Yellowjackets Food Drive/Super Skills Competition
Greatly Benefits Local Food Pantries
The food drive that took place during the annual Yellowjackets Hockey Super Skills Competition provided much needed support for the Food Pantries of Algonquin-LITH, Cary Grove, and Crystal Lake. Layoffs, foreclosures, and higher gas and food prices are driving more people to turn to local charities for help. But as demand for food, temporary shelter, and other necessities has soared in recent months, by as much as 100 percent for some agencies, the economic downturn also has curbed giving. Local human service organizations report that donations from individuals and businesses have slowed more dramatically than normal during the historically high winter months. "Solving hunger and its’ underlying causes is important to our organization. It is how we respond to the needs of our neighbors, our children, our senior citizens, our disabled, and our working poor.” states Keith Van Damme, Executive Director of FireWagon Hockey Inc. As difficult economic times burden the communities our organization serves, the need for the food pantries has increased dramatically.
During this year’s food drive, the Yellowjackets Youth Hockey Organization raised over 8,700 pounds of food and donations. The event’s chairpersons, Patricia Nasta, Pat O’Brien, and Chris Hentz, did a fantastic job coordinating the event. Brian Kill (pictured), a Yellowjackets Bantam, individually collected and donated over 45 bags of food. Area families have come to depend on the food pantries and it is our privilege to be able to lend a hand in helping them feed the community.
All donated food items were distributed between the three local food pantries of Algonquin-LITH, Cary Grove, and Crystal Lake. The Yellowjackets Food Drive
collected over 1,600 pounds of food and made a monetary donation to the Northern Illinois Food Bank in the amount of $896. For each $1 donated to Northern Illinois Food Bank, over 8 pounds of food can be purchased and distributed.
As an organization we are proud to support the efforts of these local charities. Historically we have held food drives at all of our events; and we will continue to hold this food drive at our annual Super Skills Competition. Supporting the local food pantries and our continued support of the Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association demonstrates the value we place on community service. We are very proud of our membership as they rally around these special causes.
Yellowjackets PeeWee B Team takes NWHL Championship
The Crystal Lake Yellow Jackets PeeWee B Hockey Team are honored to bring the first Yellow Jackets NWHL championship banner home to the Ice House!
Coaches Tom Breslin, Jon Jepsen, and Curt Whitehouse led their team to the Division 3 Championship in an exciting, fast-paced game that left spectators on the edge of their seats.
Our own “Buzz” the Bee was there to keep the fans cheering! Buzz has been a fabulous good luck charm throughout the playoff season.
The boys were honored to accept the trophy on Sunday afternoon, with Buzz by their side. They played a tough game -- even holding their one-point lead in the third period with two players in the penalty box! Coach Tom Breslin pointed out the resilience of this team: they never give up a game in the last two minutes of play!
Congrats to the Yellow Jackets, who displayed great team work, gentlemanly sportsmanship, and lots of hustle throughout the season.
2009 Champions! Front to back: Hannes Elfstrom, goalie Jake Narlock, Malachy Breslin, Evan Delisi, Matt Darnell, Joey Gonsiorek, Jake Kraeger, Kyle Strasser, Coach Jon Jepsen, Dean Jepsen, Austin Nobbe, Miles Diamond, Mike Neville, Jackson Weidner, David Maguire, Jake DuShane, Coach Curt Whitehouse, Mitchell Whitehouse, Steve Napholz, Buzz, and Head Coach Tom Breslin. Not pictured: Coach Keith DuShane
Mite A2 Minor Team takes 3rd Place
Starting from the Top / Left to Right
Assistant Coach: Bob Greenhill; Head Coach Bruce Smolen; Assistant Coach: Pat O'Brien
Row 1: Kyle Smolen; Nolan McConnell; KJ Kunkle; Jason Dabrowski; Aidan O'Brien; Ben Vonder Harr
Row 2: Andrew Gajdzik; Michael Greenhill; Drake Griffin; Eric Van Dyke; Carrick Roggenbuck
THREE YELLOWJACKETS TEAMS ADVANCE IN NORTHWEST HOCKEY LEAGUE TOURNAMENT
Coach Olszewski Bantams - Semi Final Round - Friday, March 13, 2009 Dundee Ice Arena
SQUIRT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Coach Geoff Price Squirt YJ
Championship Game - Sunday, March 15, 2009 10:40am, Franklin Park Ice Arena.
