Review: Chicago Outdoor Hockey League D-Level in Niles ★★★☆☆

Review: Chicago Outdoor Hockey League D-Level in Niles ★★★☆☆

I have mixed feelings about playing in the Chicago Outdoor Hockey League (COHL). You see, two years back, I wrote about the COHL for "The Hockey News" (article here), and was soon inspired to learn how to play hockey. Watching a few COHL games was the catalyst for me to become The Hockey Noob, and I am grateful for the inspiration. Things came full-circle for me when I joined the COHL for the 2014-15 season.

At the same time, playing in the COHL was not as great as I imagined. There were some really big upsides and downsides to the outdoor league, which plays in Niles and in Cicero. I played in the COHL D-Level "Northsiders" Division in Niles, so that is what is reviewed here...

I joined a team, but they ditch the games

I joined a team, but they ditch the games
There will come a time in your adult novice ice hockey career when you look into your hockey bag and realize you have a cheap jersey with a lousy, generic iron on vinyl design. Congratulations! You are now on a team. In my case, I have a spot on the “Detroit Red Wings” are we’re... Read more »

Four Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Hockey Lessons

Four Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Hockey Lessons

Hockey lessons aren't cheap and ice time is at a premium. You might take an hour-long lesson, but how much learning do you do during that hour? You take your turn in drills and try your best, but what else can you do? I've thought of four ways that I've tried to maximize my time spent on the ice during my hockey classes...

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Scrimmage is the Study Hall of Hockey

Scrimmage is the Study Hall of Hockey

I have grown to resent too much scrimmage in my hockey lessons. Sure, a short scrimmage at the end of a hockey class is an ideal time to apply what you learned that day in a low-stakes, game-type situation. But too much of a good thing quickly becomes a bad thing. I am a college professor, and giving my students some time to work in class to practice what they learned is helpful. Were I to make 90% of the class time "study time" each week, you can bet there would be complaints. Why? Because you don't learn anything new in a scrimmage, just like you don't learn anything new in study hall. And scrimmage is the study hall of hockey...

On the Disabled List: The Best Hockey Game I Didn't Play

On the Disabled List: The Best Hockey Game I Didn't Play

Last week, I had to make a hard decision and decide to not play hockey. My Heartland D-League team, Blades of Steel, was going to play for our league's championship for the first time since June 2014. After earning a first-round bye as the best team in our division, we had to claw our way back from a 3-1 deficit in the semifinal game. With six minutes left in the third period, we scored two goals to force overtime, played a scoreless overtime, then won in the fifth round of the shootout. For the third time in four seasons, we were going to the finals. And by we, I mean my teammates. I had to sit this one out...

Fund to help local hockey fan Brittany Hyde

Fund to help local hockey fan Brittany Hyde
If anything can help a bad situation right now, it is the reality of the hockey community being deeply connected. I am asking everyone to please help raise money to cover expenses for Brittany Hyde who survived the car crash that took the life of her boyfriend, local player Josh Kaye. She sustained serious injuries... Read more »
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I scored a goal and it wasn't a lucky bounce this time

I scored a goal and it wasn't a lucky bounce this time

I set a goal for myself at the start of my current hockey season: score one goal. Just one.  And it took me four months, but I finally scored a goal in a game last week...

Hockey Stick Welder Video

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This is a short 90-second video where I talk about stick handling while on the roof of my apartment. Hey, it’s hockey season and ice time is hard to come by right now. I address a problem I have noticed as very common for adult beginners. If you notice the same issue or have further... Read more »

Local Amateur Hockey Player Joshua Kaye Dies in Car Crash

Local Amateur Hockey Player Joshua Kaye Dies in Car Crash
This has been a very sad week for amateur hockey in Chicago. Amateur player Joshua Kaye, 27, of Des Plaines, was killed in a car accident on Sunday, February 15. Josh, his girlfriend Brittany, his father and his father’s girlfriend were returning from a ski trip in Wisconsin when their van was struck around 8:30... Read more »
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New 3-on-3 Beginner Hockey League in Chicago starts soon

New 3-on-3 Beginner Hockey League in Chicago starts soon

Johnny's Ice House is starting a new 3-on-3 hockey league for beginners this month. Games will be played on their newly constructed studio ice arena, which is a lot smaller than a regulation hockey rink. In turn, this will emphasize puck handling over all-out speed. Is this new league right for you? I attended three practice games on Johnny's studio rink, and have some insight you might find helpful in deciding if you should join.

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