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First-Year Youth Hockey Referee Seminar and Clinic

Saturday, September 30

The Minnesota Wild, in partnership with Minnesota Hockey, the Minnesota Hockey Officials Association and USA Hockey, are pleased to announce a First-Year Youth Hockey Referee Seminar and Clinic at the Minnesota Wild Executive Offices and Xcel Energy Center on Saturday, September 30, 2017. This first ever event will provide new officials with a taste of being a professional ice hockey official while completing the seminar requirement for their USA Hockey Level 1 certification. Participants will have the opportunity to skate at Xcel Energy Center, interact with National Hockey League officials and attend a Minnesota Wild preseason game.

Location: Minnesota Wild Executive Offices, 317 Washington Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Registration Fee: $30

The registration fee includes:

  • Access to clinic
  • Lunch
  • One ticket to the Dallas Stars vs. Minnesota Wild game at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday, September 30 at 7 p.m. A limited supply of additional tickets are available to attendees for purchase. Game tickets will be distributed upon completion of the clinic. For all additional tickets, please reference the confirmation email for purchase.

Participants must submit a 2017-18 USA Hockey membership number during the registration. For the complete list of USA Hockey officiating requirements, click here.

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.              Check-in / Registration
9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.            Welcome, introductions and local subjects
10:00 a.m. - 10:10 a.m.          Registration requirements
10:10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.          Equipment
10:30 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.          Personal appearance
10:40 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.          2 official system
11:10 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.          Break
11:20 a.m. - 11:35 a.m.          Off sides
11:35 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.          Icing
11:45 a.m. - 11:55 a.m.          Conducting face offs
11:55 a.m. - 12:05 p.m.          Injured players
12:05 p.m. - 12:15 p.m.          Awarding goals and assists
12:15 p.m. - 12:25 p.m.          Altercations
12:20 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.            Lunch in Riverside Room
1:00 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.              Face off locations
1:10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.              Calling penalties - signals
1:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.              SO video and discussion
1:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.              Depart for Xcel Energy Center
2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.              Group I on ice
3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.              Flood ice
3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.              Group II on ice
4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.              Depart for Riverside Room
4:30 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.              Q&A w/ NHL referees   
5:15 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.              Level I test
7:00 p.m.                                Dallas Stars vs. Minnesota Wild

*Schedule subject to change


 

Register

Youth Hockey Referee Spotlight

The Minnesota Wild Youth Hockey Referee Spotlight Program will honor one male and one female Minnesota youth hockey referee per month, November through March. Honorees will be selected by Minnesota Hockey Officials Association (MHOA). Each referee will receive two game tickets will be invited to meet the NHL referees before the game. 

March 2017 | Olivia Peterson, Mason Plante & William Brodersen
Name: William Brodersen
Hometown: Minnetonka, MN

Q: What is your age?
A: I am 16 years old.

Q: Did you play competitive hockey? If yes, what was the highest level of hockey that you played?
A: I currently play varsity hockey for Hopkins High School. 

Q: How many years have you been officiating? 
A: This is my second year of officiating.   

Q: What level(s) do you officiate most often?  
A: I usually work as a linesman in Bantam A, AA, and B1 games. I also referee games at the Peewee A/AA, U15A, and Bantam B1 levels. 

Q: Why did you become a referee?
A: I became a referee because of I love the game of hockey and I knew I would enjoy it. Also, I needed a job with flexible hours.

Q: What is your favorite memory as a referee?
A: My favorite memory was getting to officiate a game at Ridder Arena at the University of Minnesota, because that was a cool experience and a lot of fun.

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey parent?
A: Let your kid improve through his/her love of the game and desire to get better, not from pressuring them. 

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey coach? 
A: Winning is important, but there's a lot more to the game than just wins and losses, especially at younger levels. 

Name: Olivia Peterson
Hometown: Marshall, MN

Q: What is your age?
A: I am 16 years old.

