Dec. 25, 2020 - Jan. 5, 2021. The final roster will be announced on Dec. 13, prior to the team's departure from Plymouth to Edmonton that day. READ MORE>>
The holidays are just around the corner and that means it's time to start thinking about selecting the perfect hockey gifts for your family, friends, coaches and managers! If you are stumped for ideas for the hockey fan in your life, these hockey-themed gift ideas are sure to be a big hit. Click HERE to download/print the 2020 Holiday Gift Guide.
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