Volume 6 Issue 20 | February 13 , 2019
By Jack Weinberg, AHAI Director & High School Chairman - This is a great time of year. Teams and fans are excited to put it all on the line in the 2019 Illinois State Hockey Championships. The energy is palpable, and the stakes are high. This is what everyone has been preparing for all season long!  That excitement is what makes this time of year so fun. Each of us has a duty to keep it that way.... FUN!  The players do not need to feel any added pressure, the looser they are the better they play. Everyone needs to remember that the other team is not our enemy they are our opponent. Fans, cheer hard for your team. They are our children, our classmates and our friends. Hockey is a game for life. It is likely that you will compete against each other for years and when you get to the adult league you will find that those same opponents are now your teammates. READ MORE>>
Our Countdown to State Newsletter is coming to your email inbox THIS Friday!
Tickets On Sale Now for the 2019 High School State Championships at the United Center!
AHAI, along with the Chicago Blackhawks, announce the 2019 Illinois State High School Hockey Championships, presented by Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Chevy Dealers, will be played at the United Center on Friday, March 22, 2019 The Boys Red Varsity State Championship tilt, which begins at 7:30 p.m., will be broadcast in high-definition on NBC Sports Chicago and streamed live on  NBCSportsChicago.com . The event will feature a full day of action with the Illinois Girls State Championship at 4:30 p.m. and the Boys Combined Varsity State Championship at 9:15 p.m.  COMPLETE DETAILS>

2019 AHAI Adult State Championship Tournament Registration Now Open!
The Amateur Hockey Association Illinois, Inc. is proud to present the 2019 AHAI Adult State Championship Tournament hosted by the AHAI Adult Committee and The Edge Ice Arena. The Adult State Tournament will take place April 25 - April 28, 2019 with all Championship Games taking place on Sunday, April 28, 2019 at The Edge.  Click HERE for more information and/or registration, or contact Robert Fiorio, Tournament Director at rfiorio4@yahoo.com. Click HERE  to download/print flyer and registration form.
15 Locations to Try Hockey For Free in Illinois during Hockey Week Across America (Feb. 17-24)
USA Hockey will lead the nation in its yearly nationwide initiative  Hockey Week Across America , Feb. 17-24. The week-long event is now in its 12th year and includes a special theme for each day. As part of Try Hockey Day, 15 Illinois rinks and/or associations will host events to provide kids that have never played before a chance to try our sport for free. Click HERE for all the locations hosting events in Illinois. Help grow the game and spread the word!
2019 NAHL Combine Registration Ongoing
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 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 experience, education, and exposure for prospects that strive to advance their hockey development at the junior hockey and college level. MORE INFORMATION>>
After relocating from Illinois to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, in 1989 Mary Ann first became involved in youth amateur hockey with the Manitowoc County Youth Hockey Association (MCYHA) when her two sons Derek and Nick began playing. At that time, the MCYHA skated in the County Expo cattle barn with ice produced with hoses and hand shoveled by parents between periods.  Mary Ann became President of the MCYHA in 1993. In 1994 (with considerable effort from many parties) the MCYHA moved into a brand new ice arena. Mary Ann held the position of President for 3 years. READ MORE>>
Players Invited to Attend the 2019 America's High School Showcase Illinois Team Tryouts Announced
By Mike Mullally, AHAI Director - During the past couple of months, coaches from Illinois High Schools have been rating players throughout Illinois. The players invited to tryout have been identified as one of the best players in Illinois High School Hockey. AHAI wishes to extend to them an invitation to 'tryout" for the team that will represent Illinois at America's High School Showcase. There will be three (3) tryouts for everyone to determine the final America's High School Showcase Illinois team.  Good luck to all players! VIEW TRYOUT ROSTERS>>
Highland Park Looks to Surprise in State Tournament
By Ross Forman - The playoff streak has been snapped by Highland Park - and that's a good thing.  The Giants ended a nine-game playoff losing streak, dating back three years, with a 6-4 win over Fox Valley Black Jan. 27 in Geneva, anchored on a five-goal second period, including 4-point nights from Jack Elbaum and Sam Shachtman, and 3 points from William Rosenberg.  They followed that with another playoff win, 3-0 at home over the Lakers on Feb. 2. READ MORE>>
