Volume 6 Issue 16 | December 19 , 2018
WHAT THE HECK IS UP WITH THE REFEREES?!
Written by a former player, coach, official, club administrator, but most importantly, a fan of hockey, "What the Heck is Up with the Referees?!" is a message to the entire Illinois hockey community - officials, fans, administrators, coaches and players alike.

Did you know that as of December 1, 2018, there were only 1,014 officials eligible to officiate? The number of new Level 1 officials this season is 597, but only 175 of those are eligible to officiate. Staggeringly, there are currently only 75 top Level 4 officials, and that there will be an estimated 35,000 AHAI games played by the end of the 2018-19 season? There have already been 18,200 games played as of the first week of December.

"What the Heck is Up with the Referees?!" takes an honest look at the cause and effect of the current shortage of officials in Illinois as well as gives readers interesting statistics and observations. Please take a few moments to read this informative article. READ NOW>>
AHAI NEWS & INFORMATION
2019 State Tournament Seeding, All-State & Showcase Team Selection Process
As the end of the regular season approaches, AHAI receives numerous questions regarding seeding for the State Tournament, as well as the High School All-State and Showcase team selection process. There are many misconceptions that exist regarding AHAI's role in the aforementioned topics. Please click here for AHAI Director, Mike Mullally's synopsis of the processes in place for High School, Girls, and Youth State Tournament seeding as well as High School All-State and America's Showcase team selections.
Did You Miss the Latest Issue?
You can catch up on the latest High School, ADM or Girls newsletters by clicking the buttons below. The December issue of the Girls Newsletter is now available. The December issues of our ADM and High School newsletters will be published on Thursday, December 27 and Friday, December 28 respectively.

Don't miss another issue...subscribe to any one or all of our monthly newsletters by clicking HERE or by texting "AHAI" to 22828.
AHAI's December Photo of the Month Contest
Submit photos of your AHAI player's frosty hockey snowmen, backyard rinks, outdoor games, wicked slapshots, dekes, dangles, great saves, or a picture of your kids just having fun playing hockey. Photo submission deadline for the December contest is Saturday, December 22nd by 2:00pm (CST). AHAI will select the finalists; YOUR votes will select the Top 5! Click here for contest details and a peek at all the great prizes!
2019 STATE, DISTRICT & NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Click the logos below the dates and locations of the 2019 Illinois State Hockey Championships, 2019 Central District Championships and 2019 USA Hockey National Championships.
IHHF BIO SERIES: TERRY STASICA
Born on August 7, 1949, Terry Stasica was raised in Chicago with his older brother, Charles (Jack). In 1976, Terry moved to Hoffman Estates to start his career at Motorola and purchase his forever home. He worked for Motorola for 32 years and resided in the same home for the rest of his life. Terry had his only son, Derrick in February of 1981.

In 1991, Terry began his youth coaching career when he started coaching his son's soccer team. From there he transitioned to coaching Derrick's hockey teams throughout his high school years. He coached the Schaumburg Kings midget team from 1996-1997 and the Conant Cougars varsity team from 1997-2004. Terry was also the President of the Metro Northwest High School Hockey League from 2002-2004, and AHAI Director from 2006-2010. He also served on the AHAI High School All-State Selection Committee from 2008-2012. READ MORE>>
Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame Ticket Information
The 2018 IHHF Induction Dinner will be held on Sunday, January 27, 2019 at the Belvedere Banquet Hall located at 1170 West Devon Avenue in Elk Grove Village beginning at 5:00 pm. Tickets are available by contacting Norm Spiegel at 847/269-2922 or e-mail Norm at jacole@comcast.net.
AROUND THE BOARDS
Exchange Program Between USA Hockey and Finland a Learning Experience for Both Nations
By Greg Bates, Special to AHAI - Even though Finland is a relatively small country in terms of population, it has had a large imprint on the sport of hockey.  Last season, 39 Finnish-born players skated in the NHL. The Finnish Ice Hockey Association (FIHA) has proven it does a great job of growing and developing its players, getting them ready for the top competition in the world.

