Volume 3 Issue 4 | November 2020
It’s Thanksgiving. In a normal year many of our hockey families would be getting ready for the annual ubiquitous Thanksgiving tournaments. Myself, I usually had the assignment of going early in the morning to pick up the donut holes at Duncan and supplying the Winnetka rink for the Wishbone Tournament run by Tom Gullen for so many years. I remember seeing a future NHLer playing for the Madison Capitols at an age division above his real age and dominating the ice. I also remember Capitol’s Coach Suter do something I had never seen before or since. He argued with the referee and got him to change his call on a goal. You see what happened is that a player shot a puck on Suter’s team’s goal and it was called… no goal. Coach Suter and all of us in the arena clearly saw the goal go in, everyone except the referee. The coach argued with the ref and said, “You have to call that a goal against my team, we all saw it.” The referee relented and reversed his call. It was a remarkable feat of sportsmanship that I will never forget.

I wish with all my heart that I could see the stands filled with families; parents, grandparents and siblings from teams from all over the country crowded in to watch their teams battle for a win that means nothing more than the pride of the achievement for doing their best. This year it is not to be. All of us volunteers that left our families at home or another rink while we ran these tournaments would once again gladly sacrifice our time and the exasperation of our spouses to be able to do it again this year. Sadly, it is not meant to be. We are missing hockey, and even our archrivals out there on the ice. It makes all of us sad at the loss.

But how much more is the sadness of losing a loved one to this insidious disease? I have spent most of my adult life involved with healthcare. I see the sacrifice being made by the doctors, nurses and all the others who are tired and at their wits end caring for all our loved ones. In some cases, being there for us as we cannot be by their bedside at such a crucial moment. We owe each one of them, healthcare provider and patient alike, by doing our part to keep them safe. Wearing a mask or avoiding a large group seems little enough given what they are going through. My heart goes out to all the high school seniors who are missing so much in this pivotal year in their life. I know these kids and I know the regret and sadness they would feel if they somehow were the instrument that transmitted this disease to their families and friends.

So I say, be thankful. We are closer to the end than the beginning and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Stay the course and we will all be there together to enjoy each other and this great game.

Have a peaceful and hopefully healthy Thanksgiving. I look forward to seeing you all again in the rink when it is deemed safe.

Jack Weinberg
Chairman-AHAI High School Committee
Two-Sport Athlete Brandon Alesia Leads Oswego in IHSHL West
Brandon Alesia was one of the best forwards last season in the IHSHL West, tallying 30 goals and 16 assists for co-op Oswego, finishing 4th in the league with 46 points in 32 games played, including 3 power-play, 2 short-handed and 6 game-winning goals. His 30 goals were third-most in the league and his 6 game-winning goals tied for the league-lead.

“We had a successful season last year,” finishing in fourth place with a 20-10-0-2 record, Alesia said. “We had opportunities to make a stronger push, which is all you can ask for, but overall, I was happy with the team’s effort.”
Return to (Gold) Glory is Loyola’s Drive
Kevin Purcell is a three-year player for Loyola Gold who has established himself as one of the state’s best defenseman – and he’s driven to return the Ramblers to elite status in Illinois. Last season, you see, was a downer for the Ramblers, finishing 10-14-0-3-0 in the 10-team Scholastic Hockey League. Gold finished in seventh place with 23 points. And, to make matters worse, arch-rival New Trier Green skated away convincingly with the league championship, with a 26-1 record (52 points).
Tommy Christopoulos ~ Lake Park Lancers
Lake Park played the D155 Black #1 team last December in its final game before Christmas – and center Tommy Christopoulos delivered the gifts and plenty of cheers.

Christopoulos, who shoots right-handed and sports uniform No. 31, scored all three goals for Lake Park, including the game-winner with :33 seconds remaining in the third period, as the Lancers slipped by with a 3-2 win at Center Ice in Glen Ellyn.

It was Christopoulos’ career highlight night.
Celebrating an Unusual Year ~ Metro Girls League Update
Caroline Smith: Pandemic Shutdown Turned Opportunity for Something New

By Pam Flores - The pandemic shutdown has impacted all of us in a big way but has been especially tough for our super active hockey girls who so dearly miss being on the ice and working for a chance to play at the United Center to end the season.

But let’s face it, our ladies are strong and refuse to be sidelined completely. Caroline Smith, a senior at Loyola Academy is the perfect example of that resilient spirit! The shutdown gave her the opportunity to learn and enjoy a brand-new sport that she otherwise may have never experienced: Crew.
Click HERE to catch up on all the Metro Girls League news from November!
Last Chance to Register is November 30th!
The 10th year of our of the A Step aHead program wraps up in just a few short days! 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. Free baseline testing will be offered through November 30, 2020 at select Athletico clinics.