Illinois Girls' High School Showcase Team
By Anita Lichterman, AHAI Girls Chair - Attention high school juniors and seniors: there are a few spots remaining for this year's Illinois Girls' High School Showcase Team.  Please secure your spot today!  This is an incredible opportunity to be seen by college scouts and coaches if you have the desire to play hockey beyond high school. See you soon and good luck to everyone! MORE INFORMATION>>
Glenview Stars Girls 5th Annual Celebration of Hockey Day
By Nick Lavalle - On Saturday, January 26, the Glenview Stars Girls program partnered with the Lake County Vipers to present their 5th  annual Celebration of Hockey Day. This year's festivities took place at the Niles Iceland Outdoor ice rink. The goal of this great event is to simply celebrate the great game of hockey at all levels, while working together to help raise money and awareness for the Hornets Sled Hockey Association . READ MORE>>
BMO Harris Bank's Player, Coach & Volunteer of the Month
The Chicago Blackhawks and BMO Harris Bank are proud to honor members of the hockey community. Each month during the regular season they recognize the excellence of a youth hockey player, coach and volunteer. AHAI congratulates January's Award Winners: Player -  Andrew Vosler, New Trier, Coach - Kevin Lucca, Rockford Junior Ice Hogs, and Volunteer - Pam Flores, Fenwick Girls and Team Illinois 19U. Want to nominate a deserving player, coach or volunteer? Click  HERE for complete details.
Little Blackhawks Learn to Play Program
Registration for the 2019 Little Blackhawks Learn to Play program is now open! First time hockey players ages 5-9 can sign up for learn to play lessons and receive a full set of gear to keep! Chicago Blackhawks and MB Ice Arena are also excited to host the first ever GIRLS ONLY Little Blackhawks Learn to Play program starting in March. More information for both programs can be found on the Youth Hockey page of the Blackhawks website.
It's not just a fantasy camp, it's the Legends Cup
Ever imagined skating alongside Blackhawks legends? Scoring an overtime winner to capture the cup? Drawing up a game saving play with Denis Savard? Now is your chance!  On March 22-24, we will be hosting the inaugural Blackhawks Legends Cup! The Legends Cup is an opportunity for adult hockey players to compete alongside Blackhawks Alumni! As part of one of the four teams participants are guaranteed to compete in four games as well as one practice and video session. Multiple Blackhawks alumni will play on each team, accompanied by a celebrity coach, in the battle to win the inaugural Legends Cup. MORE INFORMATION>>
Congratulations 2019 NIHL Presidents Cup Recipients!
By Ruben Medina, NIHL Statistician - Each year the Northern Illinois Hockey League honors its players and teams that have posted the best Regular Season record. These teams (view list) earn the prestigious NIHL Presidents Cup. Only the top team, in the top tier, of each NIHL playing division is eligible for this prize. Look for this year's gold banners and commemorative caps to start showing up in rinks all over Chicagoland.
Congratulations 2019 CSDHL Champions
**All photos courtesy of Photos by Sully**
Squirt Major
Pee Wee Minor
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Bantam Minor
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Chicago Blackhawks Claim Second-Consecutive O'Connor Courage Trophy
The Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning each earned titles at the ninth annual USA Hockey Sled Classic, presented by the NHL.  The four-day event that commenced last Thursday (Feb. 7) was hosted by the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago. MB Ice Arena, the practice facility and community rink of the Blackhawks, served as the primary facility while nearby Johnny's Icehouse West was also utilized. The field included a record 30 teams associated with a record-tying 20 NHL clubs. READ MORE>>
U.S. Men's & Women's National University Team Rosters Announced
The U.S. Men's National University Team will compete in the 2019 Winter World University Games from March 1-9, 2019 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. The 22-player roster includes Illinois' Joe Kinsella (Naperville/University of Colorado), Zach Mitchell (Chicago/Lindenwood University) and Tyler Opilka (Effingham/University of Illinois). Forest Park native and head coach for the University of Illinois men's team, Nick Fabbrini will serve as an assistant coach. READ MORE>>

The U.S. Women's National University Team will also compete  in the 2019 Winter World University Games from March 1-9 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. The roster includes Illinois' Darby Edmondson (Aurora/Miami University - Ohio), Jazmin Malinowski (New Lenox/McKendree University) and Christy von Aulock (Des Plaines/Miami University - Ohio). READ MORE>>