Volume 8 Issue 20 | February 24, 2021
The A Step aHead program was created to offer free baseline neurocognitive testing to youth hockey players and educational opportunities on sports safety to the hockey community. We are now planning our eleventh season and we want to continue to improve our outreach to hockey players, their parents, coaches and clubs.

Please complete this brief survey (approximately 1-3 minutes) to let us know how to best address safety issues with youth hockey players.

Last Chance! Level 1 through 4 Virtual Officiating Seminars Added!
IHOA has announced that Level 1 through 4 Officiating Seminars have been added. This is your last chance to register and become complete by 11:59 pm (MST) on March 24, 2021. Hockey has STARTED! Complete your registration so you do not miss the season! All seminars are virtual
  • Level 1: February 22 and 23 with optional in-person skating class at Fox Valley Ice Arena on February 28.
  • Level 2: February 23
  • Level 3 & Level 4 Joint Seminar: February 24
The process of becoming a complete official does take time and effort. The seminars listed above are the last of the virtual seminars. Visit IHOA.com for more information.
Ask the Official: 'Protecting the Goalkeeper'
Q: There is a scramble around the goal and the goalkeeper covers the puck for a stoppage of play. A defensive player then "protects" his goalkeeper by pushing an attacking player- who has clearly stopped as a result of the whistle. The attacking player pushes back in retaliation. What penalties if any should be assessed?

A: In this instance, both players should be assessed minor penalties for roughing. This is one area where officials tend to be lax in their standard and needs to be tightened up. Oftentimes, officials will only assess penalties after several warnings or after a player retaliates, in which case they go back and assess one minor penalty to each player, even though they had no intention of assessing the first penalty until the retaliation occurred. This approach discredits the officials and will only create more problems later in the game. Under this Standard of Play, officials should enforce any unnecessary contact after the whistle with a strict penalty standard. When at all possible, the aggressor should be identified and assessed an additional minor penalty in order to hold them accountable for starting the altercation. 
Certificate of Insurance Request Forms
Did you know that a Certificate of Insurance is available at no cost to all AHAI Affiliate Clubs? Go to USAHockey.com under the 'Insurance' tab to download the form. Completed forms, or any questions regarding forms, should be directed to Don Allord, Central District Risk Manager at usahrmcentral1@gmail.com or 630-464-5910.
Multi-Sport Senior Aidan Day Is Carmel Star, On And Off The Ice
By Ross Forman - Aidan Day has had quite the sporting career at Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein - and he has already committed to run cross country in the fall at Loyola University Maryland. For the Corsairs, Day is the lone senior on the varsity hockey team. He also played varsity soccer as a sophomore and junior, and possibly will in the spring as it was postponed from the fall due to the pandemic, played varsity tennis as a junior; and competed on the varsity cross country and track teams. READ MORE>>
Four-Year Varsity Forward Serena Seiple Cherishes Trevian Memories
By Ross Forman - After four seasons skating for the New Trier varsity, forward Serena Seiple is getting ready to retire her No. 14 Trevians' jersey and, in a few months, transition to college life. Though she's still undecided on her college plans, she wants to major in biology and continue studying French and theatre. Her favorite hockey memory came as a freshman: winning the Illinois High School Hockey Girls State Championship at the United Center. READ MORE>>
The Chicago Blackhawk Alumni Association (CBAA) distributes college scholarships annually to the three most deserving high school hockey players. Awards are determined from a candidate's level of community service, volunteerism, good citizenship, academic performance as well as the hockey talent of the individual. Recipients will receive an annual $7,500.00 scholarship over four years for a total of $30,000. Fully completed applications are due no later than March 15, 2021. Click HERE for more information about the scholarship and to download an application. If you have any questions regarding the scholarship, please direct them to Tom Dillon at tom.dillon@amwins.com.
NWHL to Hold General Membership Meeting
The Northwest Hockey League (NWHL) will conduct a general membership meeting on Wednesday, February 24 at 6:00 pm. We will be discussing the upcoming spring season and Northwest Hockey Spring League (NWHSL). At this time we are anticipating an April 1 start with a June 13 completion date. We will also have new member discussion on the agenda. Each club should have their NWHL Representative in attendance. Questions? Contact Jack Wood, NWHL Vice President at nwhl.vicepresident@gmail.com for more information.
Chicago Steel: Celebrating Local Heroes Roundtable
In celebration of Hockey Week Across America, the Chicago Steel had the pleasure of hosting a conversation with four influential voices from the Chicagoland hockey community: Melanie Freeman of Chicago Blackhawks Special Hockey, Rich Jecman with the Chicago Blackhawks Warriors, Mike Svac of Chicago Blackhawks Blind Hockey and JJ O'Connor, USA Hockey Disabled Section Chairperson and General Manager for Hornets Sled Hockey. Click HERE to watch this informative roundtable discussion moderated by the Chicago Steel's Media Relations Manager, Dan Vatch.
Hockey is Hockey: AJ Mleczko on Girls' and Boys' Hockey
By Jamie MacDonald (Mass Hockey)Very few people in this country have been closer to the evolution of men's and women's hockey over the past four decades than AJ Mleczko. Growing up in New England, she played hockey at a time when it seemed "being sporty" was a track in and of itself. Her own hockey career took her to Harvard, where she was named the best player in the country in 1999, and to two Olympic Winter Games - the first of which earned her an historic gold medal and another set of lifetime memories.

These days, she's an NHL broadcaster, host of the "Girls on the Bus" podcast and parent - and often coach - of four hockey players who range from 9- to 17-years-old. So it's no wonder the phrase, play like a girl, means something to her. But it means perhaps less than it once did. READ MORE>>
Registration for 2021 NAHL Combines Now Open!
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has the announced the dates and locations for the 2021 Combines, which are now open for registration. The NAHL Combines are driven by the North American Hockey League and operated by the NAHL's professional staff in order to serve the most valuable asset to hockey... the players.

The goal is to provide the aspiring hockey player to take part in a one-of-a-kind experience that is designed to maximize exposure at grand-scale events that provide a true look and feel of the genuine NAHL Experience. NAHL Combines are carefully designed to provide an Education, Exposure, and Experience for prospects that strive to advance their hockey development at the junior hockey and college level. INFORMATION & REGISTRATION>>