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Doing what dad did

Braden Haché has a promising future on the blue-line, but he has started giving back to the game by following his father into officiating

Quinton Amundson
|
July 23, 2019

A deep sense of pride swept over Conrad Haché at the sight of his son Braden garbed in the stripes of a hockey referee for the first time.

He was bearing witness to his child following in his footsteps. Conrad, the director of officiating with the Ontario Hockey League since 2007, served as a National Hockey League official from 1994 to 2001.

Since making his Saturday-morning debut in a game a few seasons ago in his hometown of Newmarket, Ont., the younger Haché has officiated close to 50 Novice and Atom contests – while also pursuing his playing career, which is thriving.

After starring in Minor Midget AAA for the York-Simcoe Express last season, Haché was a fourth-round pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, taken 63rd overall by the Kingston Frontenacs, and earned an invite to Canada’s national under-17 development camp this week in Calgary.

Adding officiating to his résumé was a case of a father’s passion rubbing off on his son.

“My dad loved being a referee so much that it inspired me to want to do it, too,” says the 16-year-old defenceman.

While parents hurling insults in his direction caught Haché off guard at first, his father, who became a referee himself at 14, said his son has quickly developed a strong on-ice presence as an official.

“He has a thick skin and he understands every facet of the game so well that he has done well as an official,” Conrad says.

Stepping into the skates of a referee has made an impact on Haché’s playing career. While he doesn’t label himself as someone who once routinely protests calls, he says being a referee has encouraged him to exhibit even more respect towards officials.

Greater on-ice discipline and a strengthened bond with his father are two of the gifts officiating has given Braden. Being around wide-eyed young hockey players is another.

“It is great to be around these kids and to have an opportunity to teach them more about things like face-offs and offsides,” he says. “Their passion and energy do rub off on me.”

In addition to his officiating duties, Haché gives back to the game by instructing younger players at hockey camps and learn-to-skate programs.

“The game gives you so much that it is important to give back,” his father says. “If you can give back at that [young] age it is even better as the younger players look up to them. Some of the Novice players were so excited when they heard he was going to be drafted as a player as they only knew him as a referee.”

Haché isn’t sure what his level of involvement in officiating will be next season. Turning 16 years old makes him eligible to referee Peewee games, but a potential rookie OHL season with the Frontenacs will take priority.

Whether he is on the ice next season or not, Haché is grateful for having another avenue to be in the game for life – just like his dad.

Host locations selected for 2024 fall events

Ontario to host U17 World Challenge, Atlantic Canada to welcome U18 Women’s National Championship and Para Cup

NR.037.24
|
May 28, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced the host communities for three of its fall events: the 2024 U17 World Challenge, 2024 U18 Women’s National Championship and 2024 Para Cup.

“These events play a critical role in the development of men’s, women’s and para hockey athletes, coaches, officials and staff, and we are thrilled to be bringing them to communities in Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island,” said Pat McLaughlin, chief operating officer and executive vice-president of strategy. “They are an excellent opportunity to create lifelong memories and leave a legacy in each community for years to come.”

The 2024 U17 World Challenge will be played Nov. 1-9 in Sarnia, Ontario. It is the seventh time Ontario will play host to the tournament, and the second time in Sarnia, following 2014.

The 2024 U18 Women’s National Championship will run Nov. 3-9 in Quispamsis, New Brunswick, bringing the event – and the future stars of the women’s game – to Atlantic Canada for the first time.

Canada’s National Para Hockey Team, which won a home-ice gold medal at the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship earlier this month, will compete against three countries at the 2024 Para Cup, which will be held Dec. 8-14 in Charlottetown, P.E.I. It is the fifth time the tournament will be held in the Birthplace of Confederation and coincides with the 50th anniversary of ParaSport & Recreation PEI.

Fans can sign up now to receive ticket information or become a Hockey Canada Insider and receive advanced access to tickets and other promotions.

