Two of Illinois’ very own officials, Al Stensland and Peter Cichy are retiring their skates from the professional officiating ranks next month.
Al Stensland wanted to become involved in hockey and at age 18, he began officiating in the 1982-83 season after attending his first IHOA seminar. Al began working local house and travel leagues throughout the area and moved on up to local playoffs, league championships, All-Star games, the 1995 AHAI High School State Championship at the United Center, and numerous regional and national championships.
In 1987, Al became a certified IHOA/USA Hockey instructor; in 1996, he instructed at USA Hockey’s Regional, National, and Select Officiating camps (men’s and women’s).
Al also represented the IHOA membership by serving on the IHOA Board of Directors for 15 years chairing multiple committees including Evaluation, Performance-Education-Development, and Rules & Ethics. During my personal tenure on the IHOA Board, I had the distinct honor of serving with Al and he is truly one of the great gentlemen of the world.
In 1997, Al obtained his IIHF license- linesman and he has worked in the World Junior “A” Championships in 1998, 1999, and 2004. In 2003, he was selected to work an IIHF Division 2 Senior Qualification Tournament. In 2002, he received the assignment to work the Olympic Exhibition games in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In the new chapter in Al’s officiating, he has signed on as a supervisor AHL officials.
Peter Cichy is ending his 20 year professional career. As an 11 year old growing up in Glenview, Peter attended his first officiating seminar (back then it was AHAUS, today AHAUS is known as USA Hockey). Peter played ice hockey from a very early age and figured he could make some money officiating youth hockey games. Peter’s assignments started with every assignment that any of the local schedulers would provide. As the years went by, and Peter gained more experience, he worked his way up to higher levels of youth hockey.
Before long Peter’s experience and efforts allowed him to work several of the local Thanksgiving tournaments and AAA games as well as some high profile High School games and National Tournaments.
Peter fondly recalls his experiences with IHOA through working the Chicago Showcase High School Tournament, several National championship games at the Tier 1 level, and the High School State Championship game at the United Center.
Peter’s efforts during the 1996 IHOA development camp for young up and coming officials put him before the supervisors of officials for the Colonial Hockey League/United Hockey League and they approached him about working the league in the upcoming season.
Ultimately, Peter worked the IHL, AHL, East Coast Hockey League and Central Hockey League and the count is more than 2000 games. That’s right…..more than 2000 games!
Al and Peter are retiring from the professional officiating ranks and they are scheduled to work their last game at the Allstate Arena on Friday, March 18, 2016 during the Chicago Wolves vs. Rockford Ice Hogs game.
If you head to the IHOA website, you can read more about Al and Peter.
Additionally, the IHOA website has a link to a flyer containing more information about Al’s and Peter’s last game and also how IHOA members may obtain tickets to the game.
IHOA is proud to call both Al and Peter as two of their own and as shining examples of hard work and dedication to officiating.
Congratulations to both Al and Peter.
I am sure Al and Peter would echo the following sentiment to all officials: Remember, have fun and be safe out there!