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News & Updates

The Hockey Think Tank

The Ice Dogs Hockey Club is excited to announce a partnership with the Hockey Think Tank to provide parent, coach, and player education for our program!

This partnership with the Hockey Think Tank will allow our program to take the next step in our hockey and culture development abilities and provide all members of our organization the opportunity to have a great experience with our program.

“I am so excited to work with the coaches, parents, and players within the Ice Dogs organization,” says Topher Scott, founder of the Hockey Think Tank.  I am looking forward to collaborating with everyone and providing my knowledge and experiences that I’ve had in this great game.  Hockey education is a passion of mine and I can’t wait to get started with such a great organization in the Chicago-land area.”

Scott, who has worked in college hockey at the University of Michigan, Cornell, and Miami-Ohio, founded the Hockey Think Tank to provide hockey education and inspiration to the greater hockey community.  He and Jeff LoVecchio started the Hockey Think Tank podcast which has been downloaded over one-million times.  Topher also travels around North America working with players, teams, and organizations at all levels.

“We are thrilled to have Topher come in to work with our program,” states hockey director Eric Schneider.  “He is such a passionate hockey mind and with the experiences he’s had in the game, he can pass along a wealth of information to our coaches, parents, and players that will elevate our program to another level.”

Topher will be doing parent information sessions, player team building and mentorship activities, and coaching education seminars with the organization, among other activities.  We look forward to a great season ahead for the Ice Dogs, and welcome the Hockey Think Tank into our family!

Congratulations, Dogs

We are so proud of you all!


Happy Hockey Ice Dogs!

We heard you: You asked for more time to order, faster delivery, and a bigger selection of Ice Dogs merch. We are pleased to share that we have partnered with Squadlocker, a leading provider of team apparel. The team store can be accessed here:

Ordering: The store will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!

Delivery: Orders are shipped directly to your home, with most orders fulfilled in 10-15 days. Some items are eligible for Express Production, and are shipped within 5 business days of purchase.

Once your order is shipped, FedEx will send you a shipment tracking update email with the estimated delivery date and tracking number.

Selection: This year, you’ll see some of your Ice Dog favorites in addition to some new women’s, girl’s, and infant items.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to IDHA, so check out the on-line store for a full selection of hot Ice Dog merchandise!

Happy shopping, and LET’S GO, DOGS!


Ice Dog Families –

On behalf of the Ice Dogs Board, I want to welcome back our new and returning families and players. Now that teams have been established and the first skates are taking place, we’d like to layout what some of the immediate activities are and those that have already been planned for the 2022-23 season.

Bauer warm-ups, socks, shells, and jerseys are being handed out alongside ice slots this week where possible. We realize trips to the rink are frequent and will be for several months so we are doing our best to limit the number of visits. As in past years, we ask families to take the opportunity to re-wear jerseys if possible. If the Jersey is torn, stained, or outgrown, we have inventory to replace with a new one . We understand our initial communications to the families lists what your fees go towards. This pertains to our returning players, yet it is more so for our incoming players. We amortize the overall costs associated with jerseys over multiple years as we know a large percentage of our players can manage with the current jersey for a couple of seasons. If a replacement is needed, please bring them in and we’ll simply verify the need is present. We also take this step to keep track of what is failing on apparel and at which levels so that we can forecast correctly in the future and/or alert our supplier.

On September 30th at 9am, the Inaugural Ice Dogs Golf Outing will be held at Countryside golf course in Mundelein. If you would like to register for the outing or sponsorship opportunities, please visit We are also pleased to announce the return of our annual Big Dawg Bash on November 12th. More details to come as we approach the date. Additionally, there will be a few fundraising events this season. Once again, we have aligned with the Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey Program. This affords our players and families to gain priority access to gameday experiences (JuniorHawks, Intermission Relay Race, etc.), presale access for tickets, special Blackhawks item (TBD) which will be shipped to our rink, and every IceDog player will receive a ticket to a select 2022-23 regular season home game. Additional tickets for family and friends will be available at special rates. And lastly, players will have access to a presale opportunity for 2022-23 sing-game Blackhawks tickets prior to the general public on-sale. In the coming weeks, our Fundraising Committee will be sending out information on the Hockey Mania program which is a repeat of a similar activity we offered last season.

