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2019-20 Season Primer

09/30/2019, 2:30pm CDT
By MHJ

President Message 2019-20

Welcome to the 2019-2020 Minnesota Hockey season! This season, as always, promises to be another exciting year. 

As the new president of Minnesota Hockey, I look forward to building on the great momentum of my predecessor Dave Margenau who has led this organization for the past nine seasons. I really believe a huge THANK YOU is owed to Dave for his leadership! 

Because of the efforts of passionate volunteers from the grassroots of local associations to the Minnesota Hockey Board of Directors, Minnesota Hockey continues to be one of the most respected hockey organizations in the country. Our unique community-based hockey model continues to provide opportunities for participants to experience the game, from four years old to adulthood, regardless of skill or limitation. We are truly blessed to live and play here, but we must continuously challenge ourselves to pursue opportunities to become even better.

Minnesota continues to lead the nation in players at all age levels, including those at the NHL and college hockey. Perhaps even more exciting, the commitment of association volunteers throughout the state to recruit and retain new families in their communities continues to fuel the growth of our beloved sport. This past season, Minnesota Hockey registered over 18,700 players at the Mite/8U level, which leads the nation and is an increase of 2,000 players over the past five years.

This season USA Hockey has developed the Declaration of Fair Play, Safety & Respect initiative, and I am confident Minnesota Hockey will be a leader in the implementation of the effort to keep the game safe and enjoyable for all participants. This initiative is a significant undertaking to modernize the culture of our game, and it will take the support of all, from the players, coaches, officials, administrators and parents/fans, for this effort to have the maximum impact. Join me in embracing the direction of this initiative by viewing the USA Hockey’s new standards of acceptable body contact and checking at: www.minnesotahockey.org/safety.

As with each year, Minnesota Hockey provides opportunities for players to not only develop their skills in the game, but to also showcase what they can do. We are proud of our CCM High Performance Spring programs, Summer camps and Fall Tier I Leagues. This past season the MN Hockey Board of Directors agreed to create the Fall Prospects Leagues to create new and expanded opportunities for even more players to develop and showcase their skills. Currently, Minnesota Hockey is in the process of developing more exciting events for players of all abilities to build on the success of our Ice Bowl Squirt C Tournament. Stay tuned for more news on these!

I would also like to highlight the great efforts of volunteers who have made Minnesota Hockey a leader in Disabled hockey in the nation. We have thriving Sled Hockey, Warriors Hockey and Special Hockey programs providing opportunities for many who otherwise would not be able to experience this great game. Over the past year, Minnesota Hockey, along with our great partners in the Minnesota Wild and UBS Financial, launched the Blind Hockey program and hosted the USA Hockey Blind Hockey Summit in St. Paul. It was another great opportunity to ensure hockey is truly for everyone in Minnesota!

I look forward to another great season in 2019-2020 and thank all the volunteers, staff, partners of Minnesota Hockey and members who continue to make it the premier and respected hockey program it is.

Have a GREAT and EXCITING 2019-2020 SEASON!

Steven Oleheiser

President MN Hockey

Safe & Sound

In June of 2019, USA Hockey demonstrated its commitment to creating a safe and fair environment for all participants and being a leader in the development of youth athletes with the ratification of the Declaration of Player Safety, Fair Play and Respect.

The intent of the initiative was to encourage a change in culture as to what is considered to be acceptable/unacceptable body checking and competitive contact at all levels of play, with a focus on eliminating: 1) hits to the head, 2) hits from behind and 3) late hits.

Respect for the game, the opponents, coaches and officials is a critical part of a positive youth hockey environment, and as such, the responsibility for modifying the culture lies with everyone in the game, from players, coaches and officials to media, parents, fans and administrators.

The Declaration does not include any rule changes. Instead, it features “points of emphasis” designed to clarify and update the existing rules/definitions to emphasize the key points and more clearly outline what is deemed acceptable/unacceptable behavior. Below are several key points in the declaration:

  • Legal body contact occurs between two or more skaters who are in the immediate vicinity of the puck and who are both in the normal process of playing the puck. These skaters are reasonably allowed to lean into each other provided possession of the puck remains the sole object of the contact. Body contact is encouraged at all age classification of play.
  • When determining whether a body check (or body contact) has occurred, the official must focus on whether the player is attempting to play the puck and whether there is any overt hip, shoulder or forearm action used to initiate contact and separate the opponent from the puck.
  • A body check represents intentional physical contact by a skater to an opponent who is in control of the puck. The opposing player’s objective is to gain possession of the puck with a legal body check and NOT to punish or intimidate an opponent.
  • A legal body check must be done with the trunk of the body (hips and shoulders) and the point of contact must be between the opponent’s knees and at or below the shoulders. The use of hands, forearm, stick or elbow in delivering a body check is unacceptable.
  • Proper body checking technique starts with stick on puck. Therefore, the stick blade of the player delivering the check must be below the knee.
  • Under no circumstance is it acceptable to deliver a body check to a vulnerable or defenseless opponent, an opponent who is not in possession and control of the puck (late hit).
  • A skater is considered to be in a vulnerable or defenseless position when he is unaware, unprepared, or unsuspecting of an impending hit.
  • Any body check delivered by a skater to an opponent who is physically engaged with another skater is considered unacceptable.
  • The concept of “finishing the check” is an unacceptable action as it is one that is meant to intimidate or punish the opponent with no intent to gain possession of the puck. The responsibility is on the player delivering the check to minimize impact to a vulnerable or defenseless player who is no longer in control of the puck.
  • Banging on the board with a stick or other object will be recognized as unsportsmanlike conduct when done to taunt or intimidate an opponent through the celebration of an unacceptable body check.

