IN THIS ISSUE
Volume 4 Issue 16 | December 22, 2016
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CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS WARRIORS: FOR THIS 'BAND OF BROTHERS' HOCKEY IS EVERYTHING

The Chicago Blackhawks Warrior ice hockey program was founded in 2015 in conjunction with USA Disabled Hockey by JJ O'Connor, USA Hockey Disabled Chair and Jim Smith, USA Hockey President to give our injured military members and veterans an opportunity to play hockey in an environment that suited their needs. The program trains them in the skills needed to use hockey as a rehabilitation tool to overcome physical and mental disabilities sustained in their service to our nation.

JJ and Jim worked with the local Wounded Warrior Project to initially recruit members for the Blackhawks Warriors. O'Connor and Smith, founders of the Hornets Sled Hockey program, reached out to fellow Hornets volunteer, Rich Jecmen to serve as head coach for the Blackhawks Warriors.

"I feel as though it is my duty and a great privilege to give back to our veterans for all they have sacrificed for us," said Jecmen.

The Blackhawks Warriors team members suffer from a myriad of disabilities from physical injuries to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Warriors strive to help our returning military men and women to reintegrate into civilian life.

"The Blackhawks Warriors gives these veterans the camaraderie of being on a team, similar to the team they served on in the armed forces. It's a win-win for everyone," said USA Hockey's President, Jim Smith.  READ MORE>>
AHAI NEWS & INFORMATION
HEY DADS...IT'S YOUR TURN!
AHAI Moms had their night, now it's your turn! Join the A Step aHead concussion program for a fun Dads' Night at the United Center on January 18, 2017. We will present information on concussions, injury prevention and safe body checking. All of the dads will get to tour the Chicago Blackhawks locker room and weight room facilities.  We will also raffle off four tickets to a Blackhawks game! This is a Dads only event. Complete details and Dads' Night registration information will be announced soon.
JOIN THE 7 ILLINOIS RINKS/ASSOCIATIONS HOSTING A HWAA TRY HOCKEY FOR FREE DAY!
Hockey Week Across America, will be highlighted by Try Hockey For Free Day on Saturday, February 25, 2017. Associations will introduce new kids between the ages of 4 and 9 to youth hockey for this season as well as capture interested families for the following season. February is a great opportunity to attract new families who are thinking hockey because it's winter. This will give you an advantage with your spring programs and identifying new families for next fall. The FIRST 300 associations to register will receive jerseys, giveaway items, marketing tools and much more. Join the Leafs Hockey Club, Franklin Park Ice Arena, Sabre Girls Hockey, Park District of Oak Park, Pekin, Admirals and Rolling Meadows Renegades who have already registered! But, don't delay...registration closes on Friday, January 11, 2017! MORE INFORMATION>>
2017 ILLINOIS STATE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Please click on the logos below to view State Tournament rules and information for each division. Click HERE to view dates and locations for ALL State Tournament Divisions.
HIGH SCHOOL
GIRLS
TIER I
TIER II

Tier II Coaches and Managers, please note that the Tier II Youth State Tournament registration is now open online. Last day to register is Saturday, January 7, 2017.
MEN'S & WOMEN'S ADULT STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
The AHAI Adult Committee is proud to present the 2017 Adult Illinois State Championship Tournament hosted by the AHAI Adult Committee and Seven Bridges Ice Arena.  The Adult State Tournament, which will take place April 26 - April 30, 2017, is open to all Adult (21+) Men & Women who are USA Hockey registered players and teams who have played at least 8 games together during the 2016-2017 season, or non-USA league teams and players that wish to become USA members before the Tournament. For more information click HERE or contact Robert Fiorio, Tournament Director at rfiorio4@yahoo.com. REGISTER NOW>>
COACHING & OFFICIATING NEWS & INFORMATION
AGE-SPECIFIC GOALTENDER PRACTICES ADDED TO MOBILE COACH
The first in a series of weekly age-specific goaltending practice plans has debuted on USA Hockey Mobile Coach as well as  USAHockeyGoaltending.com . The plans cover goaltenders from 10U to 18U. Check back often for the latest practice plans.