Best of luck to all our players as we fully expect to field competitive teams and provide a high-level quality of coaching and skill development to all are players throughout the season.

Thank you, 

Zac Adams
Ice Dogs Hockey Association


Dear Parents,

Tryout season is upon us. Thank you for remembering to be positive and encouraging during this time. We appreciate your support and we are looking forward to a successful season. Please take some time to enjoy these resources:

Do's and Don'ts: Hockey Parenting - YouTube


  2022-2023 Calendar  
15-Jul IDHA 2022-23 Registration Begins  
16-Aug IDHA Mite Clinics Begin  
17-Aug Coaches Seminar by The Hockey Think Tank (Mandatory)  
20-Aug Training Camp Begins  
20-Aug Ice Dog Mites Tryouts  
27-Aug Training Camp BBQ  
28-Aug IDHA Squirt-Peewee-Bantam Tryouts  
17-Sep NIHL Scheduling Meeting for Tiering   
23-Sep NIHL Tiering Season begins  
30-Sep Ice Dogs Inaugural Golf Outing-Country Side   
22-Oct NIHL Tiering round ends  
31-Oct NIHL season begins  
12-Nov Ice Dog Big Dog Bash  
23-Dec Winter Break Begins  
3-Jan Winter Break ends  


Ice Dog Players & Families –

Our Chicago 88 and Spring Challenge seasons have recently wrapped up.  Thank you to all players and families for continuing their development alongside our fantastic coaching staff.  The off-season generally moves quickly and the IDHA has already met on multiple occasions to plan and prepare.  Coaching selections are currently in progress and the customary uniforms, shells, Bauer warm ups, etc. have been completed. 

The upcoming 2022-23 season will once again include the Premier Select League (PSL) based on the overwhelming successes.  The IDHA will be submitting PSL selections for each of our major levels.  Justification of this decision is predicated on the theory of building the top teams at each level with the best talent across the two age levels involved.  And as usual, we will field Elite, Gold, Silver, and Bronze to cover all levels of talent within the program.  More information will be forthcoming over the next couple months to ensure all players and families are well aware of what the season will look like.  It is never too early to ask questions so feel free to reach out to any member of the board and we’ll quickly jump on the inbound communications. 

Here are the coaches for our top-level teams next season:

               2008 Bantam PSL Libor Ustrnul

               2010 Peewee PSL Ralph Menotti

               2012 Squirt PSL Jeff McPherren

               2014 Mite CUHL Jeff McPherren

The balance of the summer off-season is filled with several camps and skating sessions lead by our coaching staff.  These can be easily accessed at Summer Hockey ( The skates have been historically successful and further helps our players develop their play.  On behalf of the Board, enjoy the summer and we look forward to kicking off the 2022-23 season soon.

Take care,

Zac Adams

President, Ice Dogs Hockey Association


Ice Dog Families –

As we wrap up the 2021-22 season, I wanted to pass along how proud the IDHA Board is of all players and families on another successful and enjoyable one.  This is certainly a very passionate sport and we’re very grateful how everyone involved represented our club all year long and the efforts displayed by our players on and off the ice.  For those teams that still have games to play, we wish you all the very best of luck!

Many of your are already aware Glacier runs very competitive Spring programs through the Spring Challenge and 88’s teams.  Because of the level of play, we see several players from neighboring clubs navigate to our rink to take part due to interest and/or a lack of programs at their respective clubs.  This past season we experienced the inaugural year of Premier Select League (PSL) for the qualifying teams at the eligible levels.  This was nothing short of a tremendous success not just at our club, but all of the neighboring clubs as well.  Given the success, NIHL will be running a short season in the Spring where 6-8 games will be played from April 1st – May 15th.  This league will be played within our 88’s program where roster declarations will submitted by March 15th.  That said, we urge you and your players to consider the opportunity to further develop and enjoy additional games and ice time along the way. 

