AHAI conducted its newly formatted College Night Seminar: Opportunities in Hockey after High School on Monday, October 13, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg, Illinois. The turnout was great with more than 1,000 people attending this annual event. Doug Christiansen of the Tier I United States Hockey League (USHL) presented The Junior Hockey experience, Kyle Lawson of College Hockey Inc. addressed NCAA and ACHA College Hockey, and Dr. Beth Pieroth of NorthShore University HealthSystem presented on player safety and concussion awareness. The new format featured a presentation portion as well as an Open House, or “Hockey Fair” where the players and parents were able to talk directly to 18 Colleges and 4 Junior teams. The new format was very well received by the players and parents and with some logistical improvement will be implemented again next year.
The girls were in separate meeting rooms because the “Lay of the Land” is considerably different for girls in college. AHAI Director, Coach Tony Cachey, Lake Forest College Head Coach, Carisa Zaban Wahlig and University of Minnesota Associate Head Coach, Joel Johnson presented the college hockey experience and the opportunities available for girls, and those opportunities are considerable. Did you know that there are an equal number of opportunities for girls and guys, and yet there are 1/10 the number of girls playing hockey? That is significant!
For the boys, the “Lay of the Land” was explained with regard to the 3 different skill levels of Junior Hockey and the NCAA and ACHA levels of College Hockey. Were you aware that there are 414 ACHA teams this year? Within the ACHA’s 414 teams there are 3 levels divided by skill, M-1, M-2 and M-3. Which means that there is a place for almost everyone to play hockey while in college. Information was shared on the structure of Junior Hockey, and how that may or may not fit in with a player’s plans for college and the chance to play hockey while in College. Junior hockey can offer a player the opportunity to mature, both in his game and in his life, while continuing to further his education at an Illinois Junior College.
Did you know the best financial “deal” in obtaining a college education is to attend a Junior College for 2 years and then transferring with all credits to ANY Illinois State school for a degree from that State University? You can cut your college costs almost in half! Junior Hockey can fit very nicely in that scenario. Did you also know you do not have to leave the state of Illinois to play Junior Hockey at Tier I (Bloomington and Chicago), Tier II (Springfield) and Tier III (Chicago and Peoria)? There are plenty of opportunities for our players right here in Illinois.
Overall the evening was a great success and AHAI hopes to further expand the “Hockey Fair” for next year’s College Night; mark your calendars for October 12, 2015. And finally, congratulations to Max Fadell of Notre Dame High School; he won the 5 tickets to Wednesday’s Blackhawks game against Calgary!
Were you unable to attend College Night? Check out the Power Point Presentations located on the “AHAI Programs” tab of this website.