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It's a New Game: Hockey Canada Implements New Standard of Play

Alan Adams
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HCW.001.06
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November 06, 2006

This change is for the better.

Hockey Canada is rewarding the skilled player with a new standard of play and rule emphasis for all levels of hockey in 2006-07. The rule emphasis, adopted at Hockey Canada’s 2006 annual general meeting in St. John’s, NL, will see stricter enforcement of hooking, holding, tripping, interference, slashing and cross-checking fouls.

The aim is to enhance the flow of the game and, in turn, make the game a much better product for players, parents and fans.

“There was a growing concern that the game was starting to move into a defensive game and offensively gifted players could not display their skills,” says Johnny Misley, executive vice-president of Hockey Canada.

Not anymore.

“The new rule emphasis will increase the speed and the flow of the game eventually, once we get through some of the roadblocks, and we need the support and patience of everyone involved in the game,” says Hockey P.E.I. executive director Rob Newson about the decision to highlight skill and speed.

In addition, more emphasis is also being placed on shared respect and curbing dangerous infractions like checking from behind and hitting to the head.

Hockey Canada has developed a DVD resource explaining all the fouls and how the referee will view the infractions, and 20,000 copies of the DVD were distributed to the provincial associations, who in turn made them available at the local level.

Hockey Canada’s Web site has an entire section devoted to the rule emphasis. It contains 30-second clips from the DVD that explain the new emphasis and how the rules have been interpreted – a great tool for coaches, officials, players and parents.

That’s not to say there won’t be growing pains, and coaches and parents will have to be patient through the process.

“It is not going to happen overnight. It is going to take a few years to permeate through the system,” says Misley. “It is not like the NHL where there are only 30 general managers and 30 coaches. People will have to be patient and work through it for the benefit of the sport. But how can you argue against structuring a standard of play that allows you to exhibit skills?”

Paul Maurice, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is preaching patience.

“The refereeing at the National Hockey League level is far superior and as you go down, the referees are learning too,” says Maurice. “So it is a bit of a frustrating proposition for parents, for players, for coaches and for the referees to have this new way of calling the game.

“But if it takes three or four years, who cares? It is a better game and it is the way it should be played, with your sticks on the ice and maybe more than anything else for kids, it allows the spectrum of players – big guys, small guys, fast guys – to enjoy the game. The fact that clutching and grabbing is not a factor in game of 12-year-olds is a good thing.”

There is no doubt that the NHL’s decision to call the rule book like it should be called will help Hockey Canada’s efforts.

“The NHL brought it to a real focus because of the success they had last year,” says Misley. “It showed that the best players in the world could play the game the way the game was meant to be played.”

Another plus about the new standard is that it is easy for parents and local minor hockey associations to get proactive in the process. All it takes is a) assembling the information on the new rule emphasis; b) understanding what the new standards are; c) communicating that information to the players, coaches and referees; and d) monitoring how things are going and staying patient.

Coaches, players and parents have bought into the change with great enthusiasm.

“The flow should be good,” says Dan Poliziani, who coaches minor bantam AA and bantam AAA in Burlington, ON. “I think there will be some growing pains with it until the boys figure out what they can get away with and what they cannot. It will require an emphasis on skating and thinking more so than when games were skewed toward defense. The game has always been skewed toward defense and now they have opened up the game so it will be a faster game and players will have to allow people to skate and skate themselves.”

Peter Duval, who coaches at the midget level in the Greater Metropolitan Hockey League, says the new emphasis made him alter his practices and he’s used a soccer analogy to get his point across.

“I blow the whistle, stopped them and told them they can’t do that. They have to keep their sticks a lot lower than last year. I have a rule now that if their hands come off the stick it is yellow and if you touch a guy is it red and you are called,” says Duval.

As hockey heads down a new path, people in the game are excited about the direction it is headed in and they should be.

Hockey Canada hasn’t invented a new wheel. They’ve just tinkered with the old model to make it run smoother.

“I think it’s great they are teaching it at the grassroots level. I think it is great for the game. It has been great for the National Hockey League game and it will be great for minor hockey,” says Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza.

Well said.

Kaylee Grant instructs a group of young girls on the ice at the One For All event in Yellowknife.

Making an impact in the North

A game-changer in women’s hockey, Kaylee Grant tirelessly gives her time across the territories, volunteering to ensure opportunities exist for women and girls

Katie Brickman
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April 14, 2024

The first thing Kaylee Grant did when she moved to Yellowknife was find a hockey team.

The operating engineer took a one-year term to gain experience in her industry. Twelve years later, she’s still in the Northwest Territories and hockey has been a reason why she calls it home.

“You gravitate to what you know, and I knew sports,” Grant says. “When you join a sport, you instantly have 17 friends and a group where you feel accepted through a common goal and interest. When I moved to the North, I didn’t know how else to meet friends, so I went to the rink right away.”

Grant grew up around the rink in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The community was also a hockey hotbed, supporting its Junior A, Junior B and university teams. Being around that passion and community made hockey an important part of her life.

“Playing hockey is what we did,” Grant says. “The community rallied behind our teams and the rinks were full, the atmosphere was great, and hockey was so prominent.”

She played minor hockey in Nova Scotia before moving to Newfoundland and Labrador to play at Memorial University. At 23 years old, she made the move to Yellowknife and knew she would find her community inside a rink.

“I find that the easiest thing to do when you come to a new place to meet people is through sport,” she says. “With joining a hockey team, I was already creating a group of people that were like-minded in interests and similar age. Plus, there are so many opportunities in the North to grow as coaches, players and mentors that have been so helpful.”

Grant’s love for the game wasn’t just as a player—she expanded her knowledge by getting into coaching while in Nova Scotia. She started as an off-ice coordinator with the Antigonish Bulldogs women’s under-18 team.

Kaylee Grant smiles as she skates with a young player on the ice.

She did her Coach Development 1 training before getting her High Performance 1 training and evaluation certification. She continued to pursue additional coaching certification and training over the years to educate herself and give back to her community.

