Rick Faron: ‘The man at Southwest Ice Arena’

Remembering Rick Faron, who was ‘the man at Southwest Ice Arena’

By Ross Forman

For Rick Faron, Southwest Ice Arena is south suburban Crestwood was, family. He worked at SIA from age 19 through his unexpected death last August 9, at 55, then serving as its general manager.

“Rick was the man at Southwest Ice Arena,” Frank DiCristina, SIA president. “He was always there; everyone knew Rick; everyone liked Rick. And Rick loved his job.”

Faron started playing hockey at age 11, including years for the St. Jude Knights, and then was a four-year varsity player at De La Salle High School and also at College of DuPage. He later was an assistant coach from 1991-1994 with Tom Kurzawski for St. Laurence High School, and then an assistant coach with St. Jude for both of his son’s teams. He also coached with Craig Ferguson and Harry Kohl from 1998-2006 at St. Rita.

Faron died of complications from kidney failure.

“Rick was my best friend,” said DiCristina who, as a freshman at St. Laurence, still recalls getting checked on his back my Faron, who was then a sophomore.

“I remember thinking (at the time), ‘I have three more years (playing) against this guy. Rick was a clean player, but an intimidating player.”

Faron also was a local referee for nine years.

His sons – Ricky, now 23; and Tony, now 20 – played for St Jude, the Chicago Fury and St. Rita.

“One of Rick’s proudest moments was when his boys won the Kennedy Cup for St Rita, and then went on to win the State Championship in 2012,” said their mom, Chrissy Faron – who was married to Rick for “27 wonderful years,” she said.

Ricky and Tony are still on-ice officials.  “Both sons are refs (and) they love it,” Chrissy said.

Chrissy, 53, lives in New Lenox and is a pediatric dental assistant for Treasured Smiles Dentistry.

The hockey community is getting together on Saturday, March 11, as A Night to Celebrate the Life of Rick Faron will be held, fittingly, at Redemption Bar (5505 W. 126th Street), above Southwest Ice Arena. The Blackhawks play the Boston Bruins that afternoon, so the Celebration starts at 11:30 a.m., thus attendees can watch the game.

There also will be a special Question & Answer session with Eddie Olczyk, plus raffles, drawings and more.

Admission is $125, which will support the Rick Faron Memorial Foundation. Some of the raffle prizes include autographed hockey sticks and more.

“It will be a fun, emotional day that I’m really looking forward to,” DiCristina said. “No doubt there will be plenty of stories from the past.”

Olczyk autographed 300 pucks with a logo for the event, which will be given away to attendees.

“The best medicine was hearing stories about Rick, so, having dinner one night with our closest friends Frank DiCristina, Phil Stevens, Lori L’ Heureux and Susan Lief, (they) came up with the idea for A Night to Celebrate the Life of Rick Faron,” said Chrissy Faron.

“Eddie is family to us; we have all been a part of each other’s lives forever.”

Chrissy Faron said the hockey community has extended unwavering support for her family since his passing. “They have been there for me and the boys. I don’t know what I would have done without the support and love from all of them,” she said.  “There is nothing like my hockey family. To this day, I could call any of the people who we have been involved with over the years and they are always there for (one another).”

**Photos courtesy of Chrissy Faron**

A Night to Celebrate the Life of Rick Faron

Rick was the father of two IHOA officials, Ricky and Anthony. He passed away suddenly in August.  As a tribute to Rick and his unwavering support to the officiating community, and hockey community in general, a benefit will take place at Southwest Ice Arena on March 11, 2018.

The day’s events will include an in depth Q&A with Eddie Olczyk; viewing the Chicago Blackhawks v. Bruins game (11:30 a.m.); Open Bar (3:30-5:30 p.m.); Buffet style dinner (4:00 p.m.); Q&A with Eddie (5:30 p.m.); Raffles throughout the day (raffles end at 6:45) and the Grand Prize Drawing at 7:15 p.m.  The Grand Prize raffle are four (4) level 200 tickets to the Blackhawks game on March 29 along with dinner at the Kettle One Club (courtesy of Eddie and the Blackhawks).  Come support the Faron family!

For more information and/or to purchase a ticket, please contact Lori L’Heureux (708-704-9837) or Susan Lief (708) 601-9916 and are also available at Southwest Ice Arena.

4 Illinois officials chosen to work IIHF events

Twenty-eight Americans Chosen to Officiate International Ice Hockey Federation Events During the 2017-18 Season; Includes Illinois’ Strong, Hiller, McCambridge & Hancock

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey announced today that 28 American officials have been selected to serve as referees or linesmen for International Ice Hockey Federation events in 2017-18, including seven that will officiate at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The list includes Illinois’ Sara Strong (Chicago)- Women’s World Championship Div. I Group A in Vaujany, France, Samantha Hiller (Des Plaines)- U18 Women’s World Championship Div. I Group A in Asiago, Italy, Ian McCambridge (Aurora)- Men’s World Championship Div. II Group A in Tilburg, Netherlands, and William Hancock II (Chicago)- Linesman @ World Jr Championship in Buffalo, New York.