Q: Did you play competitive hockey? If yes, what was the highest level of hockey that you played?
A: I have played competitive hockey for Marshall Amateur Hockey Association since I was 4 years old. I just completed my sophomore season playing for Marshall High School in Marshall, MN.

Q: How many years have you been officiating?
A: I have been officiating for four years.

Q: What level(s) do you officiate most often?
A: I usually officiate 10U and 12U girls or squirts and pewees.

Q: Why did you become a referee?
A: I became a referee because both my dad and sister officiate. I am also a three-sport athlete with very little time for a consistent working schedule, so being a referee is flexible and a good way for me to give back to the game I love.

Q: What is your favorite memory as a referee?
A: One of my favorite memories as a referee was when another girl and I were working a 10U girl's game. One of the coaches called us over and said to us, "It's really cool to see two ladies as referees for a girl's game. Thanks for all you do." It was nice to hear encouragement and compliments from a coach in appreciation for women referees. 

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey parent?
A: One thing I would like to tell a hockey parent is just because your kid falls doesn't mean it's a penalty.

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey coach?
A: Officiating is a difficult job and it's not always as easy as it looks.

Name: Mason Plante
Hometown: Marshall, MN

Q: What is your age?
A: I am 16 years old.

Q: Did you play competitive hockey? If yes, what was the highest level of hockey that you played?
A: I am a sophomore forward at Marshall Senior High School.

Q: How many years have you been officiating?
A: This is my fourth year officiating.

Q: What level(s) do you officiate most often?
A: I typically referee squirts and bantams.

Q: Why did you become a referee?
A: I became a referee to learn more about the game. Also, I'll take all the minutes on the ice that I can get.

Q: What is your favorite memory as a referee?
A: My first bantam game. It gets real then.

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey parent?
A: No matter how much you yell at me I will never change the call. Ever. I've never seen that happen. I don't think it ever will. I understand the emotion. However, it's just wasted energy. No referee is ever going to change his or her mind. And parents should set good examples for their kids.

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey coach?
A: If you respect me, I'll respect you.
 

February 2017 | Kaylee Druk & Ray Frucci
Name: Kaylee Druk
Hometown: Independence, Minnesota

Q: What is your age?
A: I am 21 years old. 

Q: Did you play competitive hockey? If yes, what was the highest level of hockey that you played?
A: I played high school hockey for Benilde-St. Margaret's. I played one year of Division I hockey at Syracuse University, but transferred to the University of St. Thomas which is where I play now.

Q: How many years have you been officiating?
A: This is my eighth season of officiating.
 
Q: What level(s) do you officiate most often?
A: A majority of my games are at the U15A level, but I also work some squirt/bantam games and U10-U12 games as well.

Q: Why did you become a referee?
A: I was encouraged by my older brother to become a referee like him. I also knew it would be a great job while I was still in school and playing hockey because it's extremely flexible.

Q: What is your favorite memory as a referee?
A: My favorite memory is a tie between striping my first Varsity game last season, or lining the U14A State Tournament at Maple Grove a few years back.

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey parent?
A: Enjoy watching your kids play youth hockey because it goes fast! Don't get angry when your kid has a bad game, or doesn't play as well as you think they should. Use the car ride home to be encouraging, and not critical.

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey coach?
A: Stay positive on the bench and don't yell at your kids (or the officials) - it's ineffective! Coaches have the capability to inspire and influence kids in ways that their parents can't. You plan an important role in shaping these youth as hockey players, but also as people.

Name: Ray Frucci
Hometown: Monticello, MN

Q: What is your age?
A: I am 22 years old.

Q: Did you play competitive hockey? If yes, what was the highest level of hockey that you played?
A: I played high school hockey at Monticello.

Q: How many years have you been officiating?
A: I have been a referee for nine years.

Q: What level(s) do you officiate most often?
A: I mainly worked squirts and peewees during my first year in District 10. I also worked bantams and upper level peewees while a student at UMD.