In addition to our Spring season, there will be several activities and camps throughout the off-season.  We would also urge you look into the offering as it’ll focus on skating, training, defense, etc.  Generally, these skates have been run by our fantastic coaching staff and will be once again.  Over the past several years, we have seen an influx of participation due to the number of options made available and the quality of the on and off ice activities.  Further information can be located at

Again, thank you being a part of the Ice Dog Hockey family and we look forward to seeing you at the rink over the off-season and as we roll into the upcoming 2022-23 season. 

Take care,


Zac Adams
President, Ice Dogs Hockey Association

4/8/21 Announcement

To ALL Ice Dogs Parents and Players,

The IDHA Board of Directors and Glacier Hockey Staff are excited to announce not 1 but 2 big additions to the 2021-22 Hockey Season. In order to improve our clubs overall skill development, we have partnered with Ryan Honik of GDI Goaltending and Justin Nelson of Above and Beyond Hockey to provide weekly skills training for every skater and goaltender. Both Justin and Ryan have made a significant contribution to skills development in their overall philosophy and will fit in well with the IDHA’s belief in player development.

"Above and Beyond Hockey Development is very excited to be back working with the Ice Dogs for the 2021-22 hockey season. The growth of the program has been tremendous and we look forward to running skills for ALL the Ice Dogs teams. The IDHA has committed to a weekly program and the Above and Beyond professional skills staff will push each player to develop to their full potential!" -Justin “Nelly” Nelson

"GDI Goaltending is excited to join the Ice Dogs Hockey Association next fall and develop our goalies into skilled and smart team leaders. Our focus is on the technical, physical, and mental inputs of the game; key to growth and achievement. We have the experience and training to deliver our comprehensive curriculum and cater it to the individual athlete”  -Ryan Honik, GDI USA President

"Ryan and Justin have made considerable contributions to our program over the years. To see that agreements have been established to add this level of development for the 2021-22 season, we all are very excited and thrilled. Our players and families helped make the most of last season given the obstacles we all had to work through and with the addition of these two individuals adds even further excitement.” -Zac Adams, IDHA President

Looking forward to seeing everyone around the rink soon.

The IDHA Board of Directors

3/16/21 Announcement

Dear Ice Dog Families,

On February 22nd, the Northern Illinois Hockey League (NIHL) announced an exciting new level of hockey that will launch during the 2021/22 season.  NIHL is the largest youth hockey league in Illinois and they consistently look for ways to improve and innovate within Tier II hockey.  The announcement was for an additional level of play called "Premier Select."  This will be in addition to existing Bronze, Silver, Gold and Elite levels.  Furthermore, there will be Major and Minor levels within Squirt, Pee-Wee, Bantam, and Midgets.

So, what is the difference between Elite and Central States (CSDHL)?  To compete with the Central States brand of hockey, which is an application based system, NIHL focused on on-ice performance instead of an arbitrary and political selection process that CSDHL has used.  Qualifying for the Premier Select level is solely based on a team’s on-ice performance during seeding round play.  In future years, it will be based on the seeding round as well as the teams prior year’s performance.  This format will assure that only the strongest Tier II teams in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin (playing in NIHL) will ascend to the highest level of play in the Midwest.  In addition, the Premier Level will have longer period lengths compared to Elite and Gold/Silver/Bronze.  The Midget level will have an extra 2 minutes per period compared to Elite as an example!

At the end of the season (2021/22) the new Premier Select level’s division will participate in the prestigious and well respected NIHL Blackhawks Tournament.  Even more exciting is the cooperation with the Chicago Blackhawks for this Premier Selects level of play.

In order to participate in Premier Selects, a hockey organization CANNOT have any team participate in Central States.  This will force programs that have a Central States team at ANY level to make the decision whether they want to participate in a CSDHL league or give more teams the opportunity to participate in a higher level of hockey, Premier Selects.  Approximately 30 other organizations have signed the letter of intent which is exciting!