OPEN LETTER TO PARENTS WHO YELL AT THE OFFICIALS
By 'An Old Referee'A Zero Tolerance Policy was instituted in 1990 because parents and coaches were driving new officials out of the game. New referees are assigned mite and squirt games. As they gain experience (3-5 years) they move up to higher level games. Virtually all of the new officials in the 1990-95 era quit before reaching their 3rd year of officiating. The reason most cited was the abusive comments they received from parents and coaches. READ MORE>>
ASK THE OFFICIAL BY DAVE ZEDNIK
QUESTION: Does a goal count if the puck goes into the net off an attacking players skate, whether there was a kicking motion or not? 
VIEW ANSWER>>

QUESTION: When officiating a game, in the second period there was an injured player and when he was down the opposing goalkeeper skated over the red line to his bench without asking permission. My partner and I gave the coach his options and he chose to skate 6 on 5 until the next stoppage of play. The coach did not complain and said he never heard of the rule. At the next stoppage of play the goalie returned to his goal. Later in the period when I was at the blue line I saw the coach put his phone away and he told me that we made the correct call. I informed him after the game that if he had disputed the call while using his phone he would have received a bench minor under Rule 308. He brought up a good point - what would be the difference if he was using a hard copy of the rule book instead of the mobile rule book? Would this be a violation of rule 308? I have asked several other officials and we all have different opinions.  VIEW ANSWER>>
NIHL NEWS
PRESIDENTS CUP & SPOTS IN THE WOLVES CUP TOURNAMENT
The holidays are fast approaching and that means that NIHL teams are at or very near the halfway point in their Regular Season. After their re-tiering and Regular Season Scheduling, all of these teams started their journey toward a possible spot in the 2017 Wolves Cup Tournament as well as a coveted Presidents Cup banner. Click "Read More" for a great article by NIHL Statistician, Ruben Medina. He walks us through what it takes to earn a spot in the Wolves Cup Tournament, including the tiebreaker process...and who are the front-running, undefeated teams leading their division's chase for the prized Presidents Cup. READ MORE>>
HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY NEWS
2017 STATE TOURNAMENT SEEDING, ALL STATE & SHOWCASE TEAM SELECTION PROCESS
As the end of the regular season approaches, we receive numerous questions regarding seeding for the State Tournament, as well as All State and Showcase team selections. There are many misconceptions that exist regarding the above and AHAI's role. Click on "full article" for a synopsis of the process in place. FULL ARTICLE>>
METRO GIRLS WRAP UP 1ST HALF OF SEASON IN TIME FOR HOLIDAYS
By Pam Flores  ~ With the tiering round complete, t he first half of the Metro Girls High School league season is over. Competing in the Scholastic Cup will be Evanston, Fenwick, Glenbrook, Latin, Loyola and New Trier Varsity. The Founders Cup will include Barrington High School, Lake Forest Academy, Lake Forest High School, Maine, New Trier Silver and Warren.  READ MORE>>
LIONS HOSTS RED DEVILS FOR "SALUTE TO SERVICE" CHARITY GAME
By Palmer MoodyOn a cold and snowy mid-December Friday night under the lights of the Bobby Hull Community Ice Rink in Cicero, the host Lyons Township Lions, the Hinsdale Central Red Devils and their fans came together to continue its Winter Classic game tradition and raise funds for a worthy charitable cause - the Semper Fi Foundation. READ MORE>>
ENDING A CURSE: LOYOLA GOLD LOOKING TO FOLLOW CUBS TO CHAMPIONSHIP GLORY
The Ramblers have not won the State Championship since 1996 and are 0-7 since that title. 
By Ross Forman ~ Will this finally be Loyola Gold's season?  Will the Ramblers finally break out of their decades-old slump?  Finally, finally, finally.  Yep, it's 20-year slump for the 'Golden' Ramblers.  It sure has been a rough skate for the top-tiered club from Loyola Academy in north suburban Wilmette, which has an overall school record of 2-10 in the state championship game - and Gold has lost its last 7 times in the championship game.  Talk about a curse.  Then again, the Cubs broke their 108-year curse in November...so will the Ramblers role in March, too?  Quite possibly. This is a good team, a very good team, anchored by five returning defensemen. FULL ARTICLE>>
HOLIDAY HOCKEY CLASSIC AT THE EDGE FEATURES MANY OF THE TOP HIGH SCHOOL TEAMS
By Ross FormanThe 23rd annual High School Holiday Hockey Classic is Dec. 26-29 at The Edge Ice Rink in Bensenville, featuring many of the top teams in the state, along with Missouri powerhouse Christian Brothers College (CBC). Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults with all proceeds supporting Chicago Blackhawks Charities.
 