Q: Why did you become a referee?
A: I decided to become an official to earn some extra income. I knew that wherever I went to school I could easily ref in college. Now it's more of a hobby for me and I absolutely love it.

Q: What is your favorite memory as a referee?
A: It would have to be my very first D3 girl's game that I striped. It was my first college game and everything went very well. The coaches were happy with my officiating.

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey parent?
A: Get your kid to become a referee as soon as he can. It's a great way for him or her to make money and if he or she doesn't want to continue playing hockey then it's a great way for them to keep on their skates and be around the game. Plus, you set your own schedule so it's a very flexible job that allows your kid to still make time and have fun with friends.

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey coach?
A: Tell your players to look into becoming a referee. It's a great way for them to have a well-paying job in college and it teaches them more about the game as well as communication and management skills.

January 2017 | Valerie Ahola & Nick Fussy
Name: Valerie Ahola
Hometown: Bloomington, MN

 
Q: What is your age?
A: I am 30 years old. 

Q: Did you play competitive hockey? If yes, what was the highest level of hockey that you played?
A: I started playing hockey when I was 12 years old, and played high school varsity at Coon Rapids until my junior year. 

Q: How many years have you been officiating?
A: I've been officiating for 16 years.
 

Q: What level(s) do you officiate most often?
A: Currently, I'm officiating a variety of girls U10A/B & U12A, SB, SA and PC. In the past I've officiated from U10B-U14A girls, and SB-B1Btm. 

Q: Why did you become a referee?
A: My father, Mark Ahola, got me started when I was 16. It was a great way for us to bond and still is to this day. It was a great way for a high school student to play hockey and also bring in some extra money as I didn't have much free time for a part time job. Being an official is something that is a big part of me, and something I'm proud to be a part of. All thanks to my father. 

Q: What is your favorite memory as a referee?
A: I have many favorite memories and very memorable moments. If I had to choose one, it would be about when the head coach of a team I would officiate often caught me by surprise as he was very critical. After one game, he came up to me and shook my hand and said it was the best game I've officiated he had seen. This was a coach who I had for multiple years. Coming from him it meant a lot, as we didn't always see eye to eye. It made me feel proud not only for myself, but for female referees. I had earned the respect of the coach and his players. Being a positive influence on the game is an awesome experience and hope to inspire some young girls in the process to pursue officiating as I did. 

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey parent?
A: I would tell the parents that clean hockey is the best hockey. Help out the game and safety of all kids by explaining how dangerous penalties are. Help to prevent penalty calls. We are all here for the kids and to provide a positive experience for them. 

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey coach?
A: I would tell coaches that it's just a game, and to lead by example. I'm on the side of the safety of the kids. Clean hockey is the best kind of hockey. Let's all work together and have a great game! 

Name: Nick Fussy
Hometown: Shakopee, MN

Q: What is your age?
A: I am 16 years old. 

Q: Did you play competitive hockey? If yes, what was the highest level of hockey that you played?
A: Yes. I played up to Bantam B2.

Q: How many years have you been officiating?
A: This is my third year.

Q: What level(s) do you officiate most often?
A: Squirt B&C and U10 A&B

Q: Why did you become a referee?
A: I didn't exactly feel like playing high school hockey but I still wanted to skate and be a part of the game.

Q: What is your favorite memory as a referee?
A: During stoppages of play in some of my games, the goalies would start dancing and I found it hilarious.

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey parent?
A: Relax. We are there to moderate the game, and to make sure your kid stays safe.

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey coach?
A: At the lower levels, the officials can make almost the same amount of mistakes as the players. We do not want to have you breathing down our necks, so if you have a question, feel free to ask us during a stoppage of play.

December 2016 | Dominick Bouta & Courtney Smith
Name: Dominick Bouta
Hometown: Greenfield, MN

Q: What is your age?
A: 19

Q: Did you play competitive hockey? If yes, what was the highest level of hockey that you played?
A: I played Junior Gold A and won a national championship my senior year.
 
