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Lillibridge Leading the Way as Steel Look to Repeat

By Tom Robinson, 11/09/17, 1:45PM MST


The hometown kid leads USHL defensemen in points

Graham Lillibridge was there to produce the primary assist on the overtime game-winner when the Chicago Steel claimed the United States Hockey League championship in the fifth game of last season’s Clark Cup finals.

Lillibridge is there for the Steel again as they try to work through their USHL title defense with a largely revamped roster.

The 18-year-old from Geneva, Illinois, is an alternate captain for the defending champions. He is the latest USHL Defenseman of the Week and leads the league’s blueliners in scoring with 12 points in what has been an impressive first 10 games for Chicago.

“He’s just really talented and he’s playing the game the right way,” Steel coach Mark Abalan said.

That extends beyond his success on the offensive end.

“He’s a defenseman and he’s letting the game present itself,” Abalan said. “Whatever the game is, he’s taking it.

“He’s able to make plays in all zones. He’s able to make plays in our end; he’s able to make plays in the neutral zone and he’s very talented in the offensive end. Our power play has been very good and that’s a product of him and the unit he’s playing with.”

Lillibridge leads the league in power-play assists with six and is tied for fourth in points.

The Steel is 14-for-39 for a league-best 35.9 percent conversion rate on the power play.

Chicago has already put together a six-game winning streak this season to lead the Eastern Conference at 7-2-0-1.

Of the 26 players who have appeared for the team during the fast start, only four were regulars on last season’s team and only two others played more than two regular-season games for the Steel.

Lillibridge, the 2016-17 USHL Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year, has committed to Yale University. Harvard University recruit Baker Shore and Penn State University recruit Tyler Gratton are back at forward while Western Michigan University recruit Derek Daschke is the other veteran defenseman with Lillibridge.

Jordan Seyfert and Blake McLaughlin played with the team part-time last season. Xan Gurney played only one regular-season game, but was with the Steel through the Clark Cup playoffs.

“It’s a very youthful and inexperienced team,” Abalan said. “It’s been a good start, for sure.

“It’s a very competitive group and a really talented group. Those are two components you need to have a chance.”

The newcomers have blended in quickly.

Jack Dugan, a 19-year-old from Rochester, New York, who is committed to play at Providence College, leads the USHL with 16 points. He is two in front of teammate McLaughlin, a 17-year-old University of Minnesota commit from Grand Rapids, Minnesota, who played for Team USA in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup this summer.

“Dugan is big, strong; he’s got great vision and great puck skills,” Abalan said. “He has great instincts for offense.

“ … The game is relatively easy for him. I think it’s going to be scary when he really figures out the game. As good as he is today, I think his best hockey is ahead of him.”

Together with Lillibridge, Dugan is helping show that the Steel’s best hockey is not necessarily behind them.

“There’s other good players around them and they’re not trying to do it all themselves,” Abalan said. “For Jack and for Graham, that’s been part of it.               

“For me as a coach, they’ve been fun guys to work with and to help develop.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc. Photo courtesy of Hickling Images

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2022-23 ATO | WEEK 22

By USA Hockey Officiating Program 01/27/2023, 6:30am MST

QUESTION: If you have a player with a suspension, and you tell the referee to record it on the scoresheet before a game because the player is sitting out, but the referee comes over before the game a tells you he talked to the league and said he can play what should you do?

ANSWER: All suspensions and other forms of discipline are managed by the local USAH Affiliate of the team, and referees cannot determine player eligibility. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the Team Coach to make sure players serve their suspensions. Therefore, it would be wise to receive any disciplinary notice from the local Affiliate first-hand.


QUESTIONA player is in the penalty box serving a minor penalty. Play continues 5 v. 4 while the player complains about the call. Play is stopped when the referee assesses the penalized player a second minor penalty for Unsportsmanlike Conduct. Should two minutes be added to the time remaining on the scoreboard for the player's first penalty, or should a second penalty be placed on the scoreboard with play then continuing "5 v. 3"?

ANSWER: In this situation, the same player earned both penalties. Therefore, two minutes must be added to the remaining time on the player’s first penalty and play resumes 5 v. 4.


QUESTIONAttacking team in the attacking zone gets a delayed penalty for High-Sticking. The defensive team clears the puck out of the zone and the penalized team's goalie plays the puck. I would like to know where the ensuing face-off should take place.

ANSWER: Since play stopped due to the offending team’s goalkeeper securing possession and control of the puck, the face-off would be located at the nearest face-off spot (in the same zone) as where the goalkeeper played the puck.


QUESTIONIf a goalie kicks the net off, can a goal still be scored? Situation is a goal mouth pass came from left to right, goalie slid across, knocking the net off, and a pass was then sent back across to the for an open net goal. Ref called it a "goal" and then realized the net was off and called it "no goal".

ANSWERRule 610.e in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states:

“Play shall be stopped immediately when the goal frame has been displaced from its normal position.”

Therefore, if the officials are 100% certain that the goal frame was displaced before the puck entered the goal, they must disallow the goal.


QUESTION:  If a player of the opposing team swears at a coach, what is the punishment for that player?

ANSWERRule 601.c in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states:

“A misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who commits the following actions:

Persists in any conduct where they were previously assessed a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Using obscene, profane or abusive language to any person anywhere in the rink before, during or after the game.

Intentionally knocking or shooting the puck out of the reach of an official who is retrieving it during a stoppage of play.

Not proceeding directly and immediately to the penalty bench or to the dressing room, after being penalized and ordered to do so by the officials (equipment shall be delivered to him by a teammate, if necessary).

Entering or remaining in the Referee’s Crease, unless invited to do so.

Interfering in any non-physical manner with any Game Official including the Referee, Linesman, Timekeepers or Goal Judges in the performance of their duties.”


The USA Hockey Playing Rules are now available as a mobile device app! Check your Apple, Android, or Windows app store to download this playing rule app free of charge.

Check out the USA Hockey mobile-friendly online rulebook application! Enter into your mobile device’s web browser to gain instant access to the USA Hockey Playing Rules (must have mobile or internet service).

The USA Hockey Playing Rules Casebook and other educational material can be found under the OFFICIALS tab at

Blake Bolden Continues Blazing Trail in Hockey

By Brianna Rhone 02/01/2023, 2:15pm MST

On National Girls & Women in Sports Day, we take a look back at a celebration held by the Islanders’ practice facility for the 50th anniversary of Title IX

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