For visual examples of acceptable and unacceptable body checking, visit www.minnesotahockey.org/safety.

As USA Hockey and Minnesota Hockey members, we must demonstrate awareness and support for the application, spirit and the respect of the rules in order to enhance player safety and continue moving game of hockey forward.

We Want You!

Care about the rules of the game? Wish the rules were enforced more consistently? Want to give back to a game you enjoy? Become an ice hockey official!

The Minnesota Hockey Officials Association (MHOA) encourages individuals who are passionate about providing a great hockey experience to youth players to get and stay involved as an official.  MHOA works with the USA Hockey Officiating Program to train hockey officials, ensure uniformity of rules interpretation and maintain the highest standards of officiating across the state.

Interested in becoming an official? Find out more at www.minnesotahockey.org/new-official.

Coaches Corner

Many teams across the state have already hit the ice, and that means USA Hockey Coach Education Programs (CEP) are in full swing.  CEP clinics are being held now through December at locations throughout Minnesota.  Remember, coaches must attend one clinic each year until they at least reach a Level 3 certification by USA Hockey. The age appropriate training modules have been posted online and the modules must be completed before taking the ice.

For more information on certification requirements or coaching resources, visit www.minnesotahockey.org/coaches.

The Big Picture

USA Hockey: USA Hockey is the national governing body of hockey in the United States. USA Hockey is responsible for the development and education programs for players, coaches and officials; determining Select, National and Olympic Teams, and developing policies and procedures. usahockey.com

Minnesota Hockey: Minnesota Hockey, an affiliate of USA Hockey, has been the governing body of youth and amateur hockey in Minnesota and the premier developer of hockey players in the state since 1947. minnesotahockey.org

Minnesota Hockey Community-Based Associations: Minnesota Hockey is comprised of approximately 150 community-based associations that serve as the base of hockey in Minnesota. Minnesota Hockey’s community-based structure is considered to be the premier youth hockey model in the United States!

A New Legacy in Minnesota

Last season, Minnesota Hockey unveiled its newest grant program, the Minnesota Hockey Legacy Fund. The Legacy Fund provides grants to individuals, families, organizations or associations in need of financial support to overcome hardships, or to overcome tragedies, and in its first year, the Legacy Fund distributed over $30,000 to Minnesota Hockey members.

There is no deadline for applications, although allocation decisions will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis and continue until all resources are exhausted for the 2019-20 season. Those wishing to help or support those in their local hockey community can fill out an application at any time. Applications can be filled out online at www.minnesotahockey.org/legacyfund.

The DRIVE for State powered by Chevy – March 13-15, 2020

2020 Locations

  • Jr. Gold A – South St. Paul
  • Jr. Gold B – South St. Paul
  • Jr. Gold 16 – South St. Paul
  • Bantam AA – Edina
  • Bantam A – Edina
  • Bantam B – New Ulm
  • Peewee AA – St. Michael-Albertville
  • Peewee A – Monticello
  • Peewee B – New Ulm
  • 19U – Stillwater
  • 15U A – Moorhead
  • 15U B - Rochester
  • 12U A – Stillwater
  • 12U B – Rochester

2019 Champions

  • Jr. Gold A – Minnetonka
  • Jr. Gold B – Centennial
  • Jr. Gold 16 – Mahtomedi
  • Bantam AA – Osseo-Maple Grove
  • Bantam A – Warroad
  • Bantam B – Edina Green
  • Peewee AA – Eden Prairie
  • Peewee A – Orono
  • Peewee B – Orono
  • 19U – Minnetonka
  • 15U A – Edina Green
  • 15U B – Buffalo
  • 12U A – Edina Green
  • 12U B – Moose Lake

Calendar

Oct 28, 2019               HS Girls' Hockey start date

Nov 9, 2019                Try Hockey For Free Day - Various Sites

Nov 11, 2019              HS Boy’s Hockey start date

Jan 18, 2020              Hockey Day Minnesota - Minneapolis

Feb 19-22, 2020         Girls’ State High School Hockey Tourney - Xcel Energy Center

Feb 22, 2020               Try Hockey for Free Day - Various Sites

Feb 16-23, 2020          Hockey Week Across America

Feb 28-Mar 1, 2020    MN Hockey Region Tournaments - Various Sites

Mar 4-7, 2020             Boys’ State High School Hockey Tourney - Xcel Energy Center

Mar 13-15, 2020         MN Hockey State Tournaments - various sites

Apr 1-6, 2020             USAH Youth National Tournaments - Various Sites

Apr 2-6, 2020             USAH Girls Tier I & Adult Women’s Nationals – Blaine, MN

 

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