By Laura Johnson, AHAI Registrar
As you may know, the United States government enacted the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and SafeSport Authorization Act of 2017 on February 14th, 2018. USA Hockey has been working on addressing the changes necessary for the USA Hockey SafeSport Program based on this Act.
Click HERE for a memorandum from Casey Jorgensen, USA Hockey General Council, which provides details about these changes.
The changes approved at the USA Hockey Annual Congress last week to comply with the government requirements will directly impact players in Illinois.
To comply with the government requirement, USA Hockey does not want players or officials turning 18 to become ineligible in the middle of a season.
Therefore, USA Hockey is requiring all players 17 years of age or older on or before December 31st of that playing season and who play on a team in a classification that allows minor aged players, to complete SafeSport Training before being added to a team and prior to participation with the team (on-ice or off-ice). This requirement applies to all teams in the age classifications Youth, Girls, High School, Junior Hockey, Flex Hockey and Disabled Hockey programs that allow both minor age and adult age players (anyone over 18 years).
Players in the group identified above that have not completed the SafeSport Training cannot be placed on the team’s roster in the USA Hockey registration portal (where rosters are created). The computer program will prevent the player from being added to the team until they have completed the training. Because the player is not on the Official Roster, they are prohibited from participating with the team until the training is completed and the player can be added to the roster.
We strongly recommend that players act on this new requirement NOW if they are currently 17 or older, or will be on or before December 31st.
The program takes about 90 minutes to complete online. Once the fall season is underway, players will be consumed with school, hockey, and other commitments. It is to their advantage to take the SafeSport Program NOW and not wait until it is time to be placed on a roster and games are starting.
The SafeSport Program is free. You must have a USAH Registration Confirmation Number to register to take the training. Players registered with USAH for the 2018/19 season can use the USA Hockey Confirmation Number from that season (which is valid until August 31, 2019) to register to take the training. They may also register with USA Hockey for the 2019/20 and use that confirmation number to register for the course. Effective September 1, 2019, registration for the program requires a 2019/20 USA Hockey Registration.
To take the SafeSport Program access the online program via the USA Hockey Website https://www.usahockey.com/safesporttraining. Or use this direct link to access the SafeSport site: https://safesport.org/authentication/register?token=71d4f2f9-bddb-4e6d-bb2a-37211b8999d9.
Like the requirement this year to complete SafeSport, we anticipate additional changes regarding screening in the 2020/2021 season. At the present time, for the 2019/20 season, there is not a requirement for these individuals to be screened.
Enjoy the summer, and if you are or know someone that meets the age requirement for this new rule, we hope you take advantage of using some of your time to complete the SafeSport program.
Questions about this new policy can be directed to the following:
John Dunne, AHAI Executive Director
LZMW is a combined High School organization representing Lake Zurich, Mundelein and Wauconda school districts. We are part of the Illinois High School Hockey League - North Central Division
Our mission is to promote, and develop High School Hockey in the communities of Lake Zurich, Mundelein and Wauconda through core values including sportsmanship, integrity and the pursuit of excellence through competition and teamwork. It is our goal to develop our players, both as athletes and individuals. We strive to compete with any high school and midget program in the state.
LZMW Hockey is a 501(c)(3) corporation under the governance of USA Hockey and AHAI and is responsible for its own revenues and expenditures.
The Fall/Winter season runs from August through March. We target an average of two practices and two games a week per team as well as 2-3 tournaments. In the Spring and Summer LZMW runs sessions including spring league games and scrimmages with an emphasis on practice and skills.
MLK Madison Varsity Division Champions
By Ross Forman
It was a nightmare start of the season for co-op LZMW under Mark Adler, who was named the club’s new director/head varsity coach in July – with no off-ice sessions planned and only a few scheduled on-ice sessions before tryouts.
LZMW – a mix of players from Lake Zurich, Mundelein and Wauconda High Schools – started the season 1-6, with penalty-filled games and multiple game suspensions.
Things turned around quickly, though, as LZMW played a more discipline game, lines came together, players were working hard and in game shape.
LZMW has since gone 19-5-7, including a 13-game unbeaten streak since the miserable start, and the team won a mid-January tournament in Madison, Wisc.
“The start of the season was challenging,” said Adler, 49, a Northbrook resident who works as a field sales manager for PartsTrader and is the president of Tickets by Request. He has been coaching for 20 years, though only two seasons at the high school level.
“The team is made up of 11 strong-willed seniors. For a three-school team, they get along well; I don’t notice any cliques. In fact, I don’t really know who goes to which school. They have the challenge of driving farther then (most) high school teams (for games or practices), but they all love to play and have fun, so it works.
“(Everyone) contributes and plays a role. The power-play is the best in the (Gold) League, by far, hitting on about 40 percent of its opportunities. The players play the systems well and do not quit. We also have two goalies that I have complete confidence in.”
Adler coached the Deerfield JV team in 2017 and in 2016 for the Chicago Bulldogs (squirt). He also has extensive coaching experience for the Northbrook Bluehawks and had a stint on the Northwestern University bench.
Adler played his youth hockey for Northbrook, then at Glenbrook North from 1984-87, followed by a run at the University of Kansas.
“I played wing and center growing up, then transitioned to defense in college,” said Adler, who also has been an on-ice referee. “I was a player who understood the game, strategy and positioning, and also got along well with all my teammates and coaches, which was a precursor for coaching.”
Adler said LZMW has had “tremendous improvement” this season, including the team’s overall endurance, cohesiveness and more.
LZMW is 13-6-5 in the nine-team Gold League of the North-Central Division. LZMW has 31 points, trailing Crystal Lake South (41), New Trier Gray (33) and the Fox Valley Hawks (32).
Junior forward Aidan Brendle (Wauconda) leads the Gold Division in scoring, with 24 goals, 13 assists in 24 games, including 3 game-winning goals and 7 multi-goal games. His 37 points is ahead of Warren senior Patrick Sharpe (13 goals, 18 assists, 31 points).
Brendle has “great hands and speed,” Adler said, and he is the team’s alternate captain.
Senior center Ryan Ruether (Wauconda), the team captain, is “a scrappy, smart player,” Adler said. Ruether has 13 goals, 11 assists in 22 games played.
Senior left wing Mitchell Dyer (Lake Zurich) is “a sniper … (an) offensive-minded player,” Adler said.
Senior defenseman Brandon Wuss (Mundelein) is one of the most talented players in the league, without question.
Senior goalie Nate Worcester has a 1.36 goals-against average in league games – and if the wind is right, he can hit a golf ball 300 yards.
“Nate is not a practice player, but he is a gamer,” Adler said. “At tryouts, (we) thought he would be (the backup) goalie, but he is such a gamer, (with) many shutouts and (he was named) the All-Star MVP. He has won many games against tough teams.”
Other key skaters for LZMW include sophomore center Kevin Winkiel (Wauconda) who earlier this season scored 3 goals in 18 seconds; and sophomore wing Frankie Concialdi (Wauconda) who is a strong, fast player, known as Frank the Tank.
“(Most of) the IHSHL North-Central Gold Varsity Division (teams are) very competitive,” Adler said. “There are several very skilled players (in the league).
“My son plays for GBN and (I) see New Trier Green, Loyola, and Stevenson play all the time. Mand of these players in our league would be top players in the Scholastic Hockey League.
“Don’t discount LZMW in the league or state playoffs.”