The Christmas break is rapidly approaching. There have been numerous WCCSD games that have been highly competitive, intense, and great to watch. However, the holiday break is approaching and what better way to enjoy our time on the Winter Club ice is to have an NHL style skills competition. We have our own WCCSD league, so it seems right to have our own skills competition.
On Saturday January 9th we will have all teams participating in WCCSD Skills Competition on the main rink. There will be 6 total events and I’ve instructed the coaches to start using available practice time now to start training for these events, so players are ready. Since we have players in and out of participation due to quarantining this is a great chance to focus on these individual skills and build excitement for the skills competition.
WCCSD Skills Competition Events:
1. Fastest Skater
2. Goalies – Pass and Shot
3. Hardest Shot
4. Goalies - Breakaways
5. Accuracy Shooting
6. Agility and puck control
1. Mites 4:30-5:30pm
2. Squirts 5:30-6:30pm
3. Peewees 6:45-7:45pm
4. Bantams 8:00-9:00pm
At the end of each levels skill competition we’ll have an awards presentation on ice to recognize our WCCSD Skills competition winners!
The first session of our Learn to Skate and Learn to Play was completed this week and the players also got to continue celebrating Halloween! Session 2 begins Sunday November 8, at Lake Forest College. Session 2 will also feature two ice sessions a week per group when the Winter Club ice is up and running.
The coaching staff was thrilled with how successful session 1 was and cannot wait to begin Session 2.
Registration is still up so do not miss your chance to be a part of our Little Polar Bear program.
Tryouts are complete, WCCSD groups have been assigned, and teams have been selected. Please remember that if you have questions or concerns to not contact coaches regarding WCCSD group or team placement until after the holiday weekend.
Mite WCCSD Groups
Goaltenders: Beau Rams, Vincent Urso
Group 1 (Blue)
Group 2 (Gold)
Group 3 (Purple)
Mite Team Selections
Since the Mite league, CUHL, gives us a longer deadline to submit our rosters, we will not be dividing up Mites into White and Green teams at this time. All Mites will practices together, play with their WCCSD team and we will divide the players into white and green teams at a later date.
Head Coach: Bob McKeon
Head Coach: Tristian Malone
Asst. Coach: Steve Sarauer
Squirt WCCSD Groups
Goaltenders: Lucy Cooper, Grant RIce, Annie Vahey
Group 1 (Blue)
Group 2 (Gold)
Group 3 (Purple)
Group 4 (Red)
Squirt Team Selections
Head Coach: Jimmy Warrick
Asst. Coach: Casey LaBonte
Asst. Coach: Matt Kunach
Co-Head Coach: Nick Clark
Co-Head Coach: Nick Brummit
Asst. Coach: Alex Budzinski
Peewee WCCSD Groups
Goaltenders: Robert Krebs, Claire Maguire, Jude Mobile, Patrick O'Neil
Q: What have we learned throughout the pandemic? A: Everything is changing constantly; we never know what is next and answers to our questions prove difficult at best. I’m writing you today to change this cycle; this is the Winter Club Hockey 2020-21 Fall Season Strategic plan.
First, a brief education on AHAI (Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois), NIHL (Northern Illinois Hockey League), NSYHL (North Shore Youth Hockey League), AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) and the CUHL (Chicago United Hockey League). AHAI is a governing body of a hockey in Illinois and NIHL and NSYHL are leagues governed by AHAI. AAU is another, completely separate, governing body of hockey in Illinois and oversees CUHL, the Mite hockey league.
However, one entity has complete control over all of the leagues, clubs, and all hockey organizations; this is the State of Illinois. Since the restrictions in regard to youth sports have been handed down by the Governor’s office, we have all been doing our best to decipher these guidelines without much clarification from AHAI or AAU. The message we’re receiving from AHAI is that they will certify rosters on the normal timeline, therefore, if something changes, we’ll have our teams in place and ready to go.
Now, moving away from the governing bodies and the leagues, it’s clear we will not be playing a regular season we’re all accustomed to having. However, this does not stop us from having a really fun, exciting and competitive season. First, WC will still hold conditioning clinics and tryouts as scheduled, teams will be selected, and we’ll be set to go quickly if league play happens.
Once teams are selected, we will be skating out of LFA and Tilt Studio in Gurnee as we have done in the past. Even if league play is delayed or doesn’t happen, we can keep our players engaged and loving hockey. We will be dividing up our age levels into competitive groups and all players will be divided up evenly amongst the groups. Each of these competitive groups will have an average of 6 players, give or take 1 or 2 depending on numbers in a specific age group. These groups (which we will let players decide on their own group name) will be put into competitive game-like situational conditioning drills one time throughout the week. We’ll be calling this the Winter Club Competitive Situational Drills (WCCSD). Once per week they will practice with their respective white or green team, another ice slot during the week will be the WCCSD and then a rotating practice slot where both teams share the ice for a practice every other week.
Once we hit the ice at the Winter Club, we’ll continue with our WCCSD and our team practices along with Monday night skills run by Jimmy and I. At the WC, your player will be getting Monday night skills, a team practice, and a WCCSD practice.
We all understand we may need to adjust this plan throughout the season and if there is a change in the decision regarding league play, we will drop the WCCSD practice during the week and convert this into a white or green team practice to be better prepared for league games.
As you can see from the above mock schedule, players will be getting shared team practice and full-ice team practices from the start of the season. They’ll also be enjoying the “game-like” WCCSD practices to promote that competitive spirit and build a team like atmosphere around the group that players have been placed into.
This season may be honestly one of the best situations your player can be in with the current pandemic. They’ll be in smaller groups on the ice, have more consistent ice time throughout the season, be outside after October and you won’t be traveling to play hockey. Players will get a league and game-like atmosphere in the WCCSD practices and they’ll feel as if they’re actually playing in a league.
With challenging times comes a lot of creative and different ideas. Different does not mean less and it is important to know our costs for the hockey program are fixed. Please understand our fees will not be changing. We may jump into league play at any time based on a decision made by the state and since we need ice outside of the Winter Club to accommodate all of our teams, we have purchased ice upfront at the start of the season.
I am so excited for this season and to continue helping your players develop and play hockey. I believe we will come out of this season with even more passion and love for this sport, great friendships and amazing skaters. We are in such a unique position with two outdoor sheets of ice and may look back on this season as one of the best hockey experiences our kids have ever had. Thank you for the continued support and please call if you have questions or would like to discuss further. To allow families time to consider the plan we’ve laid out, hockey registration will be extended to August 23rd.
Our pre-tryout conditioning camps are scheduled! Each level will have two, one hour sessions at Tilt Ice Arena in Gurnee Mills Mall. The on-ice conditioning camp sessions are free to players that have registered for the upcoming Fall tryouts and are an excellent way to get your skater back on the ice and ready to go.
August 23rd, 9:00-10:00am - Mites
August 23rd, 10:15-11:15am - Squirts
August 24th, 5:00-6:00pm - Mites
August 24th, 6:15-7:15pm - Squirts
August 24th, 7:30-8:30pm - Bantams
August 25th, 5:00-6:00pm - Peewees
August 25th, 6:15-7:15pm - Bantams
August 27th, 6:00-7:00pm - Peewees
Tilt Ice Arena, Gurnee Mills Mall
6152 Grand Ave, Gurnee
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