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Blackhawks Warriors skate with the Blackhawks

Blackhawks Warriors and Blackhawks after practice

The Warriors loaded up the bus in the early morning hours on New Year’s Eve for their trip to South Bend for an opportunity to skate with the Blackhawks during their practice for the Winter Classic game. The rain began to fall when we left the parking lot, not to stop until we returned. This unfortunately changed our plans of skating with the Hawks outside to skating inside on the Notre Dame arena.

Upon our arrival in South Bend we were directed to the Compton Family Ice Arena, home of the Fighting Irish hockey team. After watching a few minutes of the Irish practice, the Warriors hit the locker rooms to prepare for their practice.

The Warriors nervously waited for the signal from Coach Colliton to hit the ice. And that they did. After a short warmup skate, Coach Colliton dropped the pucks on a lively game of “two puck” between the split squads. It was a fast-paced game which featured our Warrior goalies playing in net and the Blackhawks’ goalies skating out. The game ended in a tie with no bad blood between the teams. I don’t know who enjoyed the skate more, the Warriors or the Hawks. Our goalies were able to fulfill some dreams by stopping penalty shots from some of their favorites like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Chris Kunitz! All involved had an experience of a lifetime!

The Chicago Blackhawks’ organization, from top to bottom has again proven why they are the “Best Team in all of Sports”! Their generosity and support for the Blackhawks Warriors goes unmatched by any other team. Every player and coach on the ice expressed their gratitude to our guys for the service and treated every guy like a teammate! Taking the time to talk, take picture and just hang out. Consummate Professionals!

Thank you again for this most memorable opportunity.

It will never be forgotten!

Blackhawks Warriors Visit BMO Harris Bank Arena in Rockford

Chicago Blackhawks Warriors vs. Chicago Police Department

December 15th was our second trip to Rockford to play at the BMO Harris Center prior to the Rockford Ice Hogs’ Hometown Hero game. This year our invitation went out to the Chicago Police Department tone our guests.

The spirited contest started out with a back and forth, but scoreless first period. Both goalies were tested, but were able to turn away every shot they saw. The second period started out the same with some extended pressure by CPD. The Warriors we’re able to open the scoring on a diving rebound by Matt Gran on Kevin Fuller’s wrist shot from the the high slot. The CPD was able to tie it up a short time later when they slipped one by Nate Johnson. The second ended in a 1-1 tie.

CPD was able to take the lead in the third on a wicked wrist shot that snuck past Kevin Finizio’s elbow, just inside the post. The play continued back and forth with the Warriors getting ample chances only to be stoned by CPD’s goalie. Matt Gran was able to fire a wrist shot past the CPD netminder with 2 seconds left in the third to tie it up. Gran, coming off the bench as the extra attacker, took a nice feed from Pete Manning, just keeping the pass in the zone and letting the shot fly. A nice screen by Kevin Sharwarko kept the goalie from ever seeing the shot.

The shootout ended 2-1 with Warriors’ goals by Chris Tran and Matt Gran. Solid work by Bill Coolbaugh the first period and the shootout preserved a hard fought victory.

Matt Gran earned the MVP honors with his 3 goal performance!

Before the Ice Hogs game, our players joined Ice Hogs players on the ice for the Hometown Hero recognition.

Our Assistant Coach, Dan Wigg had the prestigious honor of dropping the ceremonial first puck for the event.

It was a great day from start to finish. Even the car cleanup after the game! 

Our next event will be a Skate with the Blackhawks at Notre Dame Stadium on December 31st prior to the Winter Classic game.

Team Yetis vs. The Blackhawks Warriors

On Sunday, November 18th, the Blackhawks Warriors played host to The Yetis hockey team at the Franklin Park ice arena. The Yetis team is a men’s league team that plays out of the Leafs Center in Dundee.

The Warriors came out again with a quick goal by Anthony Baasch that was assisted by Kevin Sharwarko and Ryan Mussatto. This was followed later in the 1st period by a goal from Andrew Hawkins assisted by Chris Tran. The Yetis answered quickly to close the gap to 2-1 art the end of the first period.

The Warriors were able to stretch their lead in the second with some nice playmaking and passing. Second period goals came from Baasch, a power play goal, Mussatto and Mark Peifer. Peifer’s goal was his first ever as a Blackhawks Warrior player on a nice wrist shot that beat their goalie high to the glove side. Sharwarko added assists on both Warrior goals along with a helper from Brian Moore on Baasch’s goal. The Yetis were able to sneak one by Bill Coolbaugh to make it 5-2 going into the third. Bill made some great saves not only on the Yetis initial shot, but also on some close in rebounds. His net minding kept the Warriors in the game and allowed them to build their lead. Bill was named Warriors MVP for his performance.

Nate Johnson replaced Coolbaugh in goal for the third period and played just as tough as Coolbaugh, not giving up a goal on some prime chances for the Yetis. The Warriors capped the game scoring with goals by Chris Tran and a second from Andrew Hawkins. Justin Wigg added an assist on Chris’ goal.

After the game, our assistant coach Dan Wigg offered up pizza and refreshments for the players and their families to top off a competitive, but fun game and afternoon.

The Yetis team was so very generous as to donate approximately $2000. to the Blackhawks Warriors after the game. This money was donated by the players and some outside organizations that was a total shock to our organization.


Chicago Blackhawks Warriors Veterans Day Game

Derek Bugbee's MVP Award

The 100th anniversary of WWI Armistice and Veterans Day were celebrated at MB Financial Ice Arena on Sunday, November 11th with a spirited game against the Chicago Police Department. The pregame ceremony featured an JROTC Color Guard along with the Chicago Police Department Drum and Bagpipe band to honor our veterans.

