By Brian Meek
IHSHL – ILLINOIS WEST 2016-17 Season
November 7, 2016
The Illinois West High School League season is well underway. With 27 teams in the 2016-17 season, the league is playing in area rinks every week. Click HERE to check out our website for all the information including schedules and standings. Stop by a local rink and see the game of your choice.
At Illinois West, many teams perform community service and fundraising events. Most recently, Glenbard Hockey hosted a “Pink (and Orange) at the Rink” fundraiser to benefit Breast Cancer and Pediatric Brain Cancer research.
Glenbard Hockey Gives Back
By Jen Schmidt
Glenbard Hockey has hosted an annual charitable fundraiser for several years during the month of October to raise funds for Breast Cancer Research, calling the event “Pink at the Rink.”
For the last three years, the club has also raised money for the Ross K. MacNeill Foundation (R33M). This Foundation is dedicated to fighting pediatric brain cancer in the memory of 11-year-old Ross MacNeill.
Ross was a devoted hockey player (#33) at Center Ice of DuPage with the Admirals Hockey Club and a Chicago Blackhawks fan that lived his life with joy, strength, courage and selflessness. He died of a malignant brain tumor in 2013.
Since Ross and his family are near and dear to the hearts of many in the Glenbard Hockey Family, the club changed the name of the fundraiser to “Pink (and Orange) at the Rink” as orange was Ross’ favorite color. The players continue to wear the club’s supply of Pink Jerseys on the ice, but off the ice, the theme is orange.
Club families make donations of baked goods, raffle prizes and even Blackhawks tickets that everyone in attendance can enjoy and have a chance to win. There is also an opportunity to split the pot in the Chuck-A-Puck contest during both the JV and Varsity games.
This year Glenbard Hockey was proud to donate just over $1600 to the Ross K. MacNeill Foundation.
August 13, 2016
Illinois West High School Hockey League held its 7th annual Goalie Clinic the last week of July. The clinic was held at All Seasons Ice Arena Monday through Thursday for one and a half hours each evening. All goalies from Illinois West are allowed to participate. The clinic is provided by the League at no cost to the participants. As is our practice, many of the coaches are past Illinois West goalies who are now playing in the college ranks. Bob Moretti manages the on-ice aspects of the camp and keeps all the participants involved and moving station-to-station. In total we had 34 goalies register for the camp and had an average of 25 each evening in attendance. Six stations are set to allow each goalie enough reps at each drill to get a solid workout.
Our member teams all participate by providing shooters each evening allowing the on-ice coaches to work directly with the goalies. The Camp was a success and all the goalies asked if we would do it again next year. Our goalies that participated now head into fall tryouts confident and ready to go.
Thanks to all who participated and supported the camp. We look forward to a great High School Hockey season.
IHSHL – ILLINOIS WEST 2015-16 Season
February 15, 2016
ILLINOIS WEST DIVISION CONCLUDES REGULAR SEASON
Illinois West High School Hockey has completed our regular season. Congratulations to Waubonsie Warriors for finishing the regular season in first place at Varsity and to York Duke’s for finishing first in Junior Varsity. Playoffs have begun with the completion of the 1st round robin on Sunday. The brackets for the next round of playoffs will be as follows:
WEST CUP VARSITY
WEST CUP JUNIOR VARSITY
SCHOLASTIC CUP VARSITY
SCHOLASTIC CUP JUNIOR VARSITY
FOUNDERS CUP VARSITY
FOUNDERS CUP JUNIOR VARSITY
For the West Cup and Scholastic Cup at both the Varsity and Junior Varsity level the teams will play a 3-game series this week with 1 playing 4 and 2 play 3. The winners will square off for the 3-game series starting next week for the Cups. For the Founders Cup the remaining teams will play a single elimination series resulting in a final determination of the Cup winner.
Check the Illinois West High School Hockey League website for regular updates and playoff schedules.
Illinois West would like to congratulate the fourteen players named to the All-State squad. This honor shows these players’ dedication to their sport and the leagues overall strength. Congratulations! An extra shout-out to Samuel Weiss of Glenbard for receiving the inaugural Terry J. Stasica MVP Award!