The Squirts defeated Panthers #1 team on Thursday night, 5 to 4, in sudden-death overtime!!!
PEE WEE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Coach Thomas Breslin Pee Wee YJ vs Renegades,
Championship Game - Sunday, March 15, 2009 12:30pm, Franklin Park Ice Arena. ***Yellowjackets won Championship!!!
Mike Neville's winning goal to help advance his Pee Wee team to the NWHL Championship Game!!
Squirts Take 2nd in NIHL
Top row left to right: Coach Steve Maloney, Payson Wilde, Colby Flanagan, Asst. Coach Jason Herbster, Michael Maloney, Jacob Carpentier, Matthew Stelmasek, Kyle Herbster, Tommy Martin, Asst. Coach Dean Britt, Derek Hartmann, Asst. Coach Dale Lundeen
Bottom row left to right: Amelia Murray, Logan Britt, Winston Yau, Cory Zordan, Eric Helm, MacKenzie Lundeen, Daniel Kross
PeeWee's Take 2nd in NIHL
Top row left to right - Asst. Coach Tom Bukuri, Josh Narvaez, Connor Busch, Holt Kepes, Jack Moehling, Asst. Coach Bob Kepes, McKenzie Wilde, Nick Ligocki, Coach Glenn Busch
Bottom row left to right - Danny Pecoraro, Aric Bukuri, Will Gadd, Kyle Buresch, Alex Hentz, Shane Lubecker, Jonah Lagudem, Sean VanDamme, Matt Kinker
YJ NIHL Mites Win Championship at Big Bear Tournament
The Yellowjackets NIHL Mite team won the Big Bear Tournament in Ann Arbor, Michigan on February, 22nd. The Mites defeated a Canadian team out of Sault Ste. Marie, the Romes Flyers, by the score of 2-0 in the Championship Game.
Players & Coaches (pictured from top to bottom): Coaches: Todd Wheeland, Pat Rainey and Dan Jones Players Top Row : Michael Helm, Michael Boyd, Johnny Lenzi, Cooper Jones and Luke Whitenack Players Middle Row: Devlan Lovell, Ian Priester, Ryan Ruether, Ben Wheeland, Brennan Kelly, Nolan Rainey and Joseph Margetson Players Bottom Row: Jack Herbster
YJ Squirts Win Campionship in Ann Arbor's Big Bear Tournament
Victorious over Brighton Bandits, 5 to 0.
Front Row = Eric Helm, Michael Maloney, Kyle Herbster, Cory Zordan, Colby Flanagan, Derek Hartmann
2nd Row = Amelia Murray, Winston Yau, Jacob Carpentier, Matt Stelmasek, Payson Wilde, Tommy Martin, Logan Britt
Coaches = Dean Britt, Jason Herbster
Yellowjackets Squirt B - Chicago Presidents' Cup Champions!
The Yellowjackets Squirt B team won the Chicago Presidents' Cup Tournament on Feb. 16, at International Ice Center in Romeoville. The team defeated four squirt-B teams, most from the Chicago area, before facing off against the St. Peters Spirit, of St. Louis, in the championship game. The YJs pulled out a 3-1 victory to capture the title.
The team also won runner-up in the Great Lakes Tournament Series in Holland, Mich., in November, and recently beat the Milwaukee Winter Club squirts, 6-2, at an annual challenge at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis.