USA Hockey, the national governing body for ice hockey in the United States, and FIHA, the governing body in Finland, teamed up earlier this decade to form a development exchange program for both organizations to learn from the other's successes. READ MORE>>
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS HEADLINES
Chicago Blackhawks Learn to Play Program
The Little Blackhawks Learn to Play initiative was developed jointly by the National Hockey League and the NHL Players' Association to offer more families a chance to experience everything that makes youth hockey so rewarding. Learn to Play changes the way youth hockey is offered by providing first-time participants between the ages 5-9 head-to-toe equipment, age-appropriate instruction and certified coaching led by local rink staff and NHL Alumni in a fun and safe atmosphere. Registration opens in December and sessions begin in the spring! MORE INFORMATION>>
Get Your Tickets to Skate with the Greats
On February 17, 2019, from 2-4 p.m., join 500 hockey fans for this one-of-a-kind experience to meet hockey Hall of Famer,  Chris Chelios, current Chicago Blackhawk, Alex DeBrincat*, and hit the ice with Chicago Blackhawks legends. During the event, you will enjoy a hockey-themed silent auction and get autographs from Blackhawks legends.  Special appearances by Tommy Hawk* and the Blackhawks Ice Crew* Skate with the Greats is presented by the Chicago Blackhawks Alumni Association and Dr Pepper. *Appearances are subject to change. Skate with the Greats will take place rain, snow or shine! PURCHASE TICKETS>>
GIRLS HOCKEY HEADLINES
Girls United Hockey Introduces Equipment Fitting Events
By Tracy Cimba - When AHAI set out to create a girls only introduction to hockey program, the committee members were determined to overcome many of the obstacles they hear that dissuade families from making the effort to get their daughters involved.  Mainly, keep program costs down, make it convenient for families, provide consistent scheduling, make the season shorter so girls can play multiple sports and most importantly, in addition to skill development, make the experience fun in a no pressure environment so girls can meet new friends and form a love for the game. READ MORE>>
2019 U.S. Under-18 Women's National Team Unveiled
USA Hockey today announced the 23-player roster for its U.S. Under-18 Women's National Team that will compete for its fifth consecutive gold medal at the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women's World Championship Jan. 6-13 in Obihiro, Japan. The 23-player roster includes Evergreen Park's Abbey Murphy who currently plays for the Chicago Mission. READ MORE>>
HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY HEADLINES
Veller Builds for the Future with D211 Chiefs Black Varsity Team
By Ross Forman - In this, his 22nd season coaching local high school hockey, Bob Veller moved into a new role, one he admittedly was looking forward to. Veller shifted from the head coaching role for the D211 Chiefs varsity team to the program's Black team, its varsity 2 team that mostly plays a JV schedule.  "It is more of a teaching opportunity and chance to develop the players to get ready for the Varsity 1 team," Veller said. "Our team has done a great job moving forward after a bit of a slow start." READ MORE>>
Chicago Blackhawk Alumni Association Scholarship
The Chicago Blackhawk Alumni Association (CBAA) distributes college scholarships annually to the three most deserving high school hockey players. Awards are determined from a candidate's level of community service, volunteerism, good citizenship, academic performance as well as the hockey talent of the individual. Recipients will receive an annual $7,500.00 scholarship over four years for a total of $30,000.  Fully completed applications including letter of recommendations, and scholar essays are due no later than February 1st of each year. MORE INFORMATION & APPLICATION>>
25th Annual Chicago Blackhawks Foundation High School Holiday Hockey Classic
By Mark Mullally - In its 25th year, the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation High School Holiday Hockey Classic is excited to be bringing some of the states's top High School talent, including Glenbrook North, Stevenson, New Trier Green, Providence Catholic, and Benet. We are also excited to add some returning out of state teams by welcoming back Christian Brothers College High School, and a familiar, but not so recent face with Chaminade College Prep School - both teams from St. Louis, Missouri. SCHEDULE & BRACKETS>>
AHAI HOCKEY PARTNERS