AHAI conducted its annual College Night Seminar: Opportunities in Hockey after High School on Monday, October 12, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg, Illinois. Doug Christiansen of the United States Hockey League (USHL) presented The Junior Hockey experience at the Tier I level, Mike Snee of College Hockey Inc. addressed NCAA and ACHA College Hockey, Craig Barnett, Director of Player Personnel for the North American Hockey League (NAHL) discussed Tier II and Tier III Junior Hockey and Dr. Beth Pieroth of NorthShore University HealthSystem presented on player safety and concussion awareness. After the presentation, parents and players attended an Open House, or “Hockey Fair” where they were able to talk directly to over a dozen Colleges and several Junior teams.
The girls’ College Night Seminar was held in a separate meeting room as the “Lay of the Land” is considerably different for girls in college. Tony Cachey, Head Coach for the Chicago Mission 14U and 19U teams and Carson Duggan, Ohio State University Women’s Hockey Assistant Coach 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 over 420 ACHA teams this year? Within the ACHA 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.
Are you aware that 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 Thunder and Chicago Steel), Tier II (Springfield Jr. Blues) and Tier III (Chicago Bulldogs, Peoria Mustangs, Decatur Blaze and Chicago Cougars)? 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 Monday, October 10, 2016.
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