Joseph Dipofi – Hinsdale Central
Cameron McNamara – Wheaton West
Zachary Lyons – Waubonsie
McKenzie Evans – Wheaton West
Daniel Pike – Waubonsie
Trevor Hansen – Sandburg
Jacob Stobart – Waubonsie
Eric Simkowski – Sandburg
Samuel Weiss – Glenbard*
Will Borrows – York
Reid Martin – Neuqua
Frank Wheatland – York
Matthew Blanchard – Neuqua
John Hatton – Naperville Central
January 17, 2016
ILLINOIS WEST HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY COMPLETES ALL STAR GAMES
The Illinois West High School Hockey League completed both the Junior Varsity and Varsity All Star games on Monday January 11th at the Canlan Ice Arena. Forty skaters and six goalies participated at each level. For each game a skater was selected by the opposing coaches as the MVP for that team. The league selected a ‘Goalie of the Game’ at each level. At the Junior Varsity level for the winning visitors team, Joshua Weisz of Glenbard won the MVP and for the home club, Zach Stobart of Waubonsie Valley was awarded MVP honors. The Goalie of the Game from the visitors was Blake Butler of Neuqua Valley. On the Varsity side, Ryan Kelly from the winning visitors club was named MVP while Sam Weiss was named MVP for the home club. Both MVPs represent the Glenbard Hockey program. Cameron McNamara of Wheaton West was named Goalie of the Game.
In other news the regular season is winding down with next weekend being the final regular season games. Several teams are on the bubble for seedings so check our website for game schedules. The round robin portion of the seedings will begin the weekend of January 29, 2016. The schedule will be posted upon completion of the regular season so again check out our website. The round robin will determine final standing and division of all teams into the three brackets: West Cup, Scholastic Division and Founders Division. All round robin and playoff information will be kept updated on our website – www.illinoiswesthockey.com.
Looking forward to seeing you at the rink!
January 4, 2016
Illinois West High School Hockey League is in full swing. There are only three weeks left until the end of the season. The races in both Varsity and Junior Varsity are tight. Waubonsie leads the way in Varsity and York in Junior Varsity. All teams participate in the playoffs with up to 12 games to make it all the way to the West Cup Championship.
The All Star game will be played on January 11, 2016, at Canlan beginning at 6:10pm. All teams are represented. Please click HERE for 2015-16 Illinois West All Star rosters.
The Illinois West annual winter outdoor games were held over the holidays. Twenty-six of the twenty-seven teams participated. Games were held at the Bobby Hull Community Ice Arena in Cicero and at the Elmhurst YMCA. Thanks to both venues for the great job hosting games.
Varsity Bracket Results
- Hinsdale Central d. Lyons Township
- Plainfield d. Wheaton West
- OPRF d. Glenbard
- York d. Lincoln Way
- Neuqua Valley d. Naperville North
- Waubonsie d. Naperville Central
Junior Varsity Bracket Results
- Hinsdale Central d. Lyons Township (OT)
- Naperville North d. Lake Park
- York d. Sandburg
- Waubonsie d. Lincoln Way
- OPRF d. Neuqua Valley
- Glenbard d. Wheaton West
- Naperville Central d. Plainfield (OT)
Please continue to check the Illinois West website for team updates and league status.
December 21, 2015
Illinois West High School Hockey League teams played for Toys for Tots recently. York Hockey Club held its annual “Toys for Tots Night” fundraiser on Friday, December 4th at Addison Ice Arena where the Dukes played host to Oak Park River Forest High School (OPRF).
Since 2009, the York Hockey Club has collected Toys to be distributed to underprivileged children throughout the community. Beginning in 2012 York and OPRF joined forces, combing York’s “Toys for Tots Night” with OPRF’s “Hockey Checks Hunger” (where food donations are collected by OPRF to be distributed to local food banks).
“It is special to see two opposing clubs come together in their generosity for causes like these,” said senior York defenseman, Trevor Corsello, who also chaired the event this year for York as his Eagle Scout project. “These programs are really bigger than the games we played on the ice.” In total over 1000 toys were collected by over 80 players, families and businesses.
