The Best Seat in the House

Goal or No Goal?

Its 2001 in Brampton Ontario, the Canadets tournament, one of the largest women’s hockey tournaments in the world. That year there were teams from all across Canada, USA, Japan and Sweden. I was referring a game which a team from Scarborough was playing a team from the USA. One of the defense players on the Canadian team had one of the hardest shots from the point that I have ever seen, and that includes women’s and men’s hockey.

The game is close as the third period begins. The play goes to the USA’s end of the rink, Canada has the puck and they pass to their defense-woman. She quickly one-times it with an incredible shot, but it hits the post. The unusual thing about it this time though is that it is hard enough to split the puck into two even pieces. One half goes in the net, the other half flies off into the corner.

I have to laugh to myself as the arguing starts instantly, “goal or no goal” the USA team are all quite happy when I declare it a “no goal” explaining that the whole puck has to cross the line for a goal to count. The Canadian defense-woman who took the shot asked if she could take home the puck pieces to make a set of bookends.


In the late 1990’s I (and a few other referees) would occasionally work for a company that would put together sports vacation packages throughout Canada and the USA.  Officiating for some of these tournaments would pay for our trip, and it was always a good time.  You also never knew what to expect when you got there…

Bribing an Official

On one occasion in Charleston , South Carolina, at the start of an over-50 game, we were approached by two of  the players from one of the teams.  With poker straight faces, one of them says to us,  “If you let us win, we will buy you beer.  If the other team makes you a better offer, come and see me.” Then they both skated away.

We couldn’t help but laugh when we realized that they were actually being serious and trying to bribe us.  As it turned out they did win and they did not need any help from us to do so.

Nashville vs. Alabama

In all the years I have refereed I thought I had heard just about all the insults and arguments there were, but this one in particular stands out.  I was doing a game in Nashville and they were playing a team from Alabama.

I called a penalty against one of the players from Alabama and he started skating towards  me instead of the penalty box.  This is usually when the player starts yelling and cursing you.  Oh, great, I thought, “here it comes…”

In a heavy southern accent he calmly asked, “Excuse me, what was that penalty for?”

I answered him: “Your stick was around his stomach and you were holding him back, that’s hooking.”

Now I fully expected the yelling to start, but much to my surprise all he said was “ Sir, Ah respectfully disagree.”

Then he skated directly to the penalty box. Wow, just when you think you have heard them all!

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