Glenbrook North, Stevenson and Providence Catholic among elite Illinois teams participating
By Ross Forman – The 26th annual HOHO High School Tourney will be held Dec. 28-31 at Fifth Third Arena in Chicago, replacing the long-running Chicago Blackhawks Foundation Tournament that was a post-Christmas tradition at The Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville and noted for games played with two halves, not three periods.
The HOHO event, run by Chicago-based Ultimate Hockey Tournaments and supported by AHAI and the Chicago Blackhawks, will feature 18 teams representing three states. All games will be three 16-minute periods.
“Ultimate Tournaments is excited and honored,” to present the premiere high school tourney for the Chicagoland area in the final days of December, said John Schwarz, owner of Ultimate Tournaments.
“As a long-time partner to the annual High School Holiday Hockey Classic, we are thrilled to welcome this great tournament to Fifth Third Arena, the Chicago Blackhawks Community Ice Rink, for the first time,” said Annie Camins, Chicago Blackhawks Sr. Executive Director of Fan Development. “The high school hockey community’s support of the Blackhawks Foundation, especially during this holiday season of giving, is instrumental in our efforts to grow the game through in-school and community programs that bring hockey to children who may not otherwise have the chance to play.”
The four-day tournament will feature such Illinois powers as Glenbrook North, Stevenson, Providence Catholic, Benet Academy, Maine Township and Glenbard, among others. Out-of-state participants will come from Missouri and Colorado.
The lineup also includes Wheaton West, Leyden, Marmion Academy, Notre Dame, PREP, AWFM, Fenwick, Marist and Warren.
“We can’t thank AHAI enough for all its support to keep the tradition of this prestigious annual event going,” Schwarz said.
All games will be shown live on HockeyTV.
There will be scouts attending the HOHO Tourney from the USHL, NAHL, NCDC, USPHL and other leagues, Schwarz confirmed. Plus, coaches from NCAA and ACHA teams will attend.
The 18-team field includes 11 of the 16 teams from last year’s Chicago Blackhawks Foundation tournament.
“We’re excited to hold this tournament in downtown Chicago during the holiday season, which is always a very special place to be,” Schwarz said. “Players will be side by side where the Hawks have their lockers and practice daily.”
Ultimate Tournaments has run youth tournaments for several years at Fifth Third Arena.
Teams will be guaranteed to play at least 4 games, and those that advance to the semifinals will know after the first three days.
The tournament bracket will be announced in early-December.
**Click HERE for more information about the HOHO High School Tourney.**
Ross Forman has written about Illinois high school hockey for more than 15 years and is the only sportswriter to have covered Illinois High School hockey every year during that stretch. He played locally and then at Indiana University before becoming a referee. Ross was a referee for the State Championship game several years ago at the United Center. Contact Ross by email at Rossco814@aol.com.