By Mike Mullally, AHAI Tier I Chairman
The Illinois State Hockey Championships for Tier I have come to a close. Here are a few highlights from the Tier I Championship series in 2018.
- There were a couple of surprises this year, as the Squirt Major division saw the highly touted Team Illinois team fall in 3 very tight games, to the Chicago Mission. The first game was a close 3-1 victory for Team Illinois, as expected, followed by a double overtime thriller won by Mission. Mission took the final best of 3 to become the Squirt Major State Champions.
- Pee Wee Minor was decided in favor of the Chicago Young Americans over Team Illinois. The first game was a 2-1 OT victory for CYA and the second was also a very close 2-1 victory for CYA.
- Pee Wee Major went to the Mission, but Team Illinois fought hard in the second game, losing by only one goal (2-1 final score).
- Bantam Minor went to Team Illinois this year in well-decided wins over a very good CYA team.
- Bantam Major finally went to Mission, after CYA took the first game 2-1.
- Midget 15’s also went to Mission as they defeated Team Illinois 3-1 and 4-1.
- Midget 16U went to the Mission over CYA in a close 5-4 first game and a more convincing 3-0 second game win.
- The 18Us were Fury’s lone entry to the Championship Series round vs. Mission. After an “anything goes” double OT 5-4 loss to the Mission, the Fury were outscored in the second game 7-3, leaving the Mission as champions.
- Overall, the Mission won all the USA Hockey National bound championship divisions, while both CYA and Team Illinois won in Pee Wee Minor and Bantam Minor respectively.
The District Championships this past weekend at MB Ice Arena saw Illinois, represented by the Chicago Mission, win both the 14U and 18U divisions. The Chicago Mission 15s, and the Chicago Mission and Chicago Young American 16U teams were extended invitations for at-large positions for USA Hockey’s Tier I National Championships.
AHAI wishes the best of luck to all the Central District teams competing for a National Championship title.