“These tournaments are often once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for participants, families and fans,” said Dean McIntosh, vice-president of strategic partnerships and community impact. “I’m confident in the host committees in these three great hockey markets and know we are set up for success with the passionate hockey fans and volunteers in each community.”

In the spring, Canada’s U18 Women’s National Club Championship will be decided at the 2025 Esso Cup, April 20-26 in Lloydminster, Alberta , while the U18 Men’s National Club Championship will be up for grabs April 21-27 at the 2025 TELUS Cup in Chilliwack, B.C.

The host communities for the 2025 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, and 2024 Junior A World Challenge will be announced at a later date.

To learn more about Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca , or follow along through social media on Facebook , X and Instagram .

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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
|
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
|
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
|
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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Officials chosen for high performance camps

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

Dan Hanoomansingh
|
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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Canada White atop podium at 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

United States takes silver medal, Sweden wins bronze

NR.079.23
|
November 12, 2023

CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island – For the first time since 2015, Canada White has won the gold medal at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, needing overtime to get past the United States 2-1 in the gold medal game Saturday night at a sold-out Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown.

Cameron Schmidt (Prince George, BC/Vancouver, WHL) was the overtime hero for the Canadians, chasing down a loose puck in the neutral zone and tucking a backhand around U.S. goaltender Patrick Quinlan 9:18 into the extra period.

“I kind of just blanked out, I just went to the backhand and it found its way in,” said Schmidt.Obviously this team was thrown together, but building that bond from the start and carrying it to the end of this tournament was a big thing. These are my brothers for life, and it was an amazing experience.”

Canada White took the early lead just 98 seconds into the game when Joby Baumuller (Wilcox, SK/Brandon, WHL) redirected a centring pass from Ethan Czata (Brampton, ON/Niagara, OHL) past Quinlan.

It remained a one-goal game until 9:49 of the third period when Charlie Trethewey pulled the Americans even on the power play. The cross-border rivals would trade chances, but the game would need overtime to decide a champion, setting up the Schmidt heroics.

“We really talked about wanting to get better every game,” said Canada White head coach John Dean (Don Mills, ON/Sault Ste. Marie, OHL). “I was very fortunate to experience a very difficult game at the [2023 IIHF U18 World Championship]. As coaches we’re learning as well and my first game in Switzerland we lost 8-1 and we ended up winning a bronze medal. I took some notes from the coach at the time, Jeff Truitt, on how to handle it and stay even keel and realize you don’t win a gold medal in the first game.

“The message to the rest of the group was we’re going to get better every single day. We went to overtime five times, only won one game in regulation; these guys went into the final game and had experienced everything – blowing leads, comebacks, shootouts, overtime wins, coaches being upset and being happy. They went through it all so I couldn’t ask for a better tournament because they got to experience it all and I think there’s a lot of growth here.”

Sweden earns bronze medal

In the bronze medal game on Saturday afternoon, Sweden used a three-goal second period to defeat Czechia 6-3.

Czechia held a slim one-goal advantage after the opening frame on a power-play goal from Tomas Poletin. A shorthanded tally by Milton Gästrin midway through the second period pulled the Swedes even. They would add two more before the period ended to lead 3-1.

The Czechs would add a pair of goals just over a minute apart, but a goal by Ivar Stenberg at 3:39 held up as the eventual game-winner.

Following the gold medal game, the tournament all-star team was announced. 

Forward: Émile Guité (Chambly, QC/Chicoutimi, LHJMQ) - Canada White
Forward: Gavin McKenna (Whitehorse, YT/Medicine Hat, WHL) - Canada Red
Forward: Will Moore - United States
Defence: Matthew Schaefer (Stoney Creek, ON/Erie, OHL) - Canada White
Defence: Charlie Trethewey - United States
Goaltender: Jack Ivankovic (Mississauga, ON/Mississauga, OHL) - Canada White 

For more information on the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook and X.

