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Remembering Evan Lustig: Former Local Player, Respected Referee

By Ross Forman

Evan Lustig, who played youth hockey locally and then became a popular, respected referee, died July 29 peacefully in his sleep after a long battle with stage 4 large cell diffused lymphoma. He was 29.

Lustig, who grew up in Skokie and graduated from Niles West High School in 2004, skated through the Skokie Flyers program, often with his dad as one of his coaches. He officiated – from mites to high school to club-level college to adult leagues – for about 15 years, often working many games in a day, at multiple area rinks, quite often alongside fellow official and fellow Skokie native Matt Schwartz.

“He was one (who officiated) eight games a day, and certainly was very visible at the Skatium. In fact, if a game was being played in Skokie, (or) at Heartland (Ice Rink in Lincolnwood), or at Evanston, there was a very good chance that Evan was working the game,” said Steve Glickman, a Skokie native who is now the Hockey Director for the Skokie Amateur Hockey Association.

“It didn’t matter what level the game was, from mites on up, or the competitive level of the game, Evan gave it his all. He was highly likeable and very well respected as an official. He had a good feel for the game. He was a player’s official.”

Jack Raslawski, the former Referee-in-Chief (RIC) for the Illinois Hockey Officials Association (IHOA), supervised Lustig in games over the years, assigned him to work countless games, and shared on Facebook that “the hockey community lost a fellow brother,” with Lustig’s passing.

Raslawski said one of the first things he recalled about Lustig as an official was his simple willingness to work – and to work anywhere and everywhere, often with Schwartz. “They would go to the ends of the earth, just to work games,” Raslawski said. “He was that go-to guy (as an assigner) when a game wasn’t filled.

“Evan was a solid official; he was respected and there never was a problem with the games that he worked. He knew how to call the game; he had a good feel for the game.”

Steve Cohen assigned Lustig to work countless games for both Winnetka and Deerfield Falcons home games. He also officiated games with Lustig.

“Evan had such a good outlook and love for what he did,” Cohen said. “He had great skill and passion and was just a terrific referee.”

Off the ice, Lustig enjoyed playing poker – often with Schwartz. He also enjoyed bicycle riding and simply being outside.

“We used to bicker like an old, married couple.  He’d push my buttons, then I’d push his buttons, but then we’d agree to go somewhere together for dinner,” Schwartz said. “We always made up; we never had a fight last too long.”

Lustig had severe back pain for years, Schwartz recalled, but it wasn’t until January 2014 that he went to the hospital to be examined, diagnosed and, eventually, start treatment.

He ultimately went through 17 rounds of chemotherapy.

“His form of cancer was extremely aggressive and he will be so deeply missed,” Schwartz said. “We had a good time working together on the ice, and a lot of good times of the ice, too.

“Evan touched a lot of people in his life, and if there is anything I learned from him, it is, don’t sweat the small stuff and treat every day like it’s a gift.”


Sunday, August 2, at 10:00 a.m. at:
Chicago Jewish Funerals
Skokie Chapel
8851 Skokie Boulevard
Skokie, Illinois


At the home of Sheldon and Marsha Lustig
3125 Huntington Lane
Northbrook, Illinois 60062
Sunday, August 2, after the service until 8 p.m

Need Help Finding the Perfect Fall Program?

Attention Parents:  Looking for the perfect fall hockey program? Check out the “Affiliate Club Hockey Program” tab located on the top navigation bar of website. Simply mouse over the tab and select from the drop-down menu. We currently have fall programs listed for Adults, Girls, Tier II, Tier III, High School and Learn-to-Skate programs.

Attention Club Presidents & Hockey Directors: AHAI can help promote your fall program! In order to better help our Tier I, Tier II, Tier III, Girls, High School and Adult Clubs, as well as our Learn-to-Skate programs promote their fall hockey programs, AHAI has created a new tab on the website: “Affiliate Club Hockey Programs”. When AHAI families mouse over this tab they will be able to choose a program(s) to view. With nearly 70,000 people visiting on a monthly basis, this is a great opportunity to promote your hockey programs. This tab will be promoted to our membership via AHAI’s e-newsletter, SNAPSHOT,, Facebook and Twitter. The Affiliate Club Hockey Program Tab will take the place of direct zip code emails to our members through the AHAI Registrar, Laura Johnson.

If you would like your club’s information included on the Affiliate Club Hockey Program Tab, email your program flyer (PDF format please) to Gretchen Cockey, AHAI Communication Manager at

The Application Process for Tier II 2 Choice Substitutions is NOW OPEN.

