Volume 8 Issue 13 | November 18, 2020
The Governor has just suspended all indoor sports for three weeks. The Covid numbers are going off the charts. Hockey is not being played, and nationally, more states are shutting down. There won't be any Thanksgiving Tournaments this year. It seems like the only news we have is bad news.

This is farthest from the truth. The good news is that we are still here, we are surviving, and the future is looking brighter. Vaccines are just around the corner, with relief around the first of the year. 

We will gather in small family groups for Thanksgiving and realize how fortunate we are to have our families and each other. We are fortunate to be participants in the greatest sport on earth. 

This will pass. Hopefully we will be back in the rinks and playing as the New Year begins. Until then, may God bless you and your families and keep you safe.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Kevin Bolger
The 10th year of our of the A Step aHead program wraps up in just a few short weeks! 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. REGISTER NOW>>
Give Without Spending! Express Feedback for Good
The Chicago Blackhawks Foundation has partnered with Express Feedback for Good™ to launch a new program and they would love your support in a way that requires only a little bit of your time! Your participation in this innovative program will help the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation create a healthier, smarter and more secure world for children and families in and around Chicago. Every time you share a brand opinion, you will generate money to help invest in Chicago's youth, support local families in need and honor the sacrifices of others. It will also help support our disabled programs as well as our Blackhawks Warriors.

Here's how it works: Now through December 8, each time you share a brand opinion via Express Feedback for Good™, up to $2 goes to spreading hope in our community! You can personally create up to $150 of value (75 opinions).
P.S. When you join Express Feedback for Good on behalf of the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation, your personal information is not sold or shared. During the 30-day campaign, you will receive reminders from EFG to submit feedback for the foundation. You may opt out at any time.
Virtual Level 1 CEP Clinics on Tap for December
By Jim Clare, Illinois Coach-In-Chief - AHAI will be hosting a two-day Virtual Level 1 CEP clinic on December 5 and December 6 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. AHAI is working to schedule several additional CEP Clinics in December and will announce those dates once they are finalized. We recommend registering as soon as possible as these clinics will fill up quickly. USA Hockey is also hosting many Virtual CEP Clinics at all levels. Click here to view current CEP Clinic schedule and to register! 
How Goalies Can Best Stay Sharp During the Pandemic
By Greg Bates, Special to AHAI - The last eight months have been difficult for everyone. For hockey players, not only are they missing jumping on the ice and skating with friends, they're losing valuable skill development time. This is especially true for goalies, who rely on reps to maintain their unique skill set. USA Hockey ADM Manager of Goaltending Steve Thompson has some ideas for goalies to stay sharp during these unusual times. READ MORE>>
For Coaches, There's No Such Thing as Too Much Communication with Parents 
By Greg Bates, Special to AHAI - It's a simple but highly effective method: early and often. That's the suggestion from AHAI Coach-in-Chief Jim Clare on when hockey coaches should communicate with their players' parents. "Having been president of a club for 10+ years and coach for 20-plus years, I think my advice to coaches is it's never too early to talk to them both while getting ready for and during a season," Clare said. "The more the merrier." READ MORE>>
QUESTION: What criteria should the Referee use when assessing a major penalty for body checking in a Body Contact category?

ANSWER: Anytime the player delivering the check clearly has no intention of playing the puck and instead intentionally plays the body of the opponent by delivering a hard body check, a major penalty must be assessed.

QUESTION: How much body contact should be allowed at the younger levels of play?

ANSWER: Legal body contact should be allowed in all instances provided it is done within the definition of body contact. Body contact is a hockey skill that needs to be developed and encouraged at all levels of play. Players should be allowed to compete and gain possession of the puck using their body to establish and maintain their position using legal methods. At the same time, officials should be diligent in enforcing body checking in Body Contact categories anytime a player shifts their focus away from playing the puck and instead intentionally plays the body with an overt hip, shoulder or forearm for the purpose of separating the opponent from the puck.
Giant Friendship: Despite Different Paths, Fishman and Horberg Lead Rejuvenated Highland Park
By Ross Forman - Jack Fishman and Tyler Horberg are a true testament to friendship, never pre-judging a teammate on his skill-level, or limited thereof. Fishman, 17, is a 3-year Highland Park varsity defenseman, but it's been anything but a smooth, standout, successful journey. He played house league hockey for the Falcons for most of his career, as he was repeatedly cut from travel teams. But those failures "built a lot of character for me," Fishman said. 