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“My superpower”

He may be hard of hearing, but William Lacelle hasn’t let that stop him from earning a spot between the pipes at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

Nicholas Pescod
|
November 03, 2023

William Lacelle is not your ordinary goaltender.

That’s because the 15-year-old puck-stopper from Quebec has something many high-level athletes don’t.

“I call it my superpower,” Lacelle says.

What Lacelle is referring to is the fact he is hard of hearing — 100 per cent deaf in his left ear and 50 per cent in his right — and it has, in many ways, helped him become a standout goalie with the Lions du Lac St-Louis of the Ligue de développement du hockey des M18 du Québec.

“I use my hearing disability as a superpower. I use it to my advantage,” he says.

Lacelle, who was named the LDHM18AAAQ’s player of the year last season, and his superpower will be on display at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I., as a member of Team Canada Red.

“It's just an honour to be representing Canada … and representing Quebec,” says Lacelle, who won’t turn 16 until Boxing Day and is the youngest of the 44 players wearing the Maple Leaf, “It’s an amazing feeling.”

 

Born in Baie d'Urfé, Quebec, a community about 30 minutes west of Montreal, Lacelle has what is known as sensorineural hearing loss in both his ears — resulting in difficulties hearing, particularly in louder environments.

“It’s something I’ve had my whole life,” he says. “It is a big part of who I am as a person.”

Lacelle began figure skating at an early age but switched to hockey when he was about seven years old. He first started out playing defence but that didn’t last long.

“I was always blocking shots. My dad would say ‘Oh shoot, I think we have a goalie here,’ and that’s how I got into goaltending,” recalls Lacelle.

“He was absolutely passionate about being a goalie,” says his father, Stephen Lacelle. “I bought him some little street pads and I would practice shooting on him outside and he absolutely ate it up. He just loved it.”

A year later he was between the pipes full-time and it wasn’t long afterwards that it became clear to Stephen that his son was able to see the game differently from those around him.

“I would take him to hockey games and he would see things on the ice that I couldn't believe that young kid could pick up,” says Stephen. “After games as a very young goalie, he would tell me things about the particular number of a player like ‘Daddy, that is the kid with the green tape on the top hand stick.’ He would see things that like the other kids wouldn't see. It was just innate.”

“Don’t use it as a disability, use it as a superpower”

Lacelle is coming off arguably his best season ever, finishing with a record of 18-4 and posting a league-leading 1.55 goals-against average, helping the Lions reach the LDHM18AAAQ semifinals, where they fell to the eventual national champions from Séminaire Saint-François. He also backstopped Quebec to a bronze medal at the Canada Winter Games in February and was the first goaltender off the board at the 2023 QMJHL Draft, going 10th overall to the Rimouski Oceanic. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, he also received a $2,700 bursary this spring from the Montreal Canadiens for his athletic and academic success.

"It's astonishing it's how quickly it's come together for him,” says Stephen, “For a 15-year-old, it's really inspiring, and it has all just happened so fast. If you would have told me this would happen to him seven or eight years ago, I wouldn't have believed you."

But it hasn’t always been this easy for Lacelle, whose success on and off the ice is very much the result of hard work and getting those around him to understand his situation.

“Everyone understands my problem now and they have grown to accept it. But at first, they were annoyed because I would always say ‘what?’ because I would have to hear what they say twice. So, it was challenging not only for other people, but for myself,” he says.

“It has been challenging for him for sure, especially in school but there are a bunch of things we have done for him,” adds Stephen. “But he has been very well supported by a good network of professionals at a rehabilitation centre here in Montreal and his teachers and schools, both at the primary and secondary school level, have been fabulous.”

As Lacelle has grown older, he’s taken what many would consider a disadvantage and used it to his advantage.

“I will make a save and after the whistle guys on the other team might come by and say something mean to me, but I don’t hear it. I am just focused on the game and trying to win. It’s the little things, finding strategies.”

Among the strategies Lacelle relies on is increased communication with his teammates and coaches, whether it is verbally or through hand signals.