December 8, 2015
Illinois West High School Hockey League is in full swing as our Christmas break approaches. We are past the half way point in games played and as always the league is very competitive. This year Illinois West is fielding 27 teams between Varsity and Junior Varsity. Illinois West will again be sponsoring outdoor games on December 31st and January 1st for our teams. On New Year’s Day head to the Bobby Hull rink in Cicero or the YMCA rink in Elmhurst to see a game or two. Our All Star games will be held at Canlan in January so come out to catch the Junior Varsity and Varsity games on the evening of the 11th. Complete details can be found on our website; click HERE.
This year Illinois West has added a new feature to our league games; we hired Premier Sports Services to provide certified trainers for all our league games. Premier Sports Services provides athletic training services and concussion assessment. Hockey is their specialty having provided coverage for over 30 years at AHAI events, Junior Hockey events & showcases, regional and national tournaments and OPRF high school which is where this all started. Karen Hyde, co-owner of Premier Sports Services says “Every game we cover, at least one parent says they are glad we are there and coaches comment that they are glad that injury decisions have been taken out of their hands and they can concentrate on coaching.” Illinois West’s decision to provide athletic trainers for all of their teams takes the burden off individual teams to find coverage and allows us to assign one AT to a location to cover multiple games. I know that some of the reluctance regarding having an athletic trainer has been cost. It breaks down to about $2 per player per game. It’s not much different than car, house or medical insurance. You hope nothing happens, but if it does, someone is there to help.” Co-owner Lelia Siano comments “Concussions are a hot topic. Educating people and clearing away the myths is a focus of ours. We’re fortunate that in Illinois, the concussion law allows athletic trainers to determine if an athlete has a concussion and to clear a player from a concussion. But that’s not the only reason we’re there. Athletic trainers are considered medical professionals by the AMA. Trained in orthopedic injuries as well as other injuries which may arise during a game. If we can’t treat something, we refer the athlete to the appropriate care agent.” Illinois West continues to lead the way to provide the best and safest hockey experience for our student players.”
IHSHL – ILLINOIS WEST 2014-15 SEASON
Illinois West’s Sixth Annual Goalie Clinic a Huge Success
Illinois West High School Hockey League held its sixth annual Goalie Clinic during the last week of July. The clinic was held at All Seasons Ice Rinks Monday through Thursday for one and a half hours each evening. All goalies from Illinois West were invited to participate. The clinic is provided by the League at no cost to the participants. As is our practice, many of the coaches are past Illinois West goalies who are now playing in the college ranks. Bob Moretti manages the on ice aspects of the camp and keeps all the participants involved and moving station to station. In total we had 36 goalies register for the camp and had an average of 25 each evening in attendance. Six stations are set to allow each goalie enough reps at each drill to get a solid workout.
Our member teams all participate by providing shooters each evening allowing the on ice coaches to coach and work directly with the goalies. The Camp was a success and all the goalies asked if we would do it again next year. Our goalies that participated now head into fall tryouts confident and ready to go.
Thanks to all who participated and supported the camp. Illinois West looks forward to a great High School Hockey season.
Illinois West Concludes a Successful 2014-2015 Season
By Brian Meek ~ Illinois West High School Hockey had a great 2014 – 2015 Season. The league had many highlights starting with our annual goalie camp in August at All Seasons Ice Arena. We started this camp six years ago and had eight goalies from league teams attend each night. This year, we had over thirty-five goalies from the league each evening. Our goalie camp has great success getting the goalies ready for the season. Next year we plan to add a defensive camp as well; details will follow.
As has become our tradition, each team participated in a winter classic game over the New Year’s Holiday. The Bobby Hull Community ice rink in Cicero and the YMCA in Elmhurst hosted this season’s games. The weather was perfect and all the players, coaches and fans enjoyed spirited high school hockey. Additionally this season we added an outdoor playoff game between Plainfield and DuPage Stars at the MB Financial Park in Rosemont in February.
Illinois West held its annual Junior Varsity and Varsity All Star Games at Canlan Ice Sports Arena in Romeoville in January. The coaches nominate the players from each team and from that pool the All Star coaches draft their teams. Goalies are selected by the Board and assigned to each team. Both games were extremely competitive and each were decided by one goal.