Games start Monday and Tuesday at 7 a.m., and the last games those nights start at 8:25 p.m. The elite eight and the semifinals will be played on Dec. 28, and the championship game is Thursday, Dec. 29, starting at 12 noon.  Defending state champion New Trier Green is a favorite, but the Trevians are in the toughest pool, as it also features Neuqua Valley, Notre Dame and Providence.  Barrington, Glenbard and New Trier Blue are joined in the Glenn Hall Division by St. Ignatius of Cleveland.  CBC will face Glenbrook North, Stevenson and Wheaton in the Denis Savard Division.  Fenwick and Mt. Carmel from the Catholic League will be joined by Maine Township and Waubonsie Valley in the Bobby Hull Division.  And finally, the Tony Esposito Division features Brother Rice, Lake Forest, Naperville Central and St. Viator. READ MORE for Ross Forman's Predictions!
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS NEWS & INFORMATION
LITTLE BLACKHAWKS LEARN TO PLAY PROGRAM TO LAUNCH IN SPRING
Little Blackhawks Learn to Play program is for 4-8 year olds who have prior skating knowledge and would like to try playing with full equipment for the first time. In partnership with the Chicago Blackhawks, NHL, NHLPA and Total Hockey participants receive the on-ice instruction from certified coaches and Blackhawks alumni, along with FREE Little Blackhawks branded gear. Click HERE to find a host rink near you and/or register.
CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT 2016-17 OUTDOOR CLINICS
The Chicago Blackhawks are giving kids the opportunity to participate a in  FREE Learn to Play ice hockey clinic ! Use of skates and equipment will be provided at no cost. Some prior ice skating experience is required. All participants will receive a jersey to keep.  VIEW SCHEDULE>>

2016 ILLINOIS HOCKEY HALL OF FAME BIO SERIES
RICHARD 'DICK' SHARP ~ OFFICIALS CATEGORY
Richard "Dick" Sharp was born on March 11, 1930 on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois. He was an exceptionally bright man who lived every aspect of his life "by the book." This attitude stemmed from his impressive educational resume. Dick graduated from Leo High School in 1947, and earned his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Detroit. He furthered his education at the University of Illinois where he obtained his Master's in 1953. Dick went on to utilize his education in his professional life. He operated a family-owned heating and air conditioning business for twenty-five years with his father. He later joined the Pipefitters Union Local 597 in 1977 and secured a job at McCormick Place where he worked until he retired in 2006. READ MORE>>

IHHF Induction Dinner that will be held on Sunday, January 24, 2017 at the Belvedere Banquet Hall in Elk Grove Village beginning at 5:00 pm. Tickets are available by contacting Norm Spiegel at jacole@comcast.netFor more information and a list of this year's inductees into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame, please click HERE.
PLAYERS, LEADERS, OFFICIALS & CLUBS IN THE NEWS
REMEMBERING TOM WENDLANDT - HOCKEY COACH, REFEREE & DIEHARD CHICAGO WHITE SOX FAN
By Ross FormanTom Wendlandt, a patriarch in local hockey - first in the high school ranks and for the past 17 years in the college game - died in his sleep at his home in Palatine on Tuesday, Dec. 6. He was 62.  Wendlandt and his wife, Lynne, founded the Prospect High School Hockey Team in the 1990s, which he coached for six seasons as the team competed in Metro Northwest. Their son, Geoff, played on the team.  In the late-1990, Wendlandt replied to an ad that he saw in a local hockey newspaper from Robert Morris College, as it was known at the time, which was seeking its first-ever hockey head coach. Wendlandt applied, was one of three finalists, and ultimately was offered and accepted the position.  FULL ARTICLE>>
PHSHA HAS BIG WEEKEND OF GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY
By Kimberly GoreOn Saturday, December 17th Plainfield High School Hockey Players and Parents took part in the Wreath Across America wreath laying ceremony at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, IL. Those that participated & braved the cold were truly humbled and honored by the experience. READ MORE>>
CHICAGO MISSION'S ANNUAL
PINK IN THE RINK
The Chicago Mission girls program, led by the under 19 team, is hosting its annual Pink in the Rink fundraiser on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at Seven Bridges Ice Arena. For more information about the event, sponsorship opportunities or to make a donation, please click HERE. VIEW FLYER>>