“I always double check with my coaches to make sure I hear stuff right. Let’s say he explains a game plan. I will go see him after just to make sure I heard exactly what he said or what is happening,” he says. “So, I really just make sure I double check with my teammates.”

“The coaches at all levels have been fantastic,” adds Stephen. “We would always tell his coaches at the start of the season that William was hard of hearing just so that they were sensitized to the situation. We didn't ask for any special treatment or anything. We just wanted them to know.”

Another strategy is lip reading, which is something that Lacelle can do in both English and French.

“I pretty much grew up bilingual and because of that I have been able to adapt to both French and English teams when I need to,” he says. “So, I read a lot of lips and I think that is an advantage.”

Still there are some challenges that are unique to Lacelle.

“It is a bit challenging when the rink is very loud, when there are a lot of noises and different sounds going on and that can affect my hearing because I won’t be able to hear some of teammates calls on the ice. But, that’s where lipreading comes in.”

When asked what his advice is to others young athletes who are hard of hearing, Lacelle says the biggest thing is to block out the noise.

“Ignore what people are saying negatively about you and keep moving forward,” he says. “I have had to face … people making fun of me but the best thing you can do is ignore it. Go on the ice and show what you can do. Don’t use it as a disability, use it as a superpower.”

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Canadian rosters named for 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

Forty-four players named to Team Canada Red and Team Canada White

NR.072.23
|
October 23, 2023

CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada has announced the 44 players who will compete with Team Canada Red and Team Canada White at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Nov. 2-11 in Charlottetown and Summerside, PE.

The players chosen to represent their country were selected by Byron Bonora (Brooks, AB), U17 head scout, and Dave Brown (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON/Erie, OHL), U17 lead with the Program of Excellence management group, with assistance from regional scouts Rob Simpson (Ontario), Pierre Cholette (Quebec), Darren Sutherland (Atlantic) and Darrell Woodley (Ontario).

“This summer we took the first step in introducing 66 young athletes to our Program of Excellence, which included preparations for short-term international competition,” said Benoit Roy (Sudbury, ON), senior manager of hockey operations with Hockey Canada.“We are grateful for the commitment and input from our support staff to ensure our teams are ready for competition starting Nov. 2. We couldn’t be more excited for the 44 players we have selected to represent Canada at this prestigious tournament and believe they will give us the best chance to compete for a gold medal.”

Hockey Canada is also proud to recognize the teams’ support staff who will participate in this year’s tournament, with 10 individuals representing Team Canada Red and Team Canada White.

The Canadian squads are in action on opening day, Nov. 2. Canada White hosts Czechia at Credit Union Place in Summerside at 12 p.m. AT, followed by Canada Red facing Finland at 7 p.m. AT at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown. Red and White will meet in the lone all-Canadian matchup in the preliminary round on Nov. 3 in Summerside.

TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will broadcast the medal games; check local listings for details. Preliminary-round games, quarterfinals and semifinals will be available by livestream at HockeyCanada.ca.

Fans eager to watch some of the best international players compete on Prince Edward Island can secure their seats now. Ticket packages start at $120; click here to purchase.

As a legacy of hosting the event, Charlottetown and Summerside will receive net proceeds from ticket sales to support grassroots hockey within the communities.

More than 2,000 NHL draft picks have suited up since the inception of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (previously known as the Quebec Esso Cup) in 1986, including 16 first-overall draft picks since 2001 (Ilya Kovalchuk, 2001; Rick Nash, 2002; Marc-André Fleury, 2003; Alexander Ovechkin, 2004; Erik Johnson, 2006; Patrick Kane, 2007; John Tavares, 2009; Taylor Hall, 2010, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2011; Nathan MacKinnon, 2013; Aaron Ekblad, 2014; Connor McDavid, 2015; Auston Matthews, 2016; Jack Hughes, 2019; Alexis Lafrenière, 2020; Owen Power, 2021).

