Volume 8 Issue 25 | May 5, 2021
As spring shifts into second gear, our lives are beginning to return to normal. Spring Hockey is going well and we are optimistic that next season will be normal.

We had 18 Illinois teams go to Nationals; they performed very well and brought home two National Championships.

We have been in contact with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Last month we had a very productive Zoom call with those in charge. We educated them on youth hockey and what we have done to make it safe. They seemed to better understand our sport and distinguish it from others. If, God forbid, we are faced with a problem like this again, the outcome should be different. We recently requested a reclassification so that we may have tournaments and championships. Instead of a no, IDPH said they are looking into it.

We are excited to see the addition of a 5th AAA team. Tier I tryouts will take place this month. AHAI is working with Central States and NIHL to work out a seeding round for Central States. A committee will be formed to develop a plan for the 2022-23 season.

Hockey is getting better with each passing day. We are looking forward to a great 2021-22 season. Thanks for hanging in there with us.

Kevin Bolger
AHAI President
Congratulations National Champions!!!
Mission Girls 14U
2021 Tier 1 14U National Champions
Mission Girls 19U
2021 Tier I 19U National Champions

AHAI is excited to announce that the Chicago Mission brought home two (2) USA Hockey National Championship titles! The Chicago Mission 14U Girls defeated the Minnesota Green Giants just 26 seconds into OT to capture the USA Hockey Tier I Girls 14U National Championship title. Click here for the championship game recap. The Chicago Mission 19U Girls bested RYA @ Selects Academy 4-1, claiming the USA Hockey Tier I Girls 19U National Championship title. Click here for their championship game recap. Although the Glenview Stars Girls 14U team put forth a valiant effort in their championship tilt, they ultimately lost to Detroit Honeybaked taking 2nd place in USA Hockey's Tier II Girls 14U 1A National Championship. READ MORE>>
The AHAI Board of Directors sincerely hopes that everyone is healthy and that you continue to be so as we gradually return to some sense of normalcy. In addition to conducting hockey operations, AHAI is also a corporate entity organized in Illinois pursuant to the Illinois Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. One requirement of the Act, as well as AHAI's by-laws, is that AHAI must conduct an Annual Meeting.

AHAI's past practice was to conduct the Affiliate Leadership Conference (AALC), which was coupled with the requirements of an Annual Meeting, with various breakout sessions discussing hockey-related topics. We are sure everyone understands that the ability to conduct an Annual Meeting consistent with past practice would be difficult. Based on capacity limits of meeting space, we would have to drastically reduce attendance.

To comply with the local mandates, the NFP Act and AHAI's by-laws, we will conduct an Annual Meeting primarily for AHAI's members to vote to elect five board members to the AHAI Board of Directors. We will have a few guest speakers join us from the Blackhawks and USA Hockey. We will also recognize dedicated volunteers receiving an AHAI Annual Award. Therefore, on June 5, 2021 AHAI will host a Virtual Annual Meeting with its members. Details on how that will occur will be sent to every Affiliate's leadership shortly.

The second aspect of AHAI's prior AALC meetings consisted of the Affiliate Leadership Conference and traditionally focused on a variety of topics of interest to our members. Based on current stated rules concerning the coronavirus and to lessen the burden on our members, AHAI will separate this portion from this year's AALC as we did last year.

AHAI will conduct the Affiliate Leadership Conference breakout sessions in the evening between 6:30pm - 10:00pm on June 22 - 24, 2021. Registration information as well as session topics, times and Zoom links will be sent out prior to the conference.

Candidates Announced for 2021 AHAI Board of Directors Election

Eight (8) candidates have submitted their nomination in accordance with the AHAI by-laws to fill the five (5) open seats to serve a three (3) year term on the AHAI Board of Directors. Please click on each individual candidate's name to view their bio. The Board of Directors election will be held at the 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting on June 5, 2021. 

Tier II Substitute Choice Application Process for 2021-22 Season
The Tier II substitute choice application process, 10U through 16U/18U will begin on July 15, 2021. All applications will be submitted online. The Tier II Committee will have (3) three appeal hearings for those denied a substitute choice. Appeals will be heard virtually via Zoom; dates will be announced in the next newsletter. Questions? Please email Gregg Chudacoff, AHAI Tier II Chairman, at gregg.chudacoff@ahai2.org
66 Illinois Girls Invited to Participate in the
2021 USA Hockey Central District Girls Player Development Camps
Congratulations and good luck to the 66 girls invited to participate in the 2021 Girls Central District Player Development Camps! Click here to download/print invitee list.

