Volume 5 Issue 20 |  February 14, 2018
By Jack Weinberg, AHAI Director & H.S. Committee Chairman

This is a great time of year. Teams and fans are excited to put it all on the line in the 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.

Let's cheer for the right reasons: a great play by either team, an incredible effort, successful or not. CHEER FOR YOUR TEAM, NOT AGAINST THE OPPONENT. Support good sportsmanship by being good sports. Everyone has a part in the game. Without the hard-working officials on and off the ice as well as a good team to compete against it would not be as much fun or such a great experience. FULL ARTICLE>>

Longtime Local Coach Rafe Aybar Loses His Battle with Cancer - Days after Being Inducted into Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame
By Ross Forman ~ One day last fall, a small group got together in Wilmette for an appreciation party of longtime coach Rafe Aybar, who had been battling esophageal cancer since August 2016. Norm Spiegel and Jim Smith joined as a surprise for Aybar, knowing his health was deteriorating.  They wanted him to know that, yes, he was being inducted into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame and the formal ceremony was slated for Jan. 28 - and of course they hoped he could attend. READ MORE>>
By Mike Mullally, AHAI Director
QUESTION:  Why are there only 4 Tier 1 programs in Illinois? Given the number of youth players in Illinois and USA Hockey guidelines, Illinois should have more Tier 1 programs to bring Illinois in line with the number of Tier 1 programs in other states/regions of the United States. ANSWER>>

Ask the Official
By Dave Zednik, IHOA VP of Rules & Ethics
QUESTION: A player from team "A" is standing in front of the Team "B" goaltender. The Team "A" player's back is to the play and he is facing the goalie waving his arms and mirroring the goalies left to right movement. Should player from Team "A" be assessed a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct under Rule 601(a). ANSWER>>
Meet Terry Juliar ~ Class of 2017 Builders' Category
On March 15, 1948, Terry Mel Juliar was born to Melbourne and Marion Juliar at Evanston Hospital. Terry was raised in Glenview and graduated from Maine Township High School in 1966. Terry was on the varsity baseball team and earned a scholarship to Buena Vista University College in Storm Lake, Iowa. He also attended Northeastern Illinois University from 1969-1971. In 1969 while attending college, Terry started working at Oakton Ice Rink in Park Ridge. FULL BIO>>
Tryout Rosters for 2018 Boys' America's Showcase Team Announced
During the past couple of months, coaches from America's High School Showcase Illinois Team 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 us at America's High School Showcase in April. There will be three (3) tryouts for everyone and a final tryout for approximately the final 40 players to determine the final America's High School Showcase Illinois team. Good luck to all players!  VIEW ROSTERS>>
It's Not Too Late to Register for the Girls' America's Showcase Tryouts!
2018 will mark the 3rd year that Illinois has fielded a Girls' team for the America's Showcase. Once known as the Chicago Showcase, USA Hockey renamed it the America's Showcase when the tournament was moved to Pittsburgh. After 8 years in Pittsburgh, the Showcase is now coming back into the Central District and will be held in St. Louis, Missouri April 19-22, 2018.AHAI would like to take this opportunity to invite all female players (Tier I, Tier II and High School) who are interested in trying out for the 2018 Illinois team to let us know by contacting, the team's General Manager, Anita Lichterman at MORE INFORMATION>>
Strong Regular-Season Gives Highland Park Optimism Heading Into The State Tournament
By Ross Forman ~ Highland Park is one win away from No. 1 ... playing against No. 1-ranked Loyola Gold, that is. In a win-or-go-home scenario.  Yep, the No. 17-seeded Giants open state tournament action on Tuesday night, Feb. 13, against No. 16-seed Carmel Catholic in Vernon Hills. That winner advances into the sweet-16 round of the Red Division - with the No. 1-ranked Ramblers awaiting, after Gold blanked No. 32 Sandburg, 6-0, on Feb. 6.  READ MORE>>
Metro Girls Hockey: Fenwick Jumps to Top of Leader Board in the Scholastic Cup Division
By Pam Flores ~ With only a few games left in the regular season, all the girls teams are competing hard for a Metro League playoff spot. Fenwick has jumped to the top of the leader board in the Scholastic Cup Division, followed by New Trier Varsity and Glenbrook. In the Founders Cup Division, Warren is on top, followed by Maine and Latin. The Metro playoffs will be held in early March - stay tuned for details! READ MORE>>
Scholastic Hockey League Announces Varsity All League Teams
The Scholastic Hockey League proudly announces its  Varsity All League Teams . Click HERE to view All League Players. For all the latest playoff scores and news make sure to visit to .
2018 NAHL Combine Registration
The North American Hockey League has announced the dates and locations for the 2018 Combines. 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 intent and goal is to provide the aspiring hockey player the ability 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. REGISTRATION & INFORMATION>>
2018 Illinois State High School Hockey Championships
The 2018 Illinois State High School Hockey Championships at the United Center on Saturday, March 24, 2018The Boys State Championship tilt, which begins at 3 p.m. at the United Center, will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Chicago and streamed live on  and via the NBC Sports app. The event will feature a full day of action with the Illinois Girls' State Championship at 11:30a), the Boys' Red Division State Championship at 3:00pm and the Boys' Combined Division State Championship at 5:00pm. DETAILS>>