For more information on Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along on FacebookX and Instagram.

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Coaches Named for 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

John Dean and Carl Mallette to lead the two Canadian squads.

NR.066.23
|
October 06, 2023

CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada will work together with six Canadian Hockey League (CHL) coaches to guide Canada’s national under-17 teams at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown and Summerside, PE next month.

John Dean (Don Mills, ON/Sault Ste Marie, OHL), and Carl Mallette (Montreal, QC/Victoriaville, QMJHL) will serve as head coaches of Team Canada White and Team Canada Red, respectively.

Joining Dean on the Canada White bench will be assistant coaches Eric Bouchard (Montreal, QC/Shawinigan, QMJHL) and Brennan Sonne (Maple Ridge, BC/Saskatoon, WHL).

Rounding out the Canada Red staff are assistant coaches Matt Anholt (Prince Albert, SK/Lethbridge, WHL) and Norm Milley (Toronto, ON/Ottawa, OHL).

“The under-17 program is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, and we are excited to welcome coaches from across the CHL to help introduce the country’s top young players to our program,” said Scott Salmond (Creston, BC), senior vice-president of hockey operations. “All of these coaches bring a unique skill set, combining playing and international and junior hockey experience, and we look forward to the coaching staff helping deliver a world-class event for all participants.”

Dean has been head coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for the last five seasons (2018-23). Prior to joining the Greyhounds, he spent three seasons (2014-17) as an assistant coach with the OHL’s North Bay Battalion. Dean also served as an assistant and head coach of the North York Rangers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) for five seasons (2009-14) and as assistant general manager and head coach of the OJHL’s Toronto Patriots for two (2017-18). He made his international coaching debut at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge, serving as video coach for Team Canada East, and won a bronze medal with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship.

Mallette has been the head coach of the Victoriaville Tigres of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) for the past three seasons (2020-23), prior to which he was an assistant coach with the team for three seasons (2017-20). He also served as an assistant coach with Team Canada Red at the 2021 Capital City Challenge and Team Canada Black at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Anholt is entering his third season as an assistant coach with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League (WHL). Prior to that, he spent two seasons as the Hurricanes’ skills and development coach. Ahead of the 2021-22 season, Anholt added assistant general manager to his title, working alongside his father, Lethbridge GM Peter Anholt.

Bouchard was named as an assistant coach of the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes in June. This will be his second season in the QMJHL, having spent the 2022-23 season as an assistant with with the Val-d’Or Foreurs. Prior to his time in Val-d’Or, he spent three seasons (2019-22) as head coach of College Francais de Longueuil of the Ligue de hockey junior AAA du Québec (LHJAAAQ), winning coach of the year honours in 2019-20 and 2021-22.

Milley has spent the past six seasons (2017-2023) as an assistant coach with the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s and made his international coaching debut as an assistant with Team Canada White at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. He entered the coaching world after a 17-year professional playing career with stops in the NHL, AHL and DEL in Germany. He represented Canada on four occasions, including the 1998 Four Nations Cup and a trio of Deutschland Cups (2009, 2011, 2013).

Sonne is entering his third season as the head coach of the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades. Prior to arriving in Saskatoon, he spent four seasons (2017-21) as head coach of Angers in the Ligue Magnus in France and three seasons (2014-17) as an assistant coach with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips. Last season, Sonne earned the Dunc McCallum Trophy as WHL coach of the year.

The Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown will play host to 12 games during the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, including both medal games and a Canadian double-header on Nov. 4.

Ten games will be played at Credit Union Place in Summerside, beginning with Team Canada White facing Czechia on Nov. 2, as well as an all-Canadian matchup on Nov. 3.

Tickets are on sale now, with packages starting at $120. Click here to secure your seat.

TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will broadcast the medal games. Preliminary-round games, quarterfinals and semifinals will be available by livestream at HockeyCanada.ca .

For more information on Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca , or follow along on Facebook , X and Instagram .

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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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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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