Squirt-B players pictured include: Dima Bruhn, Nick Finley, Richard Gajdzik, Shawn Hentz, Nick Kaspari, Timmy McDonnell, Connor McKenna-Kreiger, Patrick Nasta, Benny Price, Patrick Rainey, Sean Ready, Justin Ruether and Tyler Strauss. Coaches Geoff Price and Chris Hentz. Not pictured: Clint Billimack, Josh Kasch, Andrew Samonek, Tyler Schneider, Michael Tanzillo and Coach Frank Tanzillo
Yellowjackets Pre-Highschool Exhibition
NWHL Mites win the Dells Waterpark Classic
Jacob Amann, Max Billimack, Grant Boldt, Trevor Brandon, Dylan Bremer, Evan Clayton, Brandon Cole, Matt Moniea, Joe Pacana, Sam Palmer, Mark Rohloff, Beau Schneider, Kyle Smolen, Dominic Tanzillo, Trevor Taulien, Benny Margetson, Seth Trewyn, Eric VanDyke, Coaches - Kurt Rohloff, Bruce Smolen, Darrin VanDyke, Frank Tanzillo
Bantams take 3rd in NIHL
Row 1: Ryan Bolin Row 2: Anthony Abbate, Josh Yelton, Kyle Pierce, Kyle Pfaffinger, Colin Talmanik, Brian Kill, Michael Scott, and Patrick Snell Row 3: Patrick Biewald, Mitch Mohr, Keenan Zordan, Mick Reilly, Kyle Stelmasek, Patrick OConnor, and Anthony Casaletto. Josh Murray, Michael Crepeau Coaches: Tom Zordan, Mark Mohr, Dan Casaletto
Yellowjackets 10U Champions of All American Girls Tournement in Blaine
10U Playing Chisago Lakes at the University of Minnesota
Left to right: Shannon O'Brien, Jenna Bruns, Kendall Mason, Morgan Shines, Mac Lundeen, Madison Shine, Shay Maloney, Natalie Ryan, Sammi Manning, Madison Lundeen, Coaches: Chris Shines, Pat O'Brien, Tim Ryan, Dale Lundeen
NWHL Mite Team Takes 2nd in Chicago Midwinter Classic
Jacob Amann, Max Billimack, Grant Boldt, Trevor Brandon, Dylan Bremer, Evan Clayton, Brandon Cole, Matt Moniea, Joe Pacana, Sam Palmer, Mark Rohloff, Beau Schneider, Kyle Smolen, Dominic Tanzillo, Trevor Taulien, Benny Margetson, Seth Trewyn, Eric VanDyke, Coaches - Kurt Rohloff, Bruce Smolen, Darrin VanDyke, John Taulien
The University of Wisconsin - Superior
Women's Ice Hockey Team At The Hive
Squirts Take 2nd in Team Illinois AAA Golden Sticks Tournament
Coaches Dale Lundeen, Steve Maloney, Dean Britt, Jason Herbster, Mackenzie Lundeen, Micheal Maloney, Matthew Stalmasek, Jacob Carpentier,Corey Zordon, Kyle Herbster, Logan Britt, Colby Flanagan, Tommy Martin, Eric Helm, Winston Yau, Daniel Kross, Amelia Murray, Payson Wilde, Derek Hartmann, Manager Lori Yau (not Pictured)
Yellowjackets 12U Wins Altoona's 2009 Tournament
First Row: Hanna Fritz, Samantha Madej Second Row: Charlie Calamarie, Caroline Petersen, Morgan Bolin, Sierra Meiners, Courtney Baugher, Emily Basile Third Row: Coach Tracey Baugher, Coach Tom Bolin, Kelly Smith, Brittany Brandon, Allison Bruns, Rebecca Hurst, Coach Jim Fritz ***(Yellowjackets 12U team is currently ranked 3rd in the Nation!!!)
Midgets win the 49th annual Riverside Midget Minor Association International Tournament in Windsor, Ontario
The Yellowjackets are the first United States team to win the tournament and the first since 1988 to make it to the finals. The midget minor level is made up of players who were born in 1993 or 1994 and are freshmen or sophomores in high school.
The Jackets also picked up some individual tournament hardware with forward Chris Van Damme winning the Guy Morgan Most Valuable Player award and head coach Rick Rewiako taking home the Art McKenzie coaching award.
Team manager and coach Don Rubino said that not only Van Damme but the whole team played well offensively in the tournament.
“He had a phenomenal tournament,” Rubino said of Van Damme. “We had five of the top seven scorers.”
In the championship game, the Yellowjackets defeated the host Riverside team, 4-1, with all the scoring coming in the third period. The Jackets trailed, 1-0, but rallied to get the win. Victor Kapustin scored the first two goals for the Yellowjackets, and Justin Marinaro and Van Damme added single tallies.
This is the first time the Yellowjackets have played in the holiday tournament. The tournament fit the team’s priorities of something close to home – Windsor is just north of Detroit – and quality competition. Rubino said that the team expected the competition would be fierce playing in Canada, where hockey is like baseball and every child grows up playing the sport.
In addition the Jackets were playing with only 11 players and a goalie.
“We have a good team, but realistically going into play any Canadian team is tough,” Rewiako said. “Going with 12 players is tough, but you get the right combination and things work.”