The most important Award granted by the league each year is our Academic All Star. The qualifications are simple; if your High School recognizes you for academic achievement then you become an Academic All Star. This year West exceeded its record as seventy one percent (71%) of our player were so honored. If hockey teaches anything it is that hard work pays off for you as an individual and the team as a whole. You each put in the work required for this honor. Congratulations to all our academic achievers. The Board of Illinois West is proud of each and every one of you.
As Awards were announced, Illinois West again set our record with eleven (11) of our Varsity players named to the All-State Team by AHAI. Andrew Barnett, Alex DiFranco, Scott Dunsire, Eric Flakus, Cole Harris, Harrison Kohl, Bradley Neal, Troy Nelson, Even Pardo, Nick Pietro and Eric Simkowski. Congratulations to you all. Illinois West also awarded Varsity Coach of the Year to Dan Granato of Neuqua Valley and Junior Varsity Coach of the Year to Joe Fenzel of York High School. Dan Granato also was named AHAI High School Coach of the Year and was honored at the United Center during the State Championship on Sunday, March 22, 2015.
Illinois West can claim again this year the Combined Varsity State Champions. After falling last year in an all Illinois West final, Glenbard came through a tough bracket to defeat Maine in a very good overtime game 4 – 3. Congratulations to Coach Hawkins, the staff and all the players for a great season! West also congratulates Waubonsie Combined Varsity and Glenbard Combined Junior Varsity for final four appearances. Waubonsie Combined Junior Varsity made it to the State Finals and fell to Prep Black in overtime, 3-2. Nice job team!
We look forward to the 2015-2016 season. We expect new innovations in our league. We will experiment with having a qualified trainer at all our September and October games with an eye toward continuing throughout the regular season. As mentioned, we are planning a defensive camp in late August or early September and look forward to seeing the response.
Thanks to all who helped make 2014-2015 one of the best Illinois West seasons yet. See you all next year!
Illinois West Completes another Great Season
Illinois West High School Hockey has completed another great season. Our seniors look forward to whatever awaits them as our underclassmen, in many cases, look forward to spring league. This past weekend our playoffs completed and our regular season Champions at the Varsity level, Neuqua Valley (25–1–0), completed a sweep in the playoffs. Neuqua Valley compiled an overall record of 35–1–0 in West play. What a great season! Neuqua defeated number 4 seed, Waubonsie Valley in 2 games to win the West Cup. Both games were very well played and both required a shootout. Game 1 ended 3–2 and game 2 ended 4–3. Congratulations to both teams for a well-played series.
Waubonsie Valley won the Junior Varsity West Cup in a 3 games series over Hinsdale Central. Waubonsie prevailed in game 3 on Sunday, March 1 after winning game 1 on the evening of Friday, February 27. Both teams played very competitive hockey; congratulations to both teams.
Overall Season Winners
Regular Season Varsity
Neuqua Valley – Winner
Carl Sandburg – Runners-Up
Regular Season Junior Varsity
York – Winner
Hinsdale Central – Runners-Up
Illinois West Cup Varsity
Neuqua Valley – Champions
Waubonsie Valley – Runners-Up
Illinois West Cup Junior Varsity
Waubonsie Valley – Champions
Hinsdale Central – Runners-Up
Scholastic Cup Varsity
Glenbard – Champions
Lincoln Way – Runners-Up
Scholastic Cup Junior Varsity
York – Champions
Plainfield – Runners-Up
Founders Cup Varsity
Oak Park River Forest – Champions
Lyons Township – Runners-Up
Founders Cup Junior Varsity
Lyons Township – Champions
Oak Park River Forest – Runners-Up
Thanks to all the players, coaches, families and fans who have helped make Illinois West High School Hockey a success again this year!
Illinois West High School Hockey 1st Round Complete
Illinois West High School Hockey has completed the round robin seeding play following their regular season. After completing the regular season, IWHSH divides both Varsity and Junior Varsity into two brackets each for round robin play. Each team in each bracket plays all the other teams in their bracket to determine final playoff seeding. The top four teams from the top brackets play for the West Cup in a three game series based on round robin play. The next four teams play for the Scholastic Cup and the final teams play for the Founders Cup in single elimination. The standings came down to the final day at Varsity with Neuqua Valley (finished round robin play at 6 – 0) defeating Naperville Central (finished round robin play at 5 – 1) for the first place and the top seed. The final standings are as follows:
No. 1 Neuqua plays No. 4 Carl Sandburg
No. 2 Naperville Central plays No. 3 Waubonsie Valley
The winners will face off for a three game series for the Varsity West Cup.