This new offering more closely aligns with the community hockey club model we've long supported. Removing the mystery of the selection process behind the highest levels of Tier II hockey in Illinois allows all teams to determine on the ice the level at which they deserve to play. This Premier Select level will provide an opportunity and a fair process for our players and families; some of whom in the past have felt they needed to leave the club to pursue the highest levels of Tier II play.

The IDHA has made the decision to participate in the Premier Select level for the upcoming season.  We will provide more details in the coming weeks as NIHL irons out the final details.  You can also follow NIHL on social media for the latest information.

Twitter - @NIHL_Hockey

Instagram - @northernillinoishockeyleague




1. Can we apply to Central States in March and then play in Premier Select if our application to Central States is denied?
Answer: No. Applying for or Playing in Central States would disqualify all teams from participating in Premier Select.

2. Are other hockey clubs making the same decision to participate in Premier Select?
Answer: Yes. While a number of clubs will almost certainly continue to participate in Central States in the next season or two, it appears that this new NIHL offering is being broadly embraced, even by a number of clubs that have recently participated in Central States.

3. Will we still have the opportunity to compete against all clubs during the AHAI State Tournament at the end of the year?
Answer: Yes.

4. Will we be able to scrimmage against Central States teams throughout the year?
Answer: Yes, as we have done this year with many teams, increasing (or decreasing) our level of competition through off league games is common practice.

5. For which age levels is Premier Select an option?
Answer: The NIHL Premier Select division will be offered beginning at the Squirt age level continuing up through at least the Bantam age level.

6. How was this decision informed and determined?
Answer: As with all of our important decisions related to the playing of hockey, we leaned heavily upon the Glacier Hockey Professionals to thoroughly review the pros and cons of the new league level. Additionally, we participated in early discussions with NIHL as the structure was being developed and continued to participate in ongoing meetings and direct conversations with the President of NIHL. We also believe, if NIHL carries through with the rules proposed for participation in Premier Select and the other levels of NIHL that CSDHL will cease to exist in the current form within three years. 

Things To Do During This Time

Adapted From The State Of Hockey:

Young hockey players are suddenly finding themselves with a lot of time on their hands. Here are some things to focus on during this time that can keep the mind, body and spirit in shape for when the puck drops again:

-Fire pucks - In the driveway, basement, wherever you can, your shot might be good but can always be better. And don't forget to work on your backhand. While you always want to be in position to fire a wrister, sometimes you often find yourself in tight spaces where you are forced to use your backhand. Make sure you can get some zip on the puck. The only way to do it is to work on it at home because chances are you're not spending a lot of time on it in practice.

-Work the core - Your core muscles may be the most important muscles in your body. There are several exercises you can do to strengthen your core and you don't have to spend 45 minutes to an hour doing it. Fifteen minutes a day can vastly improve your core strength. Research some quick core exercises you can pull off in no time. Start first with the simple plank, either on your elbows or hands. Do it twice a day. Track the amount of time you are able to hold it. Notice your improvement from day-to-day and week to week. Set a goal. By Christmas your should improve immensely. 

Here are five core exercises specific to hockey players we found on YouTube.

-Stretch - It is probably the most important thing young athletes don't do enough of. We spend so much time trying to make our muscles bigger and stronger, but we forget about stretching those muscles so they recuperate faster. Plus your flexibility will vastly increase which could improve your stride, which could improve your speed. Stretching every day will prevent injuries, increase flexibility, promote relaxation in the body and provide balance between the workouts and the rest.

-Maintain a healthy diet - When you're not busy driving to and from practice or games and spend more time at home, it's easy to get away from a healthy athlete's diet. It's easier to reach for sugary snacks and soda. Be mindful that you will be back on the ice soon and when you are you want to be in the best shape possible. In order to achieve that you have to eat and drink every day like you are playing a big game tomorrow.