The game got off to a quick start with the Warriors putting up 2 quick goals by Anthony Baasch and Bill Lipke in the first minute of play. Kevin Sharwarko and Justin Wigg assisted on Baasch’s goal while Andrew Hawkins and Chris Tran were the helpers on Lipke’s tally.

The first period didn’t end until the Warriors added three more goals with the CPD answering with three of their own. Warriors goals were scored by Andrew Hawkins (unassisted) while Anthony Baasch completed his first period hat trick. Baasch’s goals were assisted by Pete Manning, Dan Rayas, Chris Polcyn and Sharwarko for his second assist.

The second period started off just as fast for the Warriors with another Hawkins goal :55 seconds into the period. Assists went to Steve Roberts and Jeff Jucha. The Warriors added three more goals in the second to take a 9-4 lead to the third. Chris Tran tallied twice while Chris Polcyn added his first. Assists went to Kevin Sharwarko and Andrew Hawkins.

A fairly quiet third period saw one goal by each team for a final of 10-5 in favor of the Blackhawks Warriors. Andrew Hawkins had the third period goal to complete his hat trick.

The Warriors got a very solid performance in goal by Derek Bugbee who ended up snatching the team’s MVP award for the game. Derek was the first recipient of the new, handmade Warriors MVP tomahawk donated by captain Kevin Sharwarko!

A big thank you to the Chicago Police Department for a great game!

Chicago Blackhawks Military Recognition Night

November 8, 2018 was not only “Military Recognition Night” that the Chicago Blackhawks were celebrating at The United Center, it was also Chicago Blackhawks Warriors recognition night. The Blackhawks organization invited our 2018 Warrior Classic championship winning team to be their guests for this memorable evening. It was humbling for our players and staff to join in the recognition of 50 Vietnam war veterans as they were honored during the pregame ceremony. It was a proud moment for all fifty of these heroes as they stood on the ice during the singing of our National Anthem. Something they will never forget!

During the first period, our group was asked to stand as our team’s championship picture and live video feeds were displayed on the scoreboard as our achievement was announced to the crowd. I’m sure a very proud moment for all our guys!

Between the second and third periods, Alternate Captain Justin Wigg participated in the “Shoot the Puck” competition. Not to be outdone by either of the other two veterans shooting, Justin ripped and a wrist shot into the net on his third attempt scoring a $100. pay day! Unfortunately, none of the three were able to convert on their second opportunities to win an additional $500. Justin was appreciative of his winnings and shared it with the team by buying everyone in the suites and shot of water!!

The Hawks were unable to pull out the third period comeback we were all hoping for (especially Jeremy Colliton), but it was a great time had by all.

As always, we look forward to representing the Chicago Blackhawks organization at future events and thank them again for the tremendous support they give our hockey veterans!

Peoria Iron Sights

By Chicago Blackhawks Warriors 10/23/2018, 9:15am CDT

We were honored to host a new Veteran Hockey Team’s first game at our home rink in Mount Prospect against the Peoria Iron Sights on 10/20/2018. Both teams gave a valiant effort, but the Chicago Blackhawks Warriors came back to take the win 8-6 from a rough start and a 2-goal deficit. Peoria has a good team getting started and it was a blast spending a few hours of ice time with these gentlemen. Thanks for coming out and we look forward to your growth and future competition!

The game started out a bit shaky as Peoria Iron Sights put in a quick 2 goal lead on the Chicago Blackhawks Warriors. Chicago dusted off the cobwebs and brought their heads together to really work as a unit and efficiently cycle the puck in the corners, use the points to get the shot off and (hopefully) a quick rebound for a scoring opportunity. They did exactly that, and even then some. Chicago, both the team and individual lines, really “clicked” this game after a few minutes into the first period. The puck movement and passing game was “spot on” and really threw Peoria for a loop. After a good turnaround of momentum Chicago came back with a wicked line that turned opportunity into success. Centering the line was Hawkins who ended up racking in 6 assists, with Mussatto and Roberts on wing who each scored 2 goals. This line put in 3 goals in a single shift to help boost the Chicago bench morale!

In the end Chicago took the W 8-6. Everyone skated their hearts out and had a blast with a great group of guys that were kind enough to make the 2.5 hours trip to Chicago for a single game on a Saturday afternoon. A huge shout out to the Peoria Iron Sights for making the trip! It was a fantastic weekend to host Peoria’s first game ever as an organization. Can’t wait to see how this new team will grow and we look forward to the friendly, neighboring competition.

2018 Warrior Classic Champions

By Chicago Blackhawks Warriors 10/15/2018, 9:00am CDT

The Chicago Blackhawks Warriors came from behind to earn the Division B title by edging the Pittsburgh Penguins Warriors, 7-6. Read more about the tournament here.

Team Karen Foundation Benefit

By Chicago Blackhawks Warriors 07/09/2018, 1:00pm CDT

It’s a beautiful day to be alive and at Addison Ice Rink celebrating with the Team Karen Foundation!

Prior to the opening faceoff, the crowd witnessed a stirring rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner sung by our own Warrior player, Greg Scott. Great job, Greg! That was followed by the “Opening Puck Drop” which was done by Karen and Kenny Carlquist’s son, Carson. Nice job, Carson!

The Blackhawks Warriors faced off with the AWF Renegades in a fun hockey game for an even better cause. The game ended with the Renegades on top by a score of 8-5. Truly a game where the score didn’t matter. The fundraiser that followed was the main event.

With generous donations of raffle prizes, silent auction gifts and chuck-a-puck, we were able to raise a total of $4500.00 to kickoff the Team Karen Foundation fundraising. The Foundation will support and donate funds to families battling Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer.

The Blackhawks Warriors appreciate this and future opportunities to assist this great cause!

As Karen would say, “it’s a great day to be alive!”