Ten of the players have been together since they played at the squirt level (9- to 10-years-old). That history is one reason the team still is together even with players playing for different high schools. Yellowjacket club players feed into six area high schools where hockey also is played as a club sport.
“The reason that they’re playing together now is that they want to,” Rubino said.
One of the reasons high school hockey has improved in the area, Rubino said, is the cooperation between the Yellowjackets and the high school teams. This season, the Jackets will play about a dozen games and a couple of tournaments that will be scheduled around the high schools’ season.
“The high school boys are definitely getting better,” Rubino said. “It’s difficult to manage both (high school and club teams). Last year and this year, we were able to do a better job of it.”
Members of the Yellowjackets championship team were: forwards Van Damme, Kapustin, Marinaro, Thomas Byrne, Ryan Nowak, Christian Blatner and Brian Lichterman; defensemen Philip Rubino, Andrew Sprouse, Nick Samuels and Matt Krammen; and goalie Buck Martin. Coaching the team were Rewiako, Jeff Schulze, Casey Van Damme and Rubino.
Bantams take 3rd place in the Tornado Youth Hockey tournament
First Row: Josh Yelton, Trevor Teglia, Ryan Bolin, Michael Scott. Second Row: Kyle Pierce, Coach Tom Zordan, Michael Crepeau, Colin Telmanik, Mick Reilly, Keenan Zordan, Brian Kill, Kyle Stelmasek, Pat Biewald, Anthony Casaletto, Craig Carroll, Mitch Mohr, Josh Murray, Patrick O'Connor, Patrick Snell and Coach Mark Mohr. Not pictured: Anthony Abbate, Kyle Pfaffinger, Coach Rich Teglia
The Yellowjackets PeeWee B Team was very thankful for their victory last weekend at Johnny's Ice House in Chicago. Coaches Tom Breslin, Jon Jepsen, and Keith DuShane led their team to the Championship of the 11th annual Johnny's Ice House Turkey Tournament.
The boys were honored to received the trophy on Sunday evening after two of the most exciting playoff games any of these 11 and 12 year olds have ever played; surviving a tie, 5 minute sudden-death overtime, and a three-player shoot out (which came down to the last shooter, Mike Neville) all in one game!
Congrats to the Yellowjackets, who displayed great team work, gentlemanly sportsmanship, and lots of hustle throughout the tourney. Special congrats to tournament MVP, YJ goalie Jake Narlock who was an impervious wall of steel all weekend.
Pictured: goalie Jake Narlock, Joey Gonsiorek, Hannes Elfstrom, Matt Darnell, Evan Delisi, Jake Kraeger, Jake DuShane, Coach Jepsen, Malachy Breslin, Mike Neville, Dean Jepsen, Matt Darnell, David Maguire, Coach Breslin, Jackson Weidner, Steve Napholz, Austin Nobbe, and Coach DuShane. Not pictured: Team members Kyle Strasser, Mitchell Whitehouse, and Coach Curt Whitehouse.
2008 Yellowjackets Youth Hockey League Champions
July 18-20, 2008 Yellowjackets Attend Inaugural Blackhawks Convention
Here come the Hawks!!! The buzz is back with the Blackhawks and our very own mascot, Buzz the bee, took part in the inaugural Blackhawk Fan Convention sharing the signing table with Hawk's mascot Tommy Hawk. Tommy and Buzz shared fun and fans, signing autographs and making friends. In the 2007/2008 season the Blackhawks and the Yellowjackets brought fun, competitive hockey and excitement back into the game in Illinois with the intent to keep it that way.
Buzz, Keith Van Damme (Yellowjackets Executive Director), and Don Rubino, (Yellowjackets Director of Communication) took part in the inaugural convention which included past and present Blackhawks, coaches, and members of the front office. The Yellowjackets hosted a table in the Youth Hockey Room, giving away candy and Yellowjackets souvenirs, as well as passing along information about Yellowjackets hockey. All youth hockey organizations were invited and about a dozen shared the room with us.
While this weekend was about tradition and promise, it was also a celebration of the Yellowjackets accomplishments and its allegiance to the Chicago Blackhawks. Keith Van Damme summarized the weekend by saying, "This was a benchmark event for both the Blackhawks and the Yellowjackets, and we are proud to have been involved. Both organizations are looking to have a very successful 2008/2009 season."