Tier II Choice Substitution: Examples & Information Regarding Application Process  

Situations That May Lead to the Rare Substitute Choice 

EXAMPLE:  If neither Member Association the player has played for has a Tier II team at that player’s age level, the player will receive a substitute choice based on the approval of AHAI.  AHAI will grant a substitute choice that makes sense geographically (travel distance from home to practice).  A player will NOT be given an “open choice”; the exemption is a substitution requiring approval.

EXAMPLE:  A player leaves their 1st Member Association and goes to a second. They encounter a problem at the new club that invokes a Rules & Ethics investigation with a finding that the Member Organization did not deal fairly with the player.  As long as the 1st club they played for has a viable Tier II team at the appropriate age level, the player must try out for that club if they desire to play Tier II.  If they are then cut (from ALL the teams in that age division), then they may apply for a substitution.  AHAI will determine if the substitution request is within geographic guidelines as associated with “community based” hockey.

NOTE:  A change of residence which significantly impacts the distance a player needs to travel to their closest viable choice (after the relocation) MAY be considered.

Applications for Choice Substitutions Close October 5, 2015
Click HERE to Apply

Still Have Questions?  Contact:
Gregg Chudacoff
AHAI Tier II Chairman

AHAI/USA Hockey Announce 2015-15 CEP Clinic Schedule!

The Amateur Hockey Association Illinois, Inc (AHAI) announced the Coaching Education Program (CEP) Clinic Schedule for the upcoming 2015-2016 season. 

All coaches are required to be certified at the appropriate level for the upcoming season.

All 2015-16 AHAI/USA Hockey CEP Clinics are now open for registration ONLY on the USA Hockey website at

19th Annual AHAI Foundation Golf Outing

Join Us For A Fun Filled Day!

The 19th Annual AHAI Foundation Golf Outing will be held at the Hilton Chicago Indian Lakes Resort, Friday, August 14, 2015. The Hilton Chicago Indian Lakes Resort is located in the beautiful Village of Bloomingdale, just 15 minutes west of O’Hare Airport on Schick Road.

Our tournament will feature several contest holes, such as “Longest Drive”, “Shortest Drive” & “Closest To The Pin”, etc. In addition, there will be plenty of other fun filled events during the day. Barbecue Lunch will be provided to every golfer while on the course.

Tee Off time is 12:00 p.m. — Shotgun Start. All golfers will receive the “Traditional Goody Bags”. Beverage Stations will be available for your refreshment throughout the course. The Bar begins at 4:30 p.m. with dinner being served at 5:30 p.m. followed by an Auction, Presentation of Awards, Raffle Drawing and many wonderful Door Prizes.

The purpose of this event is twofold. First, it creates an opportunity for coaches, referees, administrators, parents and supporters of amateur hockey in Illinois to come together for a day of fun and relaxation to kick off the beginning of the new season.

Secondly, and most importantly, the revenues generated from this event will be donated each season to specific charities as established annually by the AHAI Foundation. This year, the recipients are the Special Hockey Programs, Diversity Hockey Program for underprivileged kids, the Hearing Impaired Hockey Program, the youth sled hockey team called the Hornets, the IHOA Memorial Fund and the Catastrophic Relief Fund for players who have been catastrophically injured playing the sport we all love.

We hope your club/association will send a minimum representative delegation of at least four golfers to this fun filled event. This year we invite you to bring your son and/or daughter out on the course with you. A special fee has been arranged for all Junior golfers including college students. (Course rules mandate drivers of golf carts be 18 years of age or older).

Please contact Don Allord, Chairperson of the Golf Outing listed below as soon as possible as the reservations will be on a first-come, first serve basis.

Your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.

Don Allord

Foundation Golf Chairperson

Phone: 630-464-5910

Girls, did you know that officiating is a great way to improve your skills as a hockey player? Officiating improves your rule knowledge, overall awareness of the game, skating ability AND allows you to make money while doing what you LOVE! IHOA is pleased to announce that they will be hosting two All Girls Seminars this summer. Click HERE for more information. Questions? Contact Erin Blair or Nicole Davis at!

IHOA Seminars

The Illinois Hockey Officials’ Association (IHOA) is pleased to announce the release of its officiating seminars for the coming season. All USA Hockey/AHAI officials are required to attend a seminar each season and in Illinois all seminars are conducted by IHOA and its certified instructors.

The dates and locations are attached below. In order to attend a seminar, all officials must have attained 14 years of age before December 31, 2015.

The registration period commences August 3, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. Please head to on August 3, 2015  to select the seminar of your choice. Please note that seminars fill quickly and it is a first come first served registration process. All officials must be completely registered by November 30, 2015.

We look forward to seeing everyone during seminar season!!!

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