-Watch hockey - No, the NHL isn't playing right now. But college hockey is. There's an old saying that you can learn a lot by watching. Some of the best hockey players aren't great because they are the fastest or the most skilled. It's because they are smart. They know where to be on the ice and more importantly where to go on the ice. They understand angles and systems and the little things that can make an average player good and a good player great. When watching, try and watch the players without the puck, especially if they play the same position as you. What are they doing? Where are they going? The game isn't just about scoring goals and having a signature celly. There are so many little things within a hockey game that determine the outcome. The players who understand these little things can turn them into big things that can help their team score a goal. One goal can determine a game and one game can determine a season. Watch as much hockey as you can – and make sure you pay attention to the little things -- because they can make a big difference in your game. 

Here is a video highlighting players play without the puck that leads to scoring opportunities:

-More than likely you are in front of a screen most of the day. Take time out of your day to read. Even just 30 minutes a day of reading can be just as beneficial as a 30-minute cardio workout. Keep training your brain and make it as healthy and strong as it can be. There are so many great books out there about athletes and hockey players you can learn so much from. And even if you'd rather read Harry Potter, do it. Just read. Training your brain is just as important as training any other part of your body.

Here is a recent column from LPH columnist Josh Levine on the importance of reading:

-Be Grateful - The time is rough. We get it. You want to be back on the ice and playing with your friends. We all want to be back on the ice and return to a level of normalcy we haven't seen since the state high school tourney last season. While it's okay to be frustrated, it is also important to be grateful. Be grateful you have the opportunity to play the great sport of hockey because a lot of kids don't. Be grateful you are healthy enough to play hockey because a lot of kids aren't. Be grateful your parents have afforded you the opportunity to play hockey because a lot of families can't afford it. Be grateful you have the skills to keep playing hockey, because a lot of players don't. Be grateful for your coaches, the officials, the penalty box crew, the concession workers, the Zamboni driver and most importantly your parents. Without any of them you would' be playing the greatest game on earth. Most importantly, be thankful you are healthy and alive. Life is a gift. Use it wisely. And don’t forget to smile. You're a hockey player!

8/28/20 Letter

Ice Dog Goalie Families –

Last season, the decision was made to build a goalie development program predicated on historical feedback we’ve received from many of our families whose player stands between the pipes.  Based on feedback of a first-year program, the responses were positive overall.

Conversations between IDHA and GDI took place over March and April constructing what this season would look like.  Amid doing so, COVID-19 became a frightening reality.  Over time, the topics of conversation changed to what is the 2020-21 season going to look like?  Will there be games?  How will IDHA / Glacier set standards to protect our players and families?  Many other questions that have also been addressed the past several weeks.  Talks continued into this week and a decision has been made to put a pause on the dedicated development program for the 2020-21 season.  This was made predicated on the uncertainties about game play and the safety of our players and families.  In lieu of this change in direction, we are going to reinstate the 25% reduction in fees this season.  It’ll take us a bit of time to process and/or apply these credits for each family so please be patient while we outline how that’ll play out. 

The natural response to this change is if the season will not include dedicated goalie instruction, what will be made available to such an important position in hockey.  The board is already working towards a plan to bring instruction and development this season, in addition to the hours of ice time committed to each team.  Again, this recent change requires fast thinking and coordination so please be patient while this is pulled together and communicated to each of you. 

As we have over the past few weeks with everyone involved at the Ice Dogs, specific updates will be passed along to each of you as they are confirmed.  Please know for the future that the ultimate goal is to resume this dedicated program for the 2021-22 season.  Given the time we have to evaluate potential improvements of our goalie program next season, we’d welcome suggestions and involvement from individuals to weigh in and push it forward.  

If there are any questions, please feel free to reach out.  We will follow up at our earliest opportunity.

Thank you,


Zac Adams


Ice Dogs Hockey Association


  1. The Governor has placed hockey in the high-risk category starting 8/15. Hockey can only have practices and conditioning.  How does this affect the IDHA?

