New Season, New Home
By Chicago Cougars Staff Anne Tokarski - June 1, 2021
CHICAGO, IL —The USPHL’s Chicago Cougars are proud to announce that, starting in the 2021-22 season, the team will be moving all on-ice activities, including games and practices, to Fifth Third Arena, the official practice rink of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.
From the moment they enter the arena, the Cougars will feel at home and like professionals in this state-of-the-art facility on the west side of Chicago. Between the amenities of the lobby to the perks of an official, designated locker room with individual stalls for each player, the Cougars are sure to reap all of the benefits Fifth Third Arena has to offer. In addition, the team will take the ice for practice right after the Chicago Blackhawks, and will be able to take advantage of a full shooting range with synthetic ice as they work to improve their on-ice performance. Fifth Third Arena has everything the Cougars need to push themselves to be better and to reach their goals.
“The facilities at Fifth Third Arena are second to none. If they are good enough for the pros, they will be unbelievable for us. The Cougars will have some of the best amenities in junior hockey this season,” says Cougars assistant coach Johnny Schwarz. “The work out space is unbelievable and the shooting lanes are the exact lanes the Blackhawks use. The players will get the closest experience to being a [professional] that junior hockey has to offer.”
In addition to on-ice activities, the team is proud to partner with Paul Goodman of Goodman Elite Training. Goodman has twenty-seven years of experience training elite hockey players at the NCAA D-I and NHL level, and has won three Stanley Cups during his tenure as the Chicago Blackhawks’ head strength and conditioning coach. The Cougars players and staff will be able to benefit immensely from his knowledge and expertise, and look forward to working with Goodman and the rest of his staff during the upcoming USPHL season.
“The Goodman Elite Training Staff and I are excited for the opportunity to work with an organization regarded so highly as [the] Chicago Cougars and train such an outstanding group of athletes,” says Goodman.
Jonathan Toews, captain of the Chicago Blackhawks and one of the athletes Goodman has helped train over the course of his career, adds, “Not only does [Paul Goodman] help transform your body, but he also helps you improve your mental, emotional, and spiritual approach to the game.”
“We couldn't be more excited to work with Paul and Susan Goodman and the Goodman Elite training staff. They will be so instrumental in the development and success with our players off the ice. Paul is a phenomenal trainer and person who truly cares about the people he trains,” said Cougars Head Coach Josh Dallmann.
In addition to the partnership with Fifth Third Arena and Goodman Elite Training, the Cougars are excited to announce the addition of Joe Caprio to the team’s coaching staff. Caprio, Fifth Third Arena’s youth hockey supervisor and an assistant coach in the Chicago Mission organization, looks forward to joining the team next season and making a lasting impact on and off the ice.
“I am very excited to join the Cougars and help continue to build a winning program. I look forward to helping build the skillsets of our players and help them advance their playing careers into college,” says Caprio, adding that the aforementioned partnerships between the Cougars, Fifth Third Arena, and Goodman Elite Training will “give the players the best chance to succeed on and off the ice.”
Tryouts for the Cougars’ 2021-22 roster are set to begin July 17th, and will be held at Fifth Third Arena.
About the Chicago Cougars:
The Chicago Cougars are a Tier-III junior hockey team competing the USPHL, the largest junior hockey league in the United States. Since the team’s conception, the Cougars have won three straight Midwest East division titles, and have made appearances at USPHL Nationals for four consecutive years. The Cougars are comprised of both local and out-of-town players aged 16-20, who work together toward their individual and collective goals on the ice, in the classroom, and throughout the Chicago community.
About The USPHL
The United States Premier Hockey League of 2022-23 is the nation’s largest junior amateur ice hockey league and the only league to span the continental United States, from Maine to California, and from Florida to Washington State.
The USPHL includes over 100 organizations comprised of 11,000 players spanning the ages of 6 through 20, including Youth and Midget Division teams in the Tier 1 Hockey Federation.
Overall, across all its divisions, the USPHL see more than 3,100 alumni playing college hockey each year and more than 250 playing pro hockey, including in the NHL.
The league’s top level, the Tuition Free Tier II National Collegiate Development Conference, led all North American Tier II leagues with three players selected in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft and has seen more than 200 NCAA Division I commitments since its 2017 inception. The NCDC will also expand to include the NCDC West, with teams in Colorado, Utah and Idaho for 2023-24.
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