He finally made a travel team (Falcons silver) in eighth grade, but that joy was silenced the following season when he landed on the Giants' second JV team. "Devastated, I found myself not making the team I wanted, though I was once again taught the lesson that it is vital to work hard and to always know that there are no guarantees," he said. READ MORE>>
All-State Defenseman Luke Lawrence Captains Brother Rice Drive in the Catholic League
By Ross Forman - Luke Lawrence has had quite a sporting career for Brother Rice, on and off the ice. Let's start on the baseball field, where he is a three-year varsity player. As a sophomore, he was called up to the varsity team two weeks before the playoffs. He played first base and was able to experience the playoff atmosphere for the first time. Primarily a catcher, Lawrence also has played third base and elsewhere. 

On the ice, Lawrence is a four-year defenseman who finished as a top 20 scorer in the Chicago Catholic Hockey League (CCHL) as a freshman, and a top 10 scorer the next two seasons. Lawrence also was Defensive Player of the Year, team captain and an All-State player as a junior. READ MORE>>
Bob Graham, Coaches Category
Bob was born in Oak Park and raised in Elmhurst by his parents along with his brother and three sisters. He was the oldest of five and paved the hockey way for his little brother. He began playing hockey at the age of 8 on his backyard rink and on the pond in Wilder Park in Elmhurst.

In 1969, when Bob was 11, he was one of the first members of the Huskies Hockey Club and played for their inaugural season, on the outdoor rink at the Elmhurst YMCA. He played his entire youth career with the Huskies all the way until we went to college. He also played for York High School from 1974 to 1977. After graduating high school, Bob attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison as a walk-on and spent four years as a Badger, earning his letter and an NCAA title. READ MORE>>
Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Dinner Ticket Information
Depending on the situation involving the COVID-19 pandemic, we are tentatively planning that the IHHF Induction Dinner will be held in their honour on Sunday, January 31, 2021, at the Belvedere Banquet Hall in Elk Grove Village beginning at 5:00 pm. We will be making a final decision on whether or not the induction ceremonies will be held by December 1, 2020. (If the Induction Ceremonies cannot be held this year, we will be inducting this 16th class into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame on Sunday, January 30, 2022). Tickets are available after December 1st by contacting Norm Spiegel at 847/269-2922 or e-mail Norm at jacole@comcast.net.
21 Illinois Players on 2020-21 USHL Rosters
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the 2020-21 season will be the USHL's 19th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league. The USHL had 51 players selected at the 2020 NHL Draft, marking the third-straight season with 50-or-more USHL players selected in the Draft. More than 800 league alumni are currently on NCAA Division I rosters, further establishing the USHL as the world's foremost producer of junior hockey talent. Congratulations and good luck to the 21 Illinois players rostered to USHL teams this season! VIEW LIST>>
35 Illinois Men Rostered to NAHL Teams for 2020-2021 Season
Celebrating its 46th season in 2020-21, the NAHL is the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior league, boasting 27 teams in 17 states from across North America.

The NAHL offers junior hockey players the opportunity to develop, learn, train, grow and succeed, while playing for free. The NAHL is unique in the fact that a vast majority of players begin their NAHL careers without an NCAA opportunity, but earn one through the course of their development in the league. READ MORE & VIEW LIST OF ILLINOIS PLAYERS>>
The holidays are just around the corner and that means it's time to start thinking about selecting the perfect hockey gifts for your family, friends, coaches and managers! If you are stumped for ideas for the hockey fan in your life, these hockey-themed gift ideas are sure to be a big hit. Click HERE to download/print the 2020 Holiday Gift Guide.