Power4Girls Presidents Day Off Event
The Blackhawks and Power4Girls present an active and empowering event taking place on Monday, February 19th from 9am to Noon at the MB Ice Arena. Event will feature:  ice skating with Blackhawks staff (no experience necessary!),  team building with Game On! Sports 4 Girls, S TEM fun with Code Play Learn, and a  motivational Speaker!  The event cost ($50) includes ice skate rental. Girls are also free to bring their own skates (figure or hockey).  MORE INFORMATION & REGISTRATION>>
USA National Sled Team Faces Off Feb. 23 & 24 at West Meadows Ice Arena
The USA National Sled Hockey Team that will compete for the Gold Medal at the Paralympics Games in PyeongChang in mid-March will have two exhibition games against the USA Sled Development team on Friday, February 23, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. at the West Meadows Ice Arena. READ MORE>>
Disabled Hockey Festival Series: Part II ~ Special Hockey
By Malisa Komalarajun ~ The  14th annual Disabled Hockey Festival  will be hosted in Chicago in April of 2018. Disabled athletes from all over the United States and Canada will be competing at all ages and skill levels in the following Disabled Hockey disciplines: Sled Hockey, Special Hockey, Blind Hockey, Warrior Hockey, Standing/Amputee Hockey and Deaf/Hard of Hearing Hockey.  In Part I of our series we introduced you to  Blind Hockey . This month's spotlight will focus on those hockey players that have physical and developmental disabilities. USA Hockey identifies this discipline as "Special Hockey". Special Hockey serves a wide range of disabilities such as Downs Syndrome, Autism and other developmental disabilities. FULL ARTICLE>>
10th Annual Pink in the Rink Raises $49,782.63 for the American Cancer Society!
The 10th Annual Pink in the Rink event was an amazing success. Breaking the previous total raised of $23,200, the event raised an amazing $49,782.63 this year. The event was highlighted by a top-ten U19 matchup between No. 1 Shattuck Saint Mary's and No. 8 Chicago Mission where Shattuck came out with the 2-1 victory. READ MORE>>
Blues Midget 18U Center Blake Vaca Treasures His Best Buddies On, Off The Ice
By Ross Forman ~ The Chicago Blues Midget Major CSDHL team carries a 23-18-5 overall record, but has lost four of its last five. Certainly not the way any team, at any level wants to streak into the playoffs.  "This season has been tough; we haven't had as many wins as we would like. But, coming down to playoffs, we are getting strong and really melding as a team," said Blake Vaca, a left-handed-shooting junior center who lives in Wood Dale and attends Addison Trail High School. READ MORE>>
Girls Hockey Day with the Chicago Steel
The Chicago Steel invites all Girls Hockey Players and their families to Fox Valley Ice Arena on Sunday, March 25th for a Celebration of Girls Hockey Day! The 2017 Clark Cup Champions, Chicago Steel, will play host to Team USA. Come watch the future stars of college and pro hockey battle it out. Puck drops at 3:05pm. Questions? Contact Zach Dorfman at VIEW FLYER>>
2018 NIHL President Cup Winners
By Ruben Medina, NIHL Statistician ~ In many of NIHL's 25 playing divisions the winner of this season's Presidents Cup did not get resolved until the last two weekends of the Regular Season. The Presidents Cup has tremendous merit as it is the award for the best record in the division over the course of the entire Regular Season. In a few divisions the NIHL tie-breaking rules were needed to separate the Presidents Cup winner from the other teams they were tied with on points.  Five of these Presidents Cup teams went the distance and did not lose a single game all season long, although all five played to a Tie at least once. READ MORE & VIEW WINNERS>>
Congratulations 2017-18 Central States Champions!
Photos courtesy of Photos by Sully
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