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NY Bobcats take the turkey at Eastern League Thanksgiving Showcase

12/05/2013, 4:45pm MST
By Tom Robinson - Special to

The New York Bobcats beat three South Division opponents during the Eastern Hockey League’s Thanksgiving Showcase Friday through Sunday in Tewksbury, Mass. to extend their winning streak to four games and move into the Central Division title race.

The Bobcats moved over the .500 mark for the first time this season and closed the gap on the second-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights to one point with a game in hand.

Center Corey Kennedy was honored as the league’s Defensive Player of the Week for his play on faceoffs and as a penalty killer while going plus-3 and helping the Bobcats allow just three goals in three games.

The New Hampshire Junior Monarchs also won three games with the help of a shutout by goalie Brenden Cain.

The Eastern Hockey League will have a Christmas Showcase Dec. 20-22 in Simsbury, Conn.

METRO SHOWDOWN: The Metropolitan Junior Hockey League’s top two teams met in Richmond on Saturday and went to a shootout that the host Generals won 2-1 over the Boston Junior Rangers.

The Mullen Division-leading Generals have the most standings points in the league while going 18-4-0-2. They got 31 saves from Tucker Murphy and a decisive shootout goal from Cameron Durham.

Mike Robinson made 37 saves for the Francis Division-leading Rangers, who are 17-1-0-2 for the league’s best winning percentage.

TOP SCORER: Lane King continues to pile up assists to separate himself from the pack as the top scorer in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound, 20-year-old is a forward for the Great Lakes Division-leading Marquette Royals. King has scored in all 23 games since a scoreless opener and has 11 goals and 52 assists. He has at least four assists five times.

TOP GOALIE: Austin Brihn, the American West Hockey League’s leading goalie statistically, made 34 saves Saturday to lead the Helena Bighorns to a 9-0 shutout of the Yellowstone Quake.

Brihn has a 1.73 goals-against average and .942 save percentage for the first-place Bighorns. He has split time with Alex Lazarski throughout the season, including each playing four games in the current eight-game winning streak. In Brihn’s four games during the win streak, he has stopped 105 of 109 shots.

USHL LEADERS: Zeb Knutson had five goals and three assists in three United States Hockey League wins by the Sioux Falls Stampede. Knutson scored the game-winning goal Nov. 27 on his league-leading eighth power-play goal in a 3-0 win over the Lincoln Stars. He assisted on all three goals Friday in another 3-0 win over the Dubuque Fighting Saints.

The 19-year-old Minnesota State University, Mankato recruit from Sioux Falls then became the first USHL player in the Tier I era (since 2002) to have a pair of four-goal games in the same season. He added an assist to the four goals in a 10-4 win over Team USA.

Knutson is on a seven-game scoring streak with 16 points during that time to move to fourth in the league in points (28) and second in goals (17).

Waterloo Black Hawks goalie Cal Peterson won three games in 72 hours, including his first shutout of the season with 21 saves Friday in a 3-0 win over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Peterson, a 2013 National Hockey League draft pick by the Buffalo Sabres, moved into a tie for the USHL lead in goaltending wins with 11.

COLLEGE COMMITMENTS: The United States Premier Hockey League Premier Division’s top goalie, Sean Lawrence of the Boston Junior Bruins, has committed to Quinnipiac University. The 18-year-old from Granite Bay, Calif. is 18-4-2 and leads the division with a 1.88 GAA and .940 save percentage. Quinnipiac reached the national championship game last season.

Lawrence’s teammate, forward Brian Bowen, has committed to the University of Vermont. The 18-year-old from Littleton, Mass. has 12 goals and 12 assists and is plus-14 in 27 games.

Cooper Marody, a forward with the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks, has committed to play at the University of Michigan. The 16-year-old from Brighton, Mich. is tied for second on the team with 16 points in 23 games.

Cedar Rapids defenseman Charlie Curti has committed to defending NCAA Division I champion Yale University. Curti, a 17-year-old from Mound, Mich., has three goals and eight assists while going plus-5 in 19 USHL games.

Will Johnson, a forward with the North American Hockey League’s Minnesota Magicians, has committed to the Air Force Academy. The youngest player on the Magicians at 17, Johnson, from Santa Barbara, Calif. is second on the team with six goals in 23 games.

ONE-TIMERS: Walpole Express goalie Kyle Shapiro scored a goal in an exhibition game against the New England Wolves that was part of the EHL Thanksgiving Showcase. … David Carle is leaving his position as assistant coach of the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers Jan. 1 to become a University of Denver assistant, replacing Steve Miller, who is leaving to prepare for his new role as head coach/general manager of the Madison Capitols, a 2014-15 USHL expansion team. … Michael Bigelbach assisted on the game-winner in two of three wins and scored in all three games as the Minot Minotauros extended their NAHL winning streak to six games. … The Central Division-leading Peoria Mustangs have won 14 straight and are now tied for the second-best record in the North American 3 Hockey League at 20-5.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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Update on 2015-16 USA Hockey Officiating Registration

07/08/2015, 5:15pm MDT
By David LaBuda, USA Hockey National Referee-in-Chief

District Referees-in-Chief implement changes to registration procedures

As we enter the 2015-16 registration season for officials, I want to give an update of what changes to expect this season.

The Officials Section has been busy since the 2015 Winter Meeting, working on implementing the registration changes that were discussed and voted on by the district referees-in-chief, along with refining the testing and online seminar programs.

For 2015-16, there will be an informational video available before an official registers with USA Hockey outlining the requirements and commitment that an individual will need to fulfill in order to complete their registration.


Next, and a very important change, starting with this season, in order to register for a seminar, an official will have to first register as an official (online) with USA Hockey in order to gain access to the online program to register for a seminar.

This change was due to a number of individuals who would never register as an official with USA Hockey and then ‘no show’ to the seminar that they registered for, which frequently led to other registered officials being denied attendance at that seminar because the seating capacity had already been reached.

This change will provide more incentive for every individual who registers as an official -- and registers for a seminar -- to attend that seminar and complete the registration requirements.

The open-book testing process has also been modified for the coming season. What hasn’t changed is that a Level 1 official will still have to answer the first 50 questions, while Level 2, 3 & 4 officials will have to answer 100 questions. However, the passing score for a Level 2 official has