Q: How many years have you been officiating?
A: This is my fifth year.

Q: What level(s) do you officiate most often?
A: I do a wide range of games from squirt to bantams and I have some Junior Gold games coming up. 

Q: Why did you become a referee?
A: As a hockey player, I knew I liked to be on the ice. And to get paid while watching hockey sounded like a great idea. 

Q: What is your favorite memory as a referee?
A: My favorite moment would be doing some regional games last year. It's fun to see all the parents and coaches be so into the game.

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey parent?
A: That yelling at me from the stands about my call isn't going to change it. 

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey coach?
A: The kids are there to have fun and to play some hockey. 

Name: Courtney Smith
Hometown: Litchfield, MN

Q: What is your age?
A: 18
 
Q: Did you play competitive hockey? If yes, what was the highest level of hockey that you played?
A: Yes, I have played hockey for nine years and currently play as a center on varsity for Litchfield-Dassel-Cokato.
 
Q: How many years have you been officiating?
A: This is my third year.
 
Q: What level(s) do you officiate most often?
A: Squirt, Peewee, and 15U
 
Q: Why did you become a referee?
A: I became a referee to broaden my knowledge of the game of hockey, to watch younger players improve their skills, and to be able to stay involved in the game past my playing career.
 
Q: What is your favorite memory as a referee?
A: My favorite memory as a referee was when I got to be a linesman for a state qualifying game at a 15UA regional tournament last season. 
 
Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey parent?
A: Before you criticize a referee and yell at them from the stands, put yourself in their shoes and decipher whether you could handle the situation as well as the referees do. We perform a difficult job, let the kids play! 
 
Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey coach?
A: I would tell the coach about the same thing along the lines that I would tell a youth hockey parent. It's just a game, and winning isn't everything. Youth hockey is for players to learn basic skills and it is okay for mistakes to be made. They are bound to happen! If the players had fun and everyone goes home safe, the game was a success.

November 2016 | Brandon Taylor & Hailey Lachinski
Name: Brandon Taylor
Hometown: Blaine, MN

Q: How many years have you been officiating?
A: Nine years.
 
Q: What level do you officiate most?
A: Bantams, and high school during the off-season.
 
Q: Why did you become a referee?
A: At first it was because it was a great part-time job when I was younger. Now it is to pay for my college, let's me stay around the game I love, and keeps me fit. The people in the association are also fun to be around.
 
Q: What is your favorite memory?
A: During my first year of officiating I was a peewee in hockey, and I was asked to do a game at the last minute. I asked my dad what level and he just mentioned the pay. I go to the Super Rink to arrive to a game already in progress (yes, that late of a notice), and I get dressed to get on the ice. I get on the ice to notice that all the guys were bigger than me and it turned out I was officiating my first ever Bantam game... scariest officiating moment if you ask me. Also, it makes me laugh to think of this little kid going out to officiate guys older, bigger, and stronger than me.
 
Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey parent?
A: Pretty broad question, but I would tell them to try officiating a game before they think about getting mad about the officials.
 

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey coach?
A: Also a pretty broad question, but I would make sure that they know that youth hockey is meant for players to learn the system and better their skills.

 

Name: Hailey Lachinski
Hometown: Blaine, MN

Q: How many years have you been officiating?
A: One year.
 
Q: What level do you officiate most?
A: Squirt.
 
Q: Why did you become a referee?
A: To stay involved in the game and the hockey community.
 
Q: What is your favorite memory?
A: One of my favorite memories was seeing a kid score, and then seeing how excited he was when he told me it was his first-ever goal.
 
Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey parent?
A: Relax, it's just a game and they're just kids. Teach them to work hard and love them game. It's not all about winning.
 
Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey coach?
A: I would give the same advice to coaches that I give parents. It's not all about winning.

 

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