We know this fluid situation can change at any time. We have spoken to many other clubs and no one thinks games will be allowed for a few months. Hopefully things will stabilize and we can move forward with games sooner.

  1. Do you think there will be games?

Eventually, yes, we hope there will be games later this season. The IDHA has grown over the years and has enough teams at each level to provide competitive scrimmages. We have discussed that the coaches will work together to provide a competitive controlled environment.

  1.  Can parents watch from the stands?

The club and the rink prefer that parents continue to respect boundaries, wear masks and do not enter the building unless necessary. We understand that the youngest players may need assistance and that is fine. Please be sure to have your mask on at all times and remember to social distance. Just as a reminder Glacier Ice Arena has LiveBarn and excellent wi-fi to watch from the parking lot or anywhere you can find a signal…which should be just about anywhere.

  1. With no games how will it be fun for our players?

As crazy as these times are, kids need an outlet for physical activity and social normalcy. Just coming to the rink and getting on the ice is a moving in a positive direction. Our coaches will do a great job with skill development and making it fun to come to the rink.     

  1.  Thinking about fees, what should be expected?

The IDHA provides a high level of professional coaches and the cost of ice fees. Our on-ice and off-ice training is excellent and develops many individual, team and social skills. The life lessons of working hard and to get along in a team environment are so valuable to learn as young players. These lessons will carry forward as they grow into young adults. Unless or until games and tournaments are allowed there will not be a need for coach’s expenses or slush funds. We will continue to provide the same amount of ice time as a regular season and hope games and tournaments will resume sooner than expected.

The IDHA has a close family bond and we need to lean on each other and provide a positive path to development and fun this season. We appreciate each and everyone of our families and want all to love the greatest sport on the planet!

2019-2020 Season News

Greetings Ice Dogs Nation!

Now that we are well into the regular season, it is important to maintain our composure during and after all games. If you’re feeling a temporary moment of insanity because your blood is boiling, take a deep breath before you yell at the on-ice officials or players. Remember, that brief moment could cost you a three (3) game suspension. The Zero Tolerance Policy mandated by AHAI is followed by all the clubs and leagues in the state of Illinois. At the beginning of the season, players, coaches, and parents agreed to abide by this policy. Just to refresh everyone’s memory, the policy is as follows:


A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct (zero tolerance) shall be assessed whenever a player:

1.  Openly disputes or argues any decision by an official.

2.  Uses obscene or vulgar language at any time, including any swearing, even if it is not directed at a particular person.

3.  Visually demonstrates any sign of dissatisfaction with an official’s decision. 

Any time that a player persists in any of these actions, they shall be assessed a 2-minute misconduct penalty. If the player continues such actions, they shall be assessed a game misconduct. 


A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct (zero tolerance) shall be assessed whenever a coach:

1.  Openly disputes or argues any decision by an official.

2.  Uses obscene or vulgar language in a boisterous manner to anyone at any time.

3.  Visually displays any sign of dissatisfaction with an official’s decision including standing on the boards or standing in the bench doorway with the intent of inciting the officials, players or spectators.

Any time that a coach persists in any of these actions, he/she shall be assessed a game misconduct.


The game will be stopped by game officials if a parent or spectator displays inappropriate and disruptive behavior that interferes with other spectators or the game. The game officials will identify violators to the coaches for the purpose of removing that person from the spectator’s viewing and game area. Once removed, play will resume. Lost time will not be replaced, and violators may be subject to further disciplinary action by the local governing body. This inappropriate and disruptive behavior shall include:

1.   Use of obscene or vulgar language in a boisterous manner to anyone at any time.

2.   Taunting of players, coaches, officials or other spectators by means of baiting, ridiculing, threat of physical violence or physical violence.

3.   Throwing of any object in the spectators viewing area, player’s bench, penalty box or on ice surface, directed in any manner as to create a safety hazard.

Violation of the Zero Tolerance Policy comes with an automatic minimum suspension of three (3) games

So during this holiday season, sit back and enjoy the best team sport on the planet!