“Congratulations to those officials selected to represent USA Hockey at international competitions,” said Matt Leaf, USA Hockey officiating program director. “This group has shown a commitment to mastering the craft of officiating over several years and will represent our country with pride and integrity.”

In addition to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, American officials will take part in multiple top-level IIHF World Championship events in 2017-2018, including the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2017-Jan. 5, 2018, in Buffalo, New York, the 2018 IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship Jan. 6-13, in Dmitrov, Russia, and the 2018 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship April 19-28, in Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk, Russia.

Eleven of the 28 Americans chosen to officiate during the upcoming season have previous experience working in top-level IIHF events, including three who officiated at the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Plymouth, Michigan, and one at the 2017 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Cologne, Germany and Paris, France. Eight Americans have received their first IIHF assignment this season.

For a full list of American officials and their assignments, please click here.

Remembering Bob Lilla (1931-2017)

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Bob Lilla, longtime Illinois official and member of the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame.  Bob was an officiating icon across the country and one of the pioneers who founded IHOA and mentored many in the officiating community.


Article: “Remembering Bob Lilla” by Ross Forman


ALL Officials: Waiver necessary for MB Arena

The Chicago Blackhawks are requiring all participants to the MB Arena (their new facility) to sign a waiver before the person is allowed to use the facility.

This includes officials.


Download the mandatory waiver here: MB Arena waiver

2017-21 Rule interpretations memo from USAH

In the past few weeks, a discussion regarding specific interpretations of the new rules has occurred. Through these discussions, various game situations were brought up and questions arose regarding the implementation of the new rules. These issues were brought to USA Hockey. USA Hockey issued a statement last night regarding these issues and the statement is immediately below.

Please review the statement and utilize its instructions when officiating games this year.

Michael Barrett
Illinois Referee in Chief & Supervisor of Officials


Ladies & Gentlemen,

Over the past few weeks, there have been some questions asked pertaining to some of the new rules. In an effort to answer those questions consistently and to provide our membership with the most current rules information we have assembled a FAQ memo.

QUESTION: If an attacking player in the attacking zone takes a shot and it is deflected, directed or tipped off of or by an attacking player and as a result the puck goes off of the goal post or cross bar and out of play where is the ensuing face-off?
ANSWER: The face-off shall be at one of the marked end zone face spots in that attacking zone.

QUESTION: If an attacking player in the Neutral Zone on his attacking side of the center red line takes a shot and it goes off of the goal post or cross bar and out of play where is the ensuing face-off?
ANSWER: The face-off shall be at one of the marked end zone face-off spots in that attacking zone.

QUESTION: If an attacking player in the Neutral Zone on his defending side of the center red line takes a shot and it goes off of the goal post or cross bar and out of play where is the ensuing face-off?
ANSWER: In this situation, there is a potential icing violation involved. If the puck, after striking the cross bar or goal post crosses the goal line by going out of the rink anywhere behind the goal line extended vertically then an icing infraction should be enforced. If the puck goes out of the rink without crossing the goal line then an end zone face-off in the attacking end zone should take place.

QUESTION: If an attacking player in the attacking zone attempts a pass and the puck strikes off the back of the goal frame and out of play, where should the face-off be located?
ANSWER: The face-off shall be located at the closest marked Neutral Zone face-off spot nearest to where the pass was originated.

QUESTION: The ‘Summary of Face-Off Locations’ (in Appendix II) identifies three (3) situations that call for a center ice face-off. Are there any other situations that may result in a center ice face-off?
ANSWER: Yes, with the new ‘9 Spot’ face-off location rule a center ice face-off may take place provided it is the nearest marked face-off location to a stoppage of play that requires a Neutral Zone face-off under the last play face-off rules.

QUESTION: Rule 615(c) states that “A match penalty (for all age classifications) shall be assessed to any player who deliberately removes his opponent’s helmet/facemask prior to or during an altercation” yet Situation 13 (page 251/Rule/Case Book) states it should be only a game misconduct at the Adult level. Which is correct?
ANSWER: The correct penalty to assess in this situation is a Match penalty at the Adult level.
Situation 13 in the Case Book was an oversight during the editing process and the reference to the Adult Age Classification exception should have been deleted.

QUESTION: Does the Rule 624(b.1) {Icing} apply to the Tier I 15 year old ONLY age classification?
ANSWER: Rule 624 (b.1) DOES apply to this age group. The 15 year old age classification can legally ice the puck when the team is shorthanded.