The mission of Vipers Hockey is dedicated to the athletic development, personal growth and sportsmanship of youth hockey players within the Northern Lake County, Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin area. We encourage the development of our players individually as hockey players but just as important, as teammates, teaching them valuable lessons that can be applied long after they leave the rink – leadership, commitment, good sportsmanship, self discipline, personal growth, hard work, team work and outstanding character. We support this development in all of players, regardless of playing ability.
Most of all, we promote the fun of hockey and love of the game, not just in our players but with our hockey families. This is achieved through our in season activities for each of our teams, both on and off the ice, and through our various hockey programs open to participation for all players, of all ages and experience.
We are members of and conduct the organization in accordance with the USA Hockey, Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois (AHAI), Northern Illinois Hockey League (NIHL), Northwest Hockey League (NWHL) and North Shore Youth Hockey League (NSYHL).
History Of the Organization
The Lake County Youth Ice Hockey Association (known as the Atoms) was formed in 1984 with the idea of providing youth hockey close to home for the northern most communities in Illinois. The club originally played out of the Zion Park District Ice Arena and were known as the Zion Atoms, in honor of the ComEd nuclear power facility in the area. The guiding principles of the organization have always been fun, development and providing a cost effective playing opportunity for its hockey players.
From 1998 until 2003, the Lake County Sports and Fitness Center in Waukegan served as it's home.
In 2003, Rink Side Ice Arena became the new and most recent home to the Lake County Youth Ice Hockey Association. During this time the organization has continued to have success while fielding championship teams in both the CSDHL and NIHL.
The Lake County Youth Ice Hockey Association has always looked for the best ways to successfully grow while maintaining the history of the organization and celebrating where we came from. Given the current competitive environment, a closer, more seamless alignment of the youth hockey organizations skating out of Rink Side & Pleasant Prairie has become crucial to future success. It is also necessary to maintain the original concept of providing a youth hockey experience close to home.