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Youth Hockey Referee Spotlight

The Minnesota Wild, in partnership with Minnesota Hockey and the Positive Coaching Alliance, will honor one male and one female youth hockey referee per month, October through March, as part of the Youth Hockey Referee Spotlight Program. 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 2018 | Trent Sundem & Anna Muccio
Name: Trent Sundem
Hometown: Lakeville, 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! The highest level I played was Junior Gold B.
 
Q: How many years have you been officiating?
A: I've been officiating for 5 years.
 
Q: What level(s) do you officiate most often?
A: The level I officiate most is Squirt and PeeWee.
 
Q: Why did you become a referee?
A: The reason I became a referee was because I wanted a job that was fun, and allowed me to learn the rules and play hockey.
 
Q: What is your favorite memory as a referee?
A: My favorite memory as a referee was receiving an email from District 8 head referee which provided positive feedback from a game.
 
Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey parent? 
A: To enjoy watching the game and we as refs do the best we can.

 
Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey coach? 
A: When youth referees are yelled at by coaches it's intimidating and discourages kids from learning/wanting to become a referee.

Name: Anna Muccio
Hometown: St. Paul, MN

Q: What is your age?
A: 20
 
Q: Did you play competitive hockey? If yes, what was the highest level of hockey that you played?
A: I played rec-league hockey for Edgcumbe Youth Hockey (mite through bantams), and then I played for the Minnesota Recreation Youth Hockey League through 18U.
 
Q: How many years have you been officiating?
A: This will be my third year officiating.
 
Q: What level(s) do you officiate most often?
A: Mostly squirts/peewees or 14/16U.
 
Q: Why did you become a referee?
A: I became a referee because I love hockey, and I felt it was time to start giving back to the sport and the community that shaped such a big part of who I am today.
 
Q: What is your favorite memory as a referee?
A: My favorite memory as a referee was when: I was officiating a squirt game and there was a scramble in front of the net, and I blew the play dead because I thought the goalie had covered it. After I blew the whistle, the puck re-surfaced and it turned out the goalie had not had control or possession of the puck. I threw my hands up and apologized to the kids and told them I thought the puck had been frozen, just to let them know what was going on. Then, as we were lining up for the face off, one of the players looked up to me and said, "It's okay, everybody makes mistakes."
 
Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey parent?
A: I would like to tell youth hockey parents that officials understand the importance of safety out on the ice. Hockey is a rough sport by nature, and the rules of the game were written with the best interest of the players' safety and the integrity of the game in mind. Officials always err on the side of caution when it comes to potential threat to injury and strive to control the mood and flow of the game. However, as a contact sport, please understand that just because a player falls in relation to another player, it doesn't mean that there should be a call. Officials do make mistakes, but they do also know the details of the rules and what does and does not constitute as a penalty.
 
Q: What is one thing you would like to tell a youth hockey coach?
A: I would like to tell youth hockey coaches to remember that they are the primary role model and leader for their players in all aspects of the game. Namely, these kids are watching how their coach reacts to calls made by the officials, as well as how their coach talks to and deals with the officials (just as the players will also watch how the officials interact with their coaches). Overall, it is important to set a respectful example when interacting with the officials because how a coach treats or deals with an official is going to stick in the minds of his/her players. If the players see that their coach is bad-mouthing the referee, they might also think it's okay to do the same. Early negative attitudes formed towards referees make us seem like the bad guys out the ice, when we are there to simply enforce the rules of the game.

 

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