2021 Blackhawks Summer Hockey Camps are OPEN for registration!

Camps are at Fifth Third Arena from July 12-16th and July 26-30th. Camp is open to Boys and Girls ages 6-13. Campers will have (2) on-ice sessions per day and off-ice training will be provided in partnership with Goodman Elite. Come join us for a week of fun this summer! Click button below to register.
Attention Coaches: New Coaching Requirements for the 2021-2022 Season
Beginning this season (2021-22), USA Hockey passed new requirements for coaching education. All coaches must have the required certification level by January 1 of the current season unless earlier deadlines are established by the district and/or affiliate. All coaches must complete the online age-specific modules PRIOR to participating with their team. Please click here to read the full list of new requirements for the 2021-2022 season.
AHAI to Host Level 1 & Level 2 Coaching Education Program (CEP) Clinics

Level 2 CEP Clinic
May 18 & May 20
6:30pm to 9:30pm (CDT)

Level 1 CEP Clinic
June 1 & June 3
6:30pm to 9:30pm (CDT)

Clinics will fill quickly! Please click here to register.
Ask the Official by Dave Zednik
Question: If a player is skating into his/her attacking zone backwards with possession of the puck, but his/her skates enter the zone before the puck completely crosses the blue line, is the play deemed offsides? Answer>>

Question: A goalie makes a play to cover a loose puck in front of the net and a skater makes a play to poke the puck into the net. The goalie covers the puck and the player makes contact right as the goalie covers the puck. Should this be penalized as a slash or since it was almost simultaneous is it just a stoppage? There was no significant force with the poke or violent nature in the player's motion. Answer>>
Americans Selected to Officiate International Events During the 2020-21 Season; Includes William Hancock & Kendall Hanley
USA Hockey announced that 21 American officials have been selected to serve as referees or linesmen for International Ice Hockey Federation world championships in 2020-21. The list includes Lake Villa native William Hancock and former Illinois official and 2021 Ben Allison Award Recipient, Kendall Hanley. READ MORE>>
Former Illinois Official Kendall Hanley Named Ben Allison Award Winner
By Ross Forman - Kendall Hanley - who officiated one of her 13 seasons as an on-ice official in Illinois and served as a member of the IHOA Board of Directors - was named the 2021 Ben Allison Award-winner, presented annually to an official in the USA Hockey Officiating Development Program. The award is voted on by 150 members of the USA Hockey Officiating Development Program and given to the official who best represents the characteristics that made Ben a special person and official, including always giving 100 percent on the ice and representing USA Hockey in the finest manner. READ MORE>>
2021 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team Roster Unveiled; Roster Includes Illinois' Roybal, Misiewicz and McKee
USA Hockey recently announced the 17-player roster, which includes Illinois Brody Roybal (Northlake), Josh Misiewicz (La Grange) and Kevin McKee (Chicago), for the 2021 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team that will compete at the 2021 Para Ice Hockey World Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The group features 15 returnees from last season and every member of this year's roster has at least one season of experience skating with the national team. READ MORE>>
Remembering Illinois: Tanner Laczynski Makes His NHL Debut, Hasn't Forgotten His Local Hockey Roots
By Ross Forman - Tanner Laczynski was ready to make his NHL debut, playing April 3rd for the Philadelphia Flyers on the road against the New York Islanders, with family members present watching with pride and excitement. He was on the bench, set for his first shift. But instead, he sat. Problem was, his helmet wouldn't buckle. Teammates and others thought he was benched even before his first shift. "It was pretty funny," Laczynski said, laughing during at exclusive interview with AHAI. Laczynski did ultimately skate that game, and in several others in April. He played road games, and, on April 11th against Buffalo, he skated in his first home NHL game. READ MORE>>
Ryan Hardy Builds Culture, Talent with Chicago Steel
By Greg Bates, Special to AHAI - During the last three seasons, no other team in the United States Hockey League (USHL) has had more success than the Chicago Steel. One major reason for that: Ryan Hardy. The third-year general manager came in and transformed the Steel into a junior hockey powerhouse. The organization, now in its 21st season, is having its best three-year stretch ever. Under Hardy's guidance, the Steel have a record of 116-39-8-2 (as of April 26). This season, the squad is 38-11-3-2 (as of April 26) and has won back-to-back Anderson Cup championships, which is awarded to the team with the best regular-season record in the USHL. READ MORE>>
Eastern Conference Final Starts Friday for the Chicago Steel!
The Steel have advanced to their third Eastern Conference Final in the last four Clark Cup Playoffs! The best-of-three series between the top two finishers in the Eastern Conference during the regular season begins Friday night at Fox Valley Ice Arena. If a Game 3 is necessary, it will be played Monday, May 10 on home ice. Steel fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance due to limited quantities available with 25% capacity at Fox Valley Ice Arena.