Chicago Bruins & Chicago Bulldogs Capture 8U Illinois State Hockey Championship Titles

The 8U Division of the Illinois State Hockey Championships began Feb 8th and 9th with teams from the Admirals, Chicago Bruins, Chicago Bulldogs, Joliet Jaguars, Pekin Dragons and St. Jude Knights competing to advance to the 8U Illinois State Hockey Championship finals in downtown Chicago on March 8th. 


In the 8U AA Division the teams that battled through the playoffs to reach the final game were the Chicago Bruins AA1 and the Chicago Bulldogs AA1 teams and in the 8U A Division the teams that won their playoff games to lock up a spot in the final tilt were the Chicago Bulldogs A1 and the St. Jude Knights A1 teams.

This year’s 8U Illinois State Hockey Championships were held at the Chicago Blackhawks practice facility, Fifth Third Arena, and the finalists were welcomed in style. Upon entering the arena, guests passed under a balloon archway and arrived at the welcome desk. 8U State Championship bracket boards gave everyone a look at the path the teams had taken to reach the championship game.

All teams were led through pre-game warm-ups by the staff of Paul Goodman, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Chicago Blackhawks. Once game time approached, the players were ushered to their locker rooms where their team logos were proudly displayed on each locker room door and each player’s jersey and equipment were waiting in their designated spot.

Spotlights and smoke machines added flair to the player introductions and the Star Spangled Banner, the game announcer and pump-up music all added to the “big-game” feel of these championships. A huge “thank you” to the team of volunteers that worked hard to give the 8U players such a great State Championship experience. 

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The Chicago Bruins AA1 became the 2020 8U AA State Champions by winning their championship game, 4-1, over the Chicago Bulldogs AA1. These two teams were also the NIHL Blackhawks Tournament finalists this season. Congratulations to the Chicago Bruins AA1 on a terrific season.


In the 2020 8U A State Championship, the Chicago Bulldogs A1 overcame St. Jude A1, 3-1, in a hard-fought game. Only a week earlier these same teams had faced off in the NIHL Blackhawks Tournament Championship. What a great season for the Chicago Bulldogs A1.


The teams received their 1st place and 2nd place State Championship banners at center ice, and each player received an 8U State Championship plaque to commemorate their accomplishment.


Want to know how to qualify to play in next year’s 2021 8U Illinois State Hockey Championships? Please have your club contact Bob Apter at

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