Volume 3 Issue 1 | August 2020
Current Status of Ice Hockey in Illinois
The AHAI Board of Directors want to take this opportunity to reach-out to all of you to provide an update on the current status of ice hockey in Illinois.

The challenges relating to the COVID-19 pandemic are daunting and ever-changing. The AHAI Board empathizes with you and understands there are a myriad of COVID-19 related issues which created a series of challenges for rink facilities, leagues, clubs, parents, and most importantly players, that are not just unique – they are unprecedented.

While we all wish that hockey could return to “normal” this is simply not possible at this point in time. And none of us know when “normal” might be possible.

We want to make it clear that AHAI, in its role and responsibility as the governing body for amateur hockey in the State of Illinois, is in contact with medical experts and policy-makers in the State of Illinois to consider all avenues to (1) keep everyone as safe as possible, and (2) explore options to offer the membership as robust and as full a hockey experience as possible in the current environment.

AHAI will not trade safety for expediency but we want you to know that we are working on your behalf.
AHAI Statement Regarding Game Play
Currently, the State of Illinois classifies ice hockey as a “Higher Risk” sport. According to the Illinois classification, Higher Risk sports allow for no-contact practices and training only. Click here to view the All Sports Policy.

AHAI Affiliate Organizations and leagues are accountable to governmental authorities and AHAI expects all its members to strictly adhere to federal, state and local government and departments of health policies, including local rink rules, for best practices on COVID-19 health and prevention. These policies include, but are not limited to, the All Sports Policy, Youth Sports Guidance, and Indoor/Outdoor Recreation Facilities Guidance from the State of Illinois. AHAI realizes that the policies can (and may very well) change at some point in the future. Each AHAI organization is responsible for awareness of the most current policies.

As players and ice hockey participants return to the ice, and in hopeful anticipation that scrimmages and/or games will occur soon, AHAI released the 2020/2021 Hockey Registry to all AHAI Affiliate organizations. Similar to prior years, rosters that comply with the AHAI/USAH Rules and Regulations will be certified.

However, the issuance of a team roster does NOT permit an AHAI/USA Hockey rostered team to participate in games or scrimmages (in state or out of state) nor does it permit an AHAI sanctioned league to conduct games or scrimmages. To be clear, the current AHAI policy does not permit any registered AHAI affiliated organization, team or league to participate in any games or scrimmages. At this time, AHAI is not approving travel permits or sanctioning in-state tournaments.
Explanation of New High School Rule Regarding Dual Rostered High School Players

By Jack Weinberg, AHAI High School Chairman - To begin with there are a number of reasons the high school committee has been gravitating toward this change.

1) In order to have hockey work as a true varsity sport, it is essential that the development process is designed to promote the best players to the varsity level.

2) Allow, unlike Tier I or Tier II players, the chance to progress during the course of one season. Hard work, good attitude and performance earn an opportunity.

3) Remove the possibility (except in the case of a crisis) for a player to move down for the purpose of trying to improve the record of a JV or lower development team.

4) Provide experience for a player at a lower level gained by playing at a higher level in order to prepare them for the next season.

5) Provide players to fill holes on an upper team caused by illness or injury.
Madison Ross Readies for Her Leadership Role as a Senior for Latin School of Chicago
In her first year of girls’ hockey, Madison Ross was admittedly “absolutely petrified” of the puck and the game. It was too fast and intense for her to comprehend.

“During one of my first games (that) season, my skate became untied and I was terrified it would fall off. I called my father to the bench to tie my skate, but before he could arrive, my shift was up. In a blur of a moment, I stepped on the ice, took the puck up, and scored my first-ever goal,” she said. “The rush of adrenaline and my dad’s smile when I finally returned to the bench to tie my skate helped evoke my undying love for the game.”
Riding (Another) Rubin, Glenbrook North Eyes State, SHL Glory
Andrew Rubin has some large skates to fill and follow: his older brother David and his dad, Larry, both of whom have skated for Glenbrook North. And Andrew is doing just fine, thank you.

“Andrew’s hockey IQ is off the chart,” said GBN head coach Evan Poulakidas. “Combine that with his skill level and will-to-win, and you have an elite-(level) player. What’s more is the fact that he is such a team leader, on and off the ice. He makes everyone around him better.”
With One of the Quickest and Hardest Snapshots,’ Arseni Matveyeu Looks to Shoot Waubonsie Valley Back into State Title Contention
Arseni Matveyeu is a senior center for co-op Waubonsie Valley, a returning right-handed-shooter for the Combined Division power in uniform No. 35. He didn’t choose the number. “I was stuck with a (traditional) goalie number,” he said. But he has made the most it and certainly left his mark on the team.

“He was a great addition to our team this (past season),” said Waubonsie head coach Jeremy Dombro. “He played an important role as a center in our bottom six forward group, and also spent time on our second power-play unit.
Meet Coach Anthony Ebbole of Glenbrook South
When the puck drops this season, Anthony Ebbole will once again be on the bench coaching the Glenbrook South JV Team. He is in his 31st season coaching, his 26th with the Titans.

“Tryouts are the worst part of the season for me. You know there will be disappointment (from) the players who don’t make the (varsity) team. It usually boils down to 4 or 5 players pretty evenly matched for the last 1 or 2 (varsity) spots,” Ebbole said.

So yes, he certainly has tryout tips, for all high school players, not just at GBS: Be yourself and work hard!
Metro Girls League Celebrates an Unusual Year
By Pam Flores - What an odd year we have all experienced! Last year ended abruptly and no one is really sure (as of this writing) what the 2020-2021 season will look like. We all feel so bad for the seniors last year…and those that are just entering their final year of high school as they have been the most impacted. Despite all this – there is always something to celebrate. Click the button for the complete August Metro Girls League update.
Illinois West Welcomes Fenwick Friars to High School League
By Brian Meek - Illinois West held our goalie clinic at All Seasons in late July. All West goalies were invited to participate and over 30 attended the 4-day camp. West also welcomed the Fenwick Friars Varsity and JV teams to our 14-club league. Click button to read the full Illinois West August update, which includes our plans for the 2020-2021 season.
Registration Now Open!
The A Step aHead partners are excited to announce the 10th year of our program! We are proud of the work that has been done to educate our youth hockey community about sports safety and provide free baseline neurocognitive testing. We look forward to another 10 years of working to keep our athletes safe while they play the game they love. This year the free baseline testing will be offered through November 30, 2020.