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U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Inductions a Family Affair

12/02/2013, 6:15pm EST
By Ryan Satkowiak - USA Hockey Magazine

Family is important to any person, but it’s a common theme amongst the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductees.

Bill Guerin and Doug Weight have remained close friends in retirement, and both stated their respective families are close as well.

For Peter Karmanos, he helped found the Compuware AAA Midget team in part due to his son. 

Two of Ron Mason’s grandsons are also involved in the game. Travis Walsh is a sophomore defenseman at Michigan State, the school at which Mason spent the majority of his legendary career. His other grandson, Tyler, is the video coordinator at Canisius College.

“I don’t know if there’s anything I enjoy more than coming up to watch him play,” Mason said. “They’re both following in dad’s and granddad’s footsteps getting involved in college hockey.”

Karmanos founded the Compuware Hockey Program in the 1970s with the goal of providing a local program to help players reach the height of their potential.

The program has found success over the years, so much that it’s something Weight remembers about his youth hockey experiences.

“Compuware used to thump us all the time,” he said with a chuckle, noting he played for his father’s team.

Cindy Curley reminisced on the days when she was younger playing in cold rinks with here brothers, who were instrumental in her growth as a player.

“They always found time for me to play on teams, even though I was the worst one,” she said. “It’s just great to get them all here. Anyone who knows about hockey knows about the sacrifices.”

But the most notable ties came between Guerin and Weight. Both noted how special it was to be inducted in the same class as someone they played many years with.

“It couldn’t have worked out any better and didn’t work out any better,” Guerin said. “Dougy is not only the ultimate teammate but the ultimate friend. He’s always got your back.”

Added Weight: “He’s a great friend of mine, he’s a great guy. We love to have fun, but he’s very dedicated and I love every time I played with him. So this is sort of icing on the cake.”

The way they act around each other is almost brotherly. While Weight was partaking in his media session, Guerin entered the room and shouted, “Are you done yet? Unless you’re talking about me, hurry up.”

While the people crowded in the room laughed, Weight smiled and looked at the gathered reporters.

“He has really big eyes, doesn’t he?” he quipped.

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Making it Official - Q&A with Helen Fenlon

08/26/2014, 3:15pm EDT
By USA Hockey Officiating Program

If you’ve ever called USA Hockey with officiating registration questions, you’ve likely heard the voice of Helen Fenlon. As the manager of officiating administration, Fenlon is the brains behind registration operations. She started working with USA Hockey in 1991 and joined the officiating department in 1993.

Fenlon took a break from readying eager officials for the upcoming season to tell us more about herself and the registration process.


USA Hockey: How did you first get involved with USA Hockey? Did you lace up the skates or make the call on the ice a time or two?

Helen Fenlon: (Laughs) No, I wasn’t a ref or player. I was a mom and I had a child that played. I volunteered at the local association for a number of years and volunteered at USA Hockey. Before I knew it I was employed by them and have been doing this job ever since. It’s nice because I’ve seen the volunteer side and know how the local and state boards work because I did all of that when my kids were growing up.

USA Hockey: What’s a typical day like for you?

Helen Fenlon:
I work on the officiating registration. When everyone registers (to be an official) they are mailed out books to do the test and emailed information about doing the test online and ways to sign up for seminars online as well. Then I score the test when they come in for the closed-book test and basically answer all the questions that pertain to the ice hockey refs. I manage approximately 24,000 registrations when from August 1 through March. Once the registration period is over, we start getting ready for next year.

USA Hockey: How has the registration process changed in your 21-year tenure?

Helen Fenlon:
When we first started, we used to mail them out the application, have them mail it back with a check and then we would process it. Once that was done, we would mail them a test and they would mail us back their answer sheet when they were done. It was all done by hand back then. Now, for registration, they just go online and pay with a credit card and the test is also done online. It’s much easier for everyone involved.

In the past, we also would just do an open-book test, but it’s evolved into different levels of doing an open-book and closed-book test, and some do a skating exam, too. Also going into place this year, everyone will do an online seminar.

USA Hockey: Officials must be happy to have the process accelerated thanks to online capabilities.

Helen Fenlon:
It’s great for people to access the test faster and be able to turn materials around faster so they can start working. To some of these people, it’s a job. Others do it because they want to help kids. People do it for all kinds of different reasons. For me, it’s impressive to see people who stick with (officiating) for so long.

USA Hockey: How have the resources available to officials changed through the years?

Helen Fenlon: Right now, with the new rules and programs in place, the amount of resources available for officials education is improving, but we’re always looking for more ways to help our officials be successful.

USA Hockey: What’s one thing you want to remind everyone about?

Helen Fenlon
: It’s always been my goal for everybody across the country, whether you’re in Colorado Springs, New York, California or anywhere in between, to follow the same rules as far as being able to become an official and complete the registration. That’s the fair way, and it’s the best way to ensure the best quality of officiating throughout the country.

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