Volume 6 Issue 4 | May 2021
By Tom Gullen, Executive Director
Let me tell you a little bit about my Sunday Morning Hockey Group.
We gather every Sunday morning at 6:50am sharp at the Winnetka Ice Arena. We have a wide-range of skill and ages, but most of the group is either getting close to (or have already hit) our 60’s. There are some amazing players; five former Division 1 players, and more Division 3 players than I can count. Some of our group played nothing but House hockey or took up other sports as kids but are amazing players as “adults” (I use that description loosely).

Our group is run by “The Commander” AKA Randy Lauer. Before that, Randy’s Dad, Chuck ran the group for years. So, this group has been in existence for 40 some years, all under the leadership of a Lauer. Chuck was influential in getting the Ice Arena built in the early 70’s and would serve as president of the Winnetka Hockey Club, a position his son would also hold.

I recently spoke to fellow On-Tymer, Dan Kepler who passed this article on to his father Chuck Kepler who said, “When a small group of us financed the Winnetka rink never would we have dreamed of what has become such a lasting legacy. It is wonderful to know how important it continues to be. May it last a few more decades. Congrats to the old boys who keep it open and clean fun.”
By Evan Nielsen, Hockey Director
As our spring season winds down and temperatures rise, many young athletes and their families are thinking about what they can do during the summer offseason to best support their continued development. There are a whole host of options out there for kids and the best fit for each of them will be a little bit different, but there are some guiding principles which can be helpful.

Time away from the rink can be healthy after the winter and spring seasons. We want to give our athletes time to recover physically and mentally and also protect their passion for the game and defend against burnout. This might be a time to spend on other sports or to recover, refocus, and recharge. It’s great to hear of so many of our athletes who play other sports. These other athletic pursuits offer our Warrior hockey players a chance to become well-rounded athletes, stay active, and maintain their passion for coming back to the rink. 

That’s not to say that we have to put our skates into storage for the entire summer. There are some great opportunities to get on the ice in the warmer months. As you explore on-ice summer options for your son or daughter, look for those which foster a fun learning environment and aren’t overly structured. Instead keep an eye out for those offering a chance to play, be creative and enjoy the game. When our kids are having fun they’re eager to work hard and return to the rink. In the long run that’s going to enhance their long-term development.

So as summer approaches, get a read on what mix of summer activities will best serve your child. Know that recharging is important. Protect our athletes’ passion for hockey and let them explore other sports or interests. When they’re ready to get back to the rink, keep it fun and in the spirit of creative play. If we do that we’ll have some eager hockey players ready to get going again next fall.
The Winnetka Hockey Club has named Charlie Widmar its new Director of Player Development. 

Widmar coached two Winnetka travel teams and served as a lead skills instructor this past season. In his new role, Widmar will continue to coach two teams. He will also oversee the skills program and work closely with our Hockey Director on player and coach development within the club.

Widmar grew up in Eagan, MN and Northbrook, IL. He played youth hockey for the Northbrook Bluehawks after his family relocated to the area. Widmar went on to be a three-time varsity letter winner at Loyola Academy where he was also an Illinois State Scholar, a National Merit Semifinalist, and a Chick Evans scholar. Widmar played three years of junior hockey before matriculating to St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN where he played four years of Division III hockey for the Oles.

After his playing career, Widmar quickly joined the coaching ranks. He has coached for the Wilmette Braves and New Trier High School programs. This past year, in addition to his coaching duties with Winnetka, Widmar was the head coach of the Loyola Academy junior varsity team. He is also a lead instructor with Impact Hockey.

Widmar has demonstrated a unique passion for the game of hockey and has proven himself to be an exceptional leader and instructor for young players. The Winnetka Hockey Club is thrilled for Widmar to take on this new role within the club. We look forward to his continued work with our Winnetka Warrior players, families, and coaches.
Warhawks 19U
Warhawks 16U
The Northshore Warhawks 16U & 19U teams participated in USA Hockey's Tier II Girls National Championships April 29 through May 3, 2021. The Warhawks 16U girls captured 3rd place at Nationals after a nail-biting loss in the semifinals (1-2) to Minnesota Prep Orange who went on to win the Tier II Girls 16U National Championship title. Click button below for a full recap. Congratulations Warhawks on an excellent showing at Nationals!
By Vanessa Etienne, People Sports - NHL history was made in Tampa Bay. On the evening of Monday, May 10, Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper started three Black forwards during their final regular-season game against the Florida Panthers. Daniel Walcott (former New Trier Hockey player), Mathieu Joseph and Gemel Smith kicked off the game together at the center and wing spots, getting the news about the starting lineup just a few minutes before the game.