No. 5 Glenbard plays No. 8 Hinsdale Central
No. 6 York plays No. 7 Lincoln Way
The winners will face off for a three game series for the Varsity Scholastic Cup.
No. 13 Plainfield plays No. 12 DuPage Stars
The winner will then play No. 9 Lyons. No. 10 Wheaton West will play No. 11 Oak Park River Forest. The two winners will play a single game for the Founders Cup.
No. 1 Waubonsie plays No. 4 Lincoln Way
No. 2 Glenbard plays No. 3 Hinsdale Central
The winners will face off for a three game series for the Junior Varsity West Cup.
No. 5 Neuqua Valley plays No. 8 Plainfield
No. 6 Naperville North plays No. 7 York
The winners will face off for a three game series for the Junior Varsity Scholastic Cup.
No. 9 – No. 14 (Oak Park River Forest, Carl Sandburg, Lyons, Naperville Central, Wheaton West and DuPage Stars) will play single elimination games for the Junior Varsity Founders Cup.
The games begin this week. Schedules are available on www.illinoiswesthockey.com.
Good luck to all!
Illinois West High School Hockey League hosted its annual All Star Games at Canlan Ice Sports in Romeoville on Monday, January 12th. Forty skaters from both Varsity and Junior Varsity with six goalies each participated in the games. As expected, the games were well paced and very close. The home team won the JV game 5 – 2 and the MVPs named were Max Rickerson and Ben Granato. Ryan Repata was named goalie of the game. For the Varsity, the Visitors won with an exciting finish in the final seconds 6 – 5. Eric Simlowski and Alex DiFranco were named the game MVPs. Ryan Apter was named goalie of the game. Thanks to all the volunteers and Canlan for all the efforts to make these games special for the participants.
Illinois West High School Hockey hosted outdoor games for 26 of our teams on New Year’s day. The weather cooperated and allowed all involved to have a great time. The Bobby Hull Community Ice Rink in Cicero hosted the Varsity games and the Elmhurst YMCA of Metro Chicago hosted our Junior Varsity games. The League appreciates the efforts of both rinks to accommodate our crowds. See you all next year for another version of the Illinois West “Winter Classic”.
Illinois West Varsity Players Attend College Day Seminar
Illinois West varsity players were invited to attend a College Day Seminar hosted by Illinois West. This program was designed to discuss the ACHA program and opportunities to play college hockey after high school. With the college coaches on each bench, a select number of players from each club were also offered the opportunity to scrimmage. Representatives from Bradley, Iowa, Lewis, Northern, Northwestern and Robert Morris were on hand to discuss the ACHA and their programs. DHS Head Coach Chaz Davis also spoke during the seminar, addressing his years as not only a player in the ACHA, but a coach. After Head Coach Rinaldo (D2) of Northern Illinois University and Tom Wendlandt, Robert Morris Director of Operations discussed ACHA in general, each college discussed their campus size, majors offered, and the hockey program at their school. Time was also allotted for the players to meet with each college, introduce themselves, and discuss their program. Then it was off to the ice! With over an hour of scrimmage time, the players had a fantastic time in a running clock scrimmage, joining players from each club as they displayed their skills. This was a phenomenal opportunity for the players to explore their college and hockey future. “I have spoken to many of the ACHA coaches, and they are always looking for an opportunity to see the high school players, and let them know there is a place for them in college hockey” said Glenn Jauch, VP of Hockey Operations for Illinois West. “I know many players that have graduated from their high school programs and now are playing college hockey. It’s like heading into your freshman year of college and having your own fraternity and making new lifelong friends through the hockey programs.” President of Illinois West, Jim McKeague, was also on hand for the event. “Glenn put a lot of effort into putting this program together, and I think he did an outstanding job. I’m sure this is just one of many College Days Illinois West will be hosting in the future. The feedback from the colleges, as well as the parents and players attending, was very positive. The colleges were able to explain what they have to offer, and the players and parents had their questions answered. It was a great day of hockey at the rink.”