It was a magical day at the Madhouse on Madison last Friday, where the Chicago Blackhawks and AHAI hosted a USA Hockey American Development Model clinic.
More than 40 7- and 8-year-olds took part in the event, held on United Center ice prior to the Blackhawks’ preseason game against the New York Rangers. The festivities included a 40-minute station-based practice followed by two half-ice games.
“At each station, you could see the teaching and learning as the kids moved through passing, shooting, stickhandling and skating drills, along with competitive-type drills,” said Jim Clare, AHAI Mite ADM Coordinator. “As you’d expect, the kids were super excited to skate on the United Center ice.”
And while the skill-development emphasis made it a great learning event, the Blackhawks helped make it magical, with nameplates on players’ lockers, a film crew and post-game visits from Chicago forward Jeremy Morin and defenseman Stephen Johns, both former members of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.
“The support of the Blackhawks and the NHL for the American Development Model has been spectacular,” said Clare. “The use of the United Center, not to mention several other NHL rinks, is just another example of their level of commitment to long-term athlete development and the ADM.”
Video courtesy of the Chicago Blackhawks.