“I think seeing the female game continuously grow and develop that keeps me interested,” Grant says. “I love to see the progress in my players. I love seeing these players grow and adapt as individuals. Seeing them get involved in coaching is the coolest part.”

Her coaching philosophy is to develop a player’s passion for the game, be a role model and create an environment that is positive for women and girls.

Coaching and mentoring young girls are important to Grant, and she saw that path was through high-level opportunities, particularly by becoming a facilitator to drive more players into the coaching route. She has been working with Hockey North and the Hockey Canada Women Master Coach Developer program, which is focused on removing barriers to coaching education for women.

“Kaylee has volunteered at pretty much every level and she’s getting more involved with training coaches and being a clinician, which is an amazing progression for her,” says Kyle Kugler, executive director of Hockey North and a close friend of Grant. “She’s a great ambassador for hockey by giving back to other coaches through her experiences and helping with their development.”

Through being a volunteer coach, Grant has been able to experience some highlights with her teams, including as head coach for the Arctic Winter Games and Canada Winter Games, and as an assistant coach for Team North at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championship.

“Hockey North has given me so many opportunities and having that support has impacted me as a coach,” Grant says. “I enjoyed every year with those territorial teams and those experiences are a very big reason why I stay here – the coaching opportunities and knowing that we continually have room to grow.”

Another event that Grant was a key volunteer for was the inaugural One For All festival held in Yellowknife in February. It was a four-day event for women and girls from across the N.W.T. and Nunavut that included goaltending clinics, on-ice scrimmages and other off-ice experiences. The event was launched in partnership with Hockey Canada and Hockey North to celebrate the sport and grow grassroots hockey in the North.

“Kaylee is one of our co-leads in the North, and when we set out to deliver this programming in Yellowknife, it was a no-brainer that she would be involved. And typical Kaylee, she just runs with a task and completely owns it,” says Katie Greenway, manager of women’s and girls’ hockey with Hockey Canada. “To have champions like Kaylee that dedicate themselves to their community and sport is so important.”

Giving back through coaching is just what Grant does—it’s like a hobby for her and she does it for others and to see more women in the sport, not for what it could bring to her.

“I’ve known Kaylee for a few years now and she has so much on her plate, but she never says no,” Greenway says. “She doesn’t do it for the accolades, but out of the goodness of her heart with a smile on her face. She’s fantastic and is really impacting everyone that she comes across.”

Grant’s impact on hockey in the North has been felt by many of the girls she has coached, mentored and played with over the past 12 years, but it’s the bigger picture that is most important to her.

“I’m not going to say that myself, individually, has drastically impacted female hockey in the North. I think I am a very small portion of what’s been going on in the North in the last 10 years,” Grant says. “I would like to think that I have helped develop more female coaches and I’ve been a good role model. I think if I have impacted hockey in the North, its pushing players to want to coach a little bit, but it’s a collective—everyone has left their mark on the female game.”

For Kugler, as the lone administrator for Hockey North, having volunteers like Kaylee is so critical to the work and development of hockey players.

“I think volunteers are essential for the delivery of anything in small communities in the North,” he says. “[Kaylee] takes on more than we even realize. Coaches have a huge influence on teams and athletes and she’s a positive role model and advocate for female hockey. She’s selfless with her time and she’s just an awesome person.”

Interested in becoming a coach? Visit HockeyCanada.ca/Coaching, or contact your local hockey association or Hockey Canada Member for more information.

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Clarke continues to climb the ranks

From small-town Drake to the Olympic Winter Games, Alex Clarke has broken barriers and inspired young officials on what has been a unique hockey journey

Jonathan Yue
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April 08, 2024

If it wasn’t for a disgruntled cow, Alex Clarke might not have become one of the best and most respected officials in the world.

It was the spring of 2015 and Clarke (then going by her maiden name, Alex Blair) had just been drafted 53rd overall by the Calgary Inferno of the now-defunct Canadian Women’s Hockey League when was she kicked by a cow on her family farm, resulting in a lingering knee injury.

"I wasn't able to properly train throughout the summer. So, the decision was kind of made for me not to go to [Inferno training] camp and try out that fall,” recalls Clarke, who played three seasons with the Weyburn Gold Wings of the Saskatchewan Female U18 AAA Hockey League (SFU18AAAHL) before playing NCAA Division III hockey at the College of St. Scholastica in Minnesota.

But when the door on Clarke's playing career closed, another opened.

"I knew I wanted to stay involved in hockey," she recalls. "I had previously thought that maybe coaching was a good avenue for me, but at the time I was 22 years old and my personality just doesn't fit well with standing on a bench and being tied to a team schedule. So, I ended up pursuing officiating instead."

Since then, Clarke has skyrocketed through the officiating ranks. A native of Drake, Saskatchewan (population 197), she has worked in her home province in the SFU18AAAHL and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), nationally at the Esso Cup and internationally at the IIHF Women's World Championship.

In 2021 she became the first woman to officiate in the Western Hockey League (she also was the first woman to work a WHL game as a referee earlier this season) and on Dec. 5, 2021 she became the first woman to work a game in the American Hockey League.

“My love for the game is what inspires me to get out there,” Clarke says about being an official. “It's a place where I get to go and forget about everything else that’s going on. I get to have fun. I get to be with friends.

“Since I've had success, and I've been a little bit more recognized, it means a lot more to me to go out there and know that I'm somebody that people see as a trailblazer as the only female in certain leagues.”

The past few years in particular have been quiet the ride for Clarke, who reached the pinnacle of international hockey when she worked as a linesperson at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, and earlier this year she began calling games in the new Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL). Most recently, she officiated the PWHL 3-on-3 Showcase during the NHL All-Star Weekend in Toronto.

“It’s felt natural,” Clarke says of her progression as an official. “Aside from the 2021-22 season where I jumped around lot of leagues at the same time, its very similar to being a player. Being scouted [and] evaluated, and when I was ready to be put into the next level, I was ready and determined to be capable. I’ve had a lot of good experiences and never felt like I was over my head.”

Inspiring the next generation

While her pathway to becoming an official was a certainly unique, Clarke says she wouldn’t have chosen any other scenario.

“[When I was looking into getting into officiating,]Hockey Saskatchewan was really good,” Clarke recalls. “They welcomed me with open arms. After knowing my hockey background, they invited me to a referee camp and when I arrived, they were so welcoming and immediately felt like part of the family.”

As an official, Clarke hopes to show that there are many pathways to being involved in hockey and she hopes to have the opportunity to mentor more young officials.

“Anybody that’s looking to get into officiating, I would say go into it with open eyes and an open perspective,” Clarke says. “I went in for the love of the game and the desire to improve and take feedback, and it’s probably going to take you places that you probably didn’t expect.”

With the growth of women’s hockey over the last few years, Clarke has realized the importance of being a role model on the ice, even as an official. Clarke believes the added spotlight on women’s hockey thanks to the PWHL is making a huge difference.

“I have a four-and-a-half-year-old daughter, and she’s really starting to be impressionable,” says Clarke, who also has a young son. “This season, I brought the family with me to the NHL All-Star Game, and to see her reaction and having her talk about Natalie Spooner and Sarah Nurse, she wants to be around hockey. She has so much more interest and investment in it because she’s seeing other women as great examples.

“I think it just resonates with a lot of people and little girls and boys are now able to see women and moms and full-grown adults out on the ice and in the arenas, you just get a sense of equality for everybody to achieve those goals.”



As more and more leagues, such as the AHL, include women officials, Clarke hopes to continue the push for women to take the next step. With her experience at NHL All-Star Weekend, Clarke believes we could be seeing women referees in NHL games soon.

“Getting a female into the NHL, it may be two years away, it may be 10 years away, but if I can help play a role in getting a female there, whether that’s me or somebody I can mentor and develop and inspire to take that next step, I think that’s helping progress female officials as a whole, I’m looking to have an impact on the next generation.”

Aside from that, Clarke’s long-term goal is to be at the 2026 Olympic Games in Milan, Italy. But for now, her eyes are set on the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championships in Utica, New York.

“I want to earn a spot to be in the gold medal game,” Clarke says. “We as officials are competing out there and we want to earn that gold medal spot too. Ultimately, I want to have fun and better myself and the people around me.”

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Officials selected for 2024 U SPORTS championships

Hockey Canada names 26 officials for men’s and women’s national championships

Dan Hanoomansingh
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March 12, 2024

Twenty-six officials – 13 referees and 13 linespersons – have been selected by Hockey Canada for the U SPORTS championship tournaments.

The tournaments will run concurrently from March 14-17, with the men’s University Cup taking place in Toronto and the Women’s Hockey Championship taking place in Saskatoon.

The 2024 championships will feature a veteran crew in stripes, with a wealth of experience at the domestic and international levels. The roster for the men’s tournament is headlined by referee Mark Pearce (North Vancouver, BC) who refereed the gold medal games at the 2022 U Cup and 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship. The roster for the women’s championship led by Olympic officials Alexandra Clarke (Drake, SK), Stéphanie Gagnon (Princeville, QC) and Cianna Lieffers (Cudworth, SK).

“Hockey Canada would like to congratulate all the officials on their selection to the USPORTS championships,” said Dan Hanoomansingh, manager of officiating with Hockey Canada. “Our university championships provide top-tier amateur competition, in a challenging, single-elimination tournament. These officials are at the top of the amateur game and continued to hone their craft throughout the season to be ready for this event.”

Name Member Role
Men's University Cup (Toronto, ON)
Nick Albinati BC Hockey Linesperson
Nick Arcan Ontario Hockey Federation Linesperson
Birkhoff Birkhoff Ontario Hockey Federation Linesperson
Josh DeYoung Hockey Nova Scotia Referee
Danny Emerson Ontario Hockey Federation Referee
Maxime Ferland Hockey Québec Linesperson
Jesse Gour Hockey Québec Referee
Troy Murray Hockey Saskatchewan Referee
Mark Pearce BC Hockey Referee
Luke Pye Ontario Hockey Federation Linesperson
Women's Hockey Championship (Saskatoon, SK)
Ali Beres OWHA Linesperson
Jennifer Berezowski OWHA Referee
Melissa Brunn BC Hockey Linesperson
Hayley Butz Hockey Alberta Referee
Alexandra Clarke Hockey Saskatchewan Linesperson
Marie-Éve Couture Hockey Québec Referee
Brandy Dewar OWHA Referee
Stéphanie Gagnon Hockey Québec Linesperson
Audrey-Anne Girard Hockey Québec Referee
Laura Gutauskas OWHA Linesperson
Amy Laroche BC Hockey Linesperson
Cianna Lieffers Hockey Saskatchewan Referee
Amy Martin Hockey Manitoba Referee
Shauna Neary Hockey Nova Scotia Referee
Sophie Thomson Hockey Nova Scotia Linesperson
Erin Zach OWHA Linesperson

The officiating coach for the men’s U Cup will Marc Maisonneuve (Gatineau, QC). The officiating coach for the Women’s U SPORTS Championship will be Vanessa Stratton (Windsor, ON).

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Life between the lines

A late starter in hockey, Ali Beres didn’t let that stand in her way of reaching her goals and setting herself up for a successful second act as one of Canada’s top young linespersons

Katie Brickman
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March 08, 2024

Once Ali Beres sets her sights on a goal, she will most likely accomplish it.

Switching from ringette to hockey to transitioning to officiating after her U SPORTS hockey career and embracing other athletic pursuits, Beres’ determination keeps her chasing new goals.

“I’m lucky to have athletics be a huge part of my life growing up,” says the 27-year-old. “I feel very fortunate to be involved in sports and at the level that I am with the opportunities I’ve had.”

Growing up in Lions Bay, B.C., about 30 minutes from Vancouver, Beres and her sister Maegan played ringette as there were no girls’ hockey programs. When she was 13 years old, she switched to hockey, intending to play at the university level.

Transitioning from ringette to hockey required Beres to learn new skills, including stickhandling and shooting the puck.

“When I switched from playing ringette to hockey, there was a skill and knowledge gap,” she says.

A coach told her that she was behind her peers at that age and probably shouldn’t bother, but her drive led her to participate in skill development camps and shooting 200 pucks in the family garage so she would be able to play.

“I remember that conversation with this coach when I was 14 years old. That moment shaped me and who I am today,” says Beres. “It taught me that if you want something badly and you put in the effort and hard work and you have the determination, you can still achieve your goals. Most importantly, to never give up on something you love.”

That love and passion led her on a successful hockey path, including playing for B.C. at the 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship and varsity hockey at Western University in London, Ontario, where she won a U SPORTS national title in 2015, a silver medal at nationals and two Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships.

As Beres finished her university career, she thought about what would come next. She knew she wanted to stay involved in the game and leaned on an aspect of the game she used to participate in – officiating.

“I wasn’t ready to just hang up the skates and call it quits after my U SPORTS career. The rink has been a part of my life since I was three,” she says. “As soon as the final game ended, it was so emotional. I knew after that I was going to have to get a job and that I wasn’t going to be playing anymore. I remembered that I loved officiating growing up.”

Beres decided she wanted to put on a new jersey, play on a new team and see where officiating could take her. After graduating, she got re-certified in Ontario.

“I just kept skating lots of games with so many different people and games as possible and learn as much as I could,” she says. “I saw so many people ahead of me in the program and saw all their accomplishments and telling my mentors that those are the assignments that I’d love to take on.”

Since transitioning to officiating, Beres has had the opportunity to participate in the Hockey Canada Officials Program of Excellence (OPOE), which is a performance pathway for officials to reach their high-level goals.

Since then, she has been a linesperson at some significant events, including the 2014 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship (Division 1B) and the Professional Women’s Hockey League Battle on Bay Street game between Toronto and Montreal earlier this year.

“I’m grateful to have had so many opportunities through officiating,” says Beres. “What I love about officiating is that you’re still part of the game. It’s intense … there’s pressure on your shoulders and you’re still competing as an athlete. It is our job to make sure the game is played fair and safe.”

Beres wouldn’t be able to balance life as a solution engineer with a procurement company, officiating and competing in triathlons without the support system of her family, particularly Maegan.

“We are best friends and we’ve always been competitive,” she said. “We’ve always tried to push each other. Our parents instilled solid values in us. While we were competitive, we also supported each other, and knowing that each other’s successes doesn’t mean the other isn’t successful.”

Like Ali, Maegan had hockey aspirations that she was determined to achieve. She played NCAA hockey for Boston College and with the Toronto Six of the Premier Hockey Federation, and won a silver medal with Canada at the 2017 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.

“We’ve always been super close, and she turned into such a big role model for me and being the younger sister, you kind of idolize your big sister,” says Maegan. “When I had a lot of success in my hockey career, she was one of the closest people to me and I always leaned on her for advice and support.”

Being athletically fit is important to stay at high-level hockey pace, but it also helps Ali stay mentally fresh and healthy and able to balance her professional career as well. Outside of officiating, Ali competes in triathlons, a sport she quickly fell in love with.

“The players are giving 100 per cent, so we need to be able to match that and give it our all too. I was a little bored of the gym, so I wanted to push my athletic comfort zone, so I signed up for an Ironman 70.3 (also known as a half-Ironman) and I got really addicted,” Ali says.

As Ali continues to set goals for herself – including officiating at the Olympics, her sister knows her drive is what will get her there.

“Once she has a glimpse of that goal, I just know she will do everything in her power to get there and accomplish it,” says Maegan. “I am very proud of her and what she’s accomplished and seeing her transition from her playing career in hockey into officiating. I’m excited to see where this journey takes her.”

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Two players high-five on the ice.

Enhancing academics with HCSA

From engaging students throughout the school day to growing the game in their community, Hockey Canada Skills Academies contribute to a unique experience for students

Katie Brickman
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February 22, 2024

Creating an opportunity where students can learn new skills, build confidence and create lasting relationships is what educators like Shaune Beatty and Brett Cameron strive for in and out of the classroom.

Having the Hockey Canada Skills Academy (HCSA) available at their schools has been impactful for their students.

“The HCSA brings a lot of different opportunities for the students,” says Beatty, superintendent of school operations and supervisor of the HCSA for the Good Spirit School Division in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

Good Spirit brought the skills academy to its schools to encourage a new culture, bring in new students and grow the game in its communities. The HCSA has been in Yorkton for four years now.

“Some of our academies have seven kids, including a few who have never played the game before,” Beatty says. “Some classes have even done equipment drives to help make the game more accessible and promote the growth of the game.”

Over 120 students across seven schools in Yorkton participate in the HCSA. For many, it allows students to engage with academics in a way that interests them.

“The feedback I’ve received is around the whole idea of engagement—the kids look forward to going to school and it breaks up the day,” Beatty says. “It’s about engagement at a different level outside of the classroom that the kids tell me they enjoy the most.”

The objective of the HCSA program is to enhance academic achievement through a balance of academics and athletics, while also improving their hockey skills.

“We’ve had two boys go through the HCSA program in our community and they have gone on to larger academies. It is great to see those that are motivated get those greater opportunities,” said Beatty.

As a former hockey player himself, Cameron tries his best to relay as much of the information he gained while playing to his students at Miramichi Valley High School in Miramichi, New Brunswick.

“I am just trying to pass along my knowledge of the game through our program,” Cameron says.

The HCSA at Miramichi Valley began in the fall of 2020 and has grown quickly. Originally, it was offered in one semester for Grades 9 and 10 and in the French Immersion program. In 2021, it was offered in French and English in both semesters. Now, there are 24 co-ed students per semester that participate in the program with different levels of ability.

“The smiles don’t leave their faces the entire time they are on the ice,” Cameron says. “Everyone has gotten better at their own pace … they are able to refine their skills and enjoy the game.”

Not only is the HCSA at Miramichi Valley teaching students fundamental hockey skills, but they also get an opportunity to get their officiating and coaching certifications, too.

“There is a true benefit to how it extends well past just hockey,” Cameron says. “It is so good to see the kids improve and work on and off the ice on their skills. The kids don’t always see it [improvement] in the classroom, but you can see the changes they are making and how they are becoming stronger and better week to week.”

The benefit isn’t just about the kids either. Cameron coaches AAA hockey in the community, and being the head instructor, along with a history and physical education teacher, he has noticed how being an HCSA operator has helped him as well.

“It makes me a better coach. All this time and effort put into the program has helped me when I coach my own team,” he says. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to teach these kids the game of hockey and all the fundamentals that come with it, but it is also about the other pieces that they get through the program as well.”

There are many special moments for the students through the HCSA, but one stands out for Cameron. Last fall, the Maritimes hosted the World Junior A Hockey Challenge in Truro, Nova Scotia, and a former HCSA player, Max Jardine, played in the tournament. All the current HCSA students went to the game to watch Jardine play at a high level.

“It showed them what they could achieve if they wanted to,” Cameron says. “It was great for our non-high-level kids to see someone at that level play.”

As the HCSA program continues to grow to over 150 schools in eight provinces, Cameron shares his advice for other operators: “The goal should be to meet the kids where they are, but not leave them there. Kids will get the most enjoyment and confidence from being taught properly and seeing improvement in their own skills over the course of the semester.”

For Beatty, the most value is when the academies build partnerships within the communities to reduce the hurdles smaller schools can face.

“Think beyond your higher skilled hockey players. Those will undoubtedly become more skilled through the additional ice time, but some of the best stories I’ve heard come from the less experienced and new players to the game,” he says. “A part of a successful HCSA is to grow the game by bringing in players that come with an interest in the game. These are students first and hockey players second, but get them in and make them players for life.”

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Officials chosen for high performance camps

91 officials selected to attend Officiating Program of Excellence for 2023-24 season

Dan Hanoomansingh
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January 29, 2024

Nearly 100 officials from coast to coast to coast have been selected to attend Hockey Canada Officiating Program of Excellence (OPOE) camps.

Sixty-one officials were chosen for regional identification camps, with a further 30 attending the prestigious National High Performance Selection Camp. Additionally, the Women’s Officiating Program of Excellence will continue for its second year.

“We are excited to provide this opportunity for our top officials to compete at the national level,” says Dan Hanoomansingh, manager of officiating with Hockey Canada. “Our regional camps provide officials with an introduction to the national level and prepare them to compete for national assignments at the U18 level.

“We are thrilled to continue the Women’s Officiating Program of Excellence for a second year and are grateful for the support of the Hockey Canada Foundation, as a presenting partner, without whom this would not be possible.”

The OPOE is the pathway through which Canadian officials are selected for top national and international assignments. The objectives are to provide a clear developmental pathway for aspiring elite officials, provide developmentally appropriate coaching for elite officials, prepare officials for national and international competitions, and assist Hockey Canada in making evidence-based decisions for national and international events. Officials enter the OPOE through regional identification camps, based on nominations from their Member programs.

The 30 officials who will attend the National High Performance Selection Camp will participate in an intensive four-day experience intended to help them develop the tools needed to succeed at an elite level. They were part of a months-long evaluation process, including input from their respective Member programs and leagues, prior to a final selection by Hockey Canada.

“An invitation for the National High Performance Selection Camp represents years of hard work and dedication to the craft of officiating,” says Hanoomansingh. “These officials have worked tirelessly to hone their skills and are now ready to join our top group of officials and compete with the best in the world.”

Upon successful completion of the camp, the officials will join the national high-performance program and compete for Junior A and senior national championships, as well as international assignments.

National High Performance Selection Camp (Calgary, AB – Feb. 1-4)

Name

Member

Role

Josh Albinati

BC Hockey

Referee

Gillian Allan

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Linesperson

Tara Benard-Rae

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Referee

Ali Beres

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Linesperson

Brian Birkhoff

Ontario Hockey Federation

Linesperson

Mathieu Boudreau

Hockey Québec

Referee

Hayley Butz

Hockey Alberta

Referee

Cynthia Côté

Hockey Manitoba

Referee

Elizabeth Dornstauder

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

Maxime Ferland

Hockey Québec

Linesperson

Audrey-Anne Girard

Hockey Québec

Referee

Nick Grenier

Hockey Manitoba

Linesperson

Alex Homer

Hockey Alberta

Referee

Darby Hucaluk

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Referee

Chad Ingalls

Ontario Hockey Federation

Referee

Ryan Jenken

Ontario Hockey Federation

Referee

Yannick Jobin-Manseau

Hockey Québec

Referee

Brendan Kane

Ontario Hockey Federation

Referee

William Kelly

Hockey Québec

Referee

Anthony Lapointe

Hockey Québec

Linesperson

Amy Laroche

BC Hockey

Linesperson

Jarrod Lucoe

BC Hockey

Referee

Bob Millette

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

Harrison O'Pray

Hockey New Brunswick

Referee

Luke Pye

Ontario Hockey Federation

Linesperson

Wyatt Rapsky

Hockey Manitoba

Referee

Jack Robinson

Hockey PEI

Referee

Ty Skene

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

Mason Stewart

Hockey Alberta

Referee

Brennan Walker

BC Hockey

Linesperson

The staff for the National High Performance Camp include Hanoomansingh, Dr. David Hancock, Megan Howes, Steve Lidstone, Pat Malloy, Kevin Muench, Todd Robinson and Vanessa Stratton.


Women’s Atlantic Regional Camp (Halifax, NS – Sept. 14-17)

Name

Member

Role

Brianna Bolivar

Hockey Nova Scotia

Referee

Bailey Carr

Hockey PEI

Linesperson

Lauren Clark

Hockey Nova Scotia

Linesperson

Rachel Hopkins

Hockey NL

Referee

Shannon Ivey

Hockey NL

Referee

Jenna Leighton

Hockey Nova Scotia

Referee

Blaire MacKinnon

Hockey Nova Scotia

Linesperson

Alexis Ouellet

Hockey PEI

Referee

Leah Rideout

Hockey NL

Linesperson

Mykaela Sherry

Hockey Nova Scotia

Linesperson

Jennifer Stewart

Hockey PEI

Referee

Megan Sullivan

Hockey New Brunswick

Linesperson

The officiating coaches are Gabrielle Ariano-Lortie, Meghan MacTavish and Shauna Neary.


Men’s West Regional Camp (Calgary, AB – Sept. 26-29)

Name

Member

Role

Ethan Crawford

BC Hockey

Linesperson

Kaden Fiacco

Hockey Saskatchewan

Linesperson

Michel Fournier

Hockey Manitoba

Linesperson

Cameron Fynney

Ontario Hockey Federation

Referee

Josh Grimm

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

Cameron Halter

Hockey Alberta

Linesperson

Brandon Koop

BC Hockey

Referee

Matthew Lattimer

Hockey Alberta

Linesperson

Carson McDonald

Hockey Manitoba

Referee

Carter McKnight

Ontario Hockey Federation

Linesperson

Shane Steenhoek

Ontario Hockey Federation

Referee

Jesse Wood-Schatz

Hockey Alberta

Referee

The officiating coaches are Hanoomansingh, CJ Senkow and Colin Watt.


Men’s East Regional Camp (Sherbrooke, QC – Oct. 26-29)

Name

Member

Role

Alex Allain

Hockey New Brunswick

Linesperson

Maxime Carré

Hockey Québec

Linesperson

Simon Cholette

Hockey Québec

Referee

Antoine Dénommé

Hockey Québec

Referee

Justin Deveau

Hockey Nova Scotia

Referee

Nicolas Gaudet

Hockey New Brunswick

Referee

William Kelly

Hockey Québec

Referee

Joey Kramar

Hockey Eastern Ontario

Linesperson

Julien Lapointe

Hockey Québec

Referee

Olivier Lapointe

Hockey Québec

Linesperson

Cole Sellers

Hockey Nova Scotia

Linesperson

Kalib Snow

Hockey PEI

Referee

The officiating coaches are François Fortin, Marc Maisonneuve, Peter Moraitis and Kirk Wood.


Women’s Central Regional Camp (Montréal, QC – Nov. 11-13)

Name

Member

Role

Laurie-Anne Éthier

Hockey Québec

Linesperson

Catherine Fournier

Hockey Québec

Referee

Bailey Kennedy

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Referee

Daphnée Lemay

Hockey Québec

Referee

Raphaëlle Locas

Hockey Québec

Referee

Michelle Ngan

Hockey Québec

Linesperson

Francesca Pedulla

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Linesperson

Abiguèle Perreault

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Referee

Hailey Perreault

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Linesperson

Shadei Saadé

Hockey Québec

Referee

Marlowe Schott

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Linesperson

Evelyn Wilson

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Linesperson

The officiating coaches are Ariano-Lortie, Stéphanie Campbell and Theresa Llorente.


Women’s West Regional Camp (Regina, SK – Dec. 7-10)

Name

Member

Role

Karissa Alford

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

Emma Benoit

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

Cassidy Brand

Hockey Alberta

Linesperson

Hailey Cromie

Hockey Manitoba

Linesperson

Julianne Desjardins

BC Hockey

Referee

Lindsey Ducharme

Hockey Alberta

Linesperson

Dana Edamura

BC Hockey

Referee

Jessica Hammer

Hockey Alberta

Linesperson

Emily Hill

Hockey Alberta

Referee

Annika Kohlman

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

Taylor Pearson

BC Hockey

Linesperson

Kassandra Speicher-Cook

BC Hockey

Linesperson

Katie Watson

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

The officiating coaches are Stratton and Ashley Desjardins.

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Hockey Canada publishes report on maltreatment in sanctioned hockey

Data expands on findings in last year’s inaugural report on Rule 11.4 – Discrimination

NR.087.23
|
November 30, 2023

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada and its Members have published a Tracking Maltreatment in Sanctioned Hockey report, which includes nation-wide data collected during the 2022-23 season from two independent complaint management mechanisms and all rules in Section 11 of the Hockey Canada Playing Rules.

The information contained in this report is an important step in Hockey Canada’s ongoing efforts to better track, identify and respond to maltreatment in hockey.

In December 2022, Hockey Canada and its Members published a report of all incidents of verbal taunts, insults or intimidation based on discriminatory grounds which occurred during the 2021-22 season, under Rule 11.4 – Discrimination.

The Tracking Maltreatment in Sanctioned Hockey report includes a broader scope of tracked maltreatment behaviours, including:

• Complaint intake data from Hockey Canada’s Independent Third Party (ITP);
• Ice hockey complaint intake data from the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC);
• Tracking of Rule 11.4 penalties and allegations from all 13 Members;
• Data from a pilot project that tracked other types of Rule 11 penalties in specific Hockey Canada Member jurisdictions.

“The Tracking Maltreatment in Sanctioned Hockey report is critical in our efforts to identify and take action against egregious behaviours that have no place in hockey and sport in general,” said Natasha Johnston, vice-president of sport safety for Hockey Canada. “We will continue to be transparent in publicly sharing the data we collect with our Members and use the insights to better inform our collective actions moving forward.

“With our Members, we are committed to expanding reporting on maltreatment in sanctioned hockey during the 2023-24 season as well as working to prevent and address maltreatment behaviours in sanctioned hockey programming. As we continue to build greater awareness and facilitate greater opportunities and trust for individuals to come forward, it is anticipated that there will be an increase in maltreatment incidences being reported on and off the ice.”

Hockey Canada will continue to make national reports on maltreatment publicly available and accessible on an annual basis as part of its overall sport safety framework.

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A coaching whiteboard rests on top of the boards.

Resources for Canadian coaches

From upcoming training opportunities to ideas for skills and drills, Hockey Canada has a variety of resources available for coaches of all levels across the country

Shannon Coulter
|
September 17, 2023

Coaches are the backbone of the hockey community. Whether you are a regular behind the bench or it’s your first season as a coach, Hockey Canada has a variety of resources available to help you succeed on your coaching journey.

How do I start my coaching journey?

If you want to get started coaching, make Hockey Canada’s National Coach Certification Program (NCCP) your first stop. This program enables coaches to build their coaching tools and knowledge of the game to work effectively with their players. Hockey Canada offers six coaching clinics and five instructional stream areas of focus.

Those looking to be trained to coach in the Community Sport stream can participate in Coach 1 — Intro to Coach or Coach 2 — Coach Level. NCCP certification is not required at either of these levels; a coach will remain trained indefinitely after completing these streams. Register for a coaching clinic or visit your Member website for more information.

Respect in Sport

The Respect in Sport Activity Leader/Coach program is an engaging and easy-to-use online training course that helps hockey coaches and youth leaders recognize, understand and respond to issues of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination. The course also aims to build a holistic culture of respect within the sports community and provide fundamental training tools to enable all coaches to become even better role models for the young athletes in their care.

In Canadian hockey, more than 230,000 coaches are certified by the Respect Group Inc.

Skills and drills

The Hockey Canada Network gives coaches and players the tools to succeed with drills, skills, videos, practice plans and articles on their tablet or phone. There are over 1,500 drills and more than 100 lesson plans available on the app, with more added throughout the season.

Looking for more drill inspiration? Hockey Canada will frequently post skill videos on its social channels that can be incorporated into practice plans. Search the hashtag #HCSkillsCoach and #HCGoalieCoach on X (formerly known as Twitter), Facebook and Instagram to find more drill videos to utilize on the ice.



Drill Hub is another resource available to find skills and drills for players. It is a free resource for coaches to access hundreds of drills and videos. There are also pre-made practice plans available to download, along with templates for game rosters, player stats, scouting reports and more.

Women in coaching

We Are Coaches

As a free, women-only coach program, We Are Coaches was designed to increase the number of trained women coaches in Canada in order to provide mentors and role models for young participants. The program aims to build infrastructure to support and sustain the participation of girls and women in hockey in Canada, develop women role models and leaders within the hockey community and remove barriers to coaching education for women.

Women Master Coach Developer

Launched in 2019, the Women Master Coach Developer (WMCD) program introduces more hockey coaching programs led by women. The program has equipped 38 coach leaders to not only deliver coach clinics, but also train future facilitators and evaluators in each Member.

To participate in the program, delegates can be nominated by their Member each season. Delegates are required to complete multiple trainings and certifications in the program, and upon successful completion, they will take a leadership role to optimize the delivery of the We Are Coaches program and support women coaches within their communities.

Creating Coaches

In 2021, the Hockey Canada Foundation partnered with U SPORTS to launch Creating Coaches, a program designed to increase the number of women in coaching positions in Canada. This two-year mentorship program places a focus on training, mentoring and empowering women behind the bench.

Candidates for the program are nominated by their U SPORTS coaches to participate in Creating Coaches.

How do I get further coaching support?

Are you looking for more support? Do you have a question about coaching in your community? Hockey Canada and its Members have coaching resources and helpful staff available to help you on your coaching journey.

Click here to find the coaching contact information for your Member.

Do you have more questions about coaching? Visit these Frequently Asked Questions pages to learn more about the following topics:

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Officials selected for IIHF events

IIHF licences 58 Canadian officials for international competition during 2023-24 season

Dan Hanoomansingh
|
September 14, 2023

Nearly five dozen officials will represent Canada on the international stage this season.

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has licenced 58 Canadian officials — 29 referees and 29 linespersons — for international competition during the 2023-24 season. Specific assignments will be announced by the IIHF throughout the season.

This year’s list is headlined by Olympic officials Michael Campbell (Surrey, BC), Alexandra Clarke (Weyburn, SK), Stéphanie Gagnon (Princeville, QC), Cianna Lieffers (Saskatoon, SK), Elizabeth Mantha (Montréal, QC), Lacey Senuk (St. Albert, AB) and Justine Todd (Alliston, ON). Furthermore, 11 officials will be looking to make their international debuts during the season.

“Hockey Canada is always proud of our officials who represent Canada at the international level,” says Dan Hanoomansingh, manager of officiating with Hockey Canada. “The opportunity to participate in international competition is a career highlight for officials. Every Canadian official who is licensed by the IIHF competes for years to earn that opportunity and once they have, there’s someone trying to take their spot. The achievements of these officials are a credit to themselves, as well as their Member programs, who aided in their development.”

As part of the IIHF program for the 2023-24 season, 15 officials — seven referees and eight linespersons — will participate in the IIHF’s From Good to Great program this season. This program is in its inaugural season and is designed for individuals who have been identified by national associations as future top international officials.

“This is a fantastic initiative from the IIHF and we are thrilled for our officials who will participate,” says Hanoomansingh. “It is always an adjustment for officials when they progress from the national to the international level. However, this program will provide an opportunity for our officials to be introduced to the expectations of the international game, so that when they receive their first assignment, they can achieve immediate success.”

Four Canadians will also work as part of the IIHF officiating coaching staff this season: Todd Anderson (Calgary, AB.), Kevin Muench (Moose Jaw, SK), Jacqui Palm (Newmarket, ON) and Vanessa Stratton (Windsor, ON).

The Hockey Canada Officiating Program is for anyone who is interested in officiating, from the grassroots to the international game. Hockey Canada's 13 Members provide a path for anyone to participate in officiating, develop a love for the game and achieve their goals.

For more information about the Hockey Canada Officiating Program, visit HockeyCanada.ca/Officials.

CANADIAN OFFICIALS LICENCED FOR INTERNATIONAL EVENTS FOR 2023-24 SEASON

Referees
Name (Member) Event (Location)
Brayden Arcand (Hockey Alberta) --
Grace Barlow (BC Hockey) --
Jennifer Berezowski (Ontario Women's Hockey Association) --
Adam Bloski (Hockey Saskatchewan) --
Mathieu Boudreau (Hockey Québec) Youth Olympic Winter Games (Gangneung, Korea)
Taylor Burzminski (Hockey Alberta) --
Dominic Cadieux (Hockey Quebec) --
Michael Campbell (BC Hockey) --
Marie-Ève Couture (Hockey Quebec) --
Brandy Dewar (Ontario Women's Hockey Association) U18 Women’s World Championship (Zug, Switzerland)
Tanner Doiron (Hockey PEI) U20 Men’s World Championship, Division 1B (Bled, Slovenia)
Béatrice Fortin (Hockey Quebec) Youth Olympic Winter Games (Gangneung, Korea)
Jesse Gour (Hockey Quebec) --
Mike Langin (BC Hockey) --
Cianna Lieffers (Hockey Saskatchewan) --
Elizabeth Mantha (Hockey Quebec) U18 Women’s World Championship (Zug, Switzerland)
Amy Martin (Hockey Manitoba) --
Troy Murray (Hockey Saskatchewan) World Junior Championship (Gothenburg, Sweden)
Shauna Neary (Hockey Nova Scotia) --
Mark Pearce (BC Hockey) World Junior Championship (Gothenburg, Sweden)
Lacey Senuk (Hockey Alberta) --
Michelle Stapleton (Hockey Saskatchewan) --
Tyson Stewart (Hockey Eastern Ontario) --


Linespersons
Name (Hometown) Event (Location)
Nick Albinati (BC Hockey)  -- 
Maxime Bédard (Hockey Quebec) --
Ali Beres (Ontario Women's Hockey Association)  U18 Women’s World Championship, Division 1B (Jaca, Spain)
Brian Birkhoff (Ontario Hockey Federation) U20 Men’s World Championship, Division 1A (Budapest, Hungary)
Melissa Brunn (BC Hockey)
U18 Women’s World Championship, Division 1A (Egna, Italy)
Jessica Chartrand (Hockey Quebec) --
Alexandra Clarke (Hockey Saskatchewan) --
Joanie Duchesneau (Hockey Quebec) --
Jérémy Faucher (Hockey Quebec) World Junior Championship (Gothenburg, Sweden)
Maxime Ferland (Hockey Quebec)  -- 
Stéphanie Gagnon (Hockey Quebec) --
Mitchell Gibbs (BC Hockey)  -- 
Laura Gutauskas (Ontario Women's Hockey Association) --
Chad Huseby (Hockey Alberta) --
Anthony Lapointe (Hockey Quebec) U20 Men’s World Championship, Division 2A (Dumfries, Scotland)
Brett Mackey (BC Hockey) --
Shawn Oliver (Hockey Eastern Ontario) --
Sophie Thomson (Hockey Nova Scotia) --
Justine Todd (Ontario Women's Hockey Association) --
Tarrington Wyonzek (Hockey Saskatchewan) --
Erin Zach (Ontario Women's Hockey Association) --

CANADIAN OFFICIALS PARTICIPATING IN THE IIHF FROM GOOD TO GREAT PROGRAM

Name (Member) Role
Gillian Allan (Ontario Women's Hockey Association) Linesperson
Jodi Anderson (Hockey Manitoba) Linesperson
Mathieu Boudreau (Hockey Quebec) Referee
Cynthia Côté (Hockey Manitoba) Referee
Pierre-Olivier Couture (Hockey Nova Scotia) Linesperson
Elizabeth Dornstauder (Hockey Saskatchewan) Referee
Danny Emerson (Ontario Hockey Federation) Referee
Adam Forbes (Hockey Saskatchewan) Referee
Audrey-Anne Girard (Hockey Quebec) Referee
Andre Grougrou (Ontario Hockey Federation) Linesperson
Nathan Howes (BC Hockey) Linesperson
Danika Kroeker (BC Hockey) Linesperson
Amy Laroche (BC Hockey) Linesperson
Josh Miko (Hockey Manitoba) Linesperson
Ty Skene (Hockey Saskatchewan) Referee
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Officials set for summer camp

Six officials selected for Officiating Program of Excellence Women’s Summer Camp

Dan Hanoomansingh
|
August 02, 2023

Hockey Canada has selected six officials to participate in the Officiating Program of Excellence (OPOE) Women’s Summer Camp in St. Catharines, ON, presented by Hockey is Hers and the Hockey Canada Foundation. Officials will participate in on-ice practices, off-ice development and fitness testing, and officiate games as part of Canada's National Women’s Under-18 Team selection camp.

All six officials featured in U18 national championships during the 2022-23 season, highlighted by referees Darby Hucaluk and Alex Foreman, who were selected for the gold and bronze medal games, respectively, at the 2023 Esso Cup.

“We are excited to welcome this group to St. Catharines next month,” said Dan Hanoomansingh (Vancouver, BC), manager of officiating with Hockey Canada. “These officials have been monitored through the OPOE over the last year, attending regional development camps and earning selections to national championships. The summer camp is a fantastic opportunity to prepare officials for top-level success at those U18 national championships and beyond.”

The OPOE is the pathway through which Canadian officials are selected for top national and international assignments. The objectives are to provide a clear developmental pathway for aspiring elite officials, provide developmentally appropriate coaching for elite officials, prepare officials for national and international competitions, and assist Hockey Canada in making evidence-based decisions for national and international events.

“We are very grateful for the support of the Hockey Canada Foundation in supporting and development of our women officials,” said Hanoomansingh. “It is crucial that we continue to support our officials throughout the year, with both in-person and virtual mentorship opportunities. Our volunteers are second-to-none, but the Hockey Canada Foundation makes this possible.”

Women's Summer Camp (St. Catharines, ON)
Name (Hometown) Member Role
Hazel Barthel (Vancouver, BC) BC Hockey Linesperson
Alyssa Best (Fredericton, NB) Hockey New Brunswick Referee
Alex Foreman (Moose Jaw, SK) Hockey Saskatchewan Referee
Darby Hucaluk (Whitby, ON) OWHA Referee
Megan Long (Morinville, AB) Hockey Alberta Linesperson
Kennedy Roblin (Edmonton, AB) Hockey Alberta Linesperson

The officiating coaches for the Women’s Summer Camp are Hanoomansingh, Heather Richardson (Toronto, ON), and Vanessa Stratton (Windsor, ON).

For more information about the Hockey Canada Officiating Program, visit HockeyCanada.ca/Officials.

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For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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Schedule
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Prague & Ostrava, Czechia
Date: May 10 to 26
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Edmonton, Alta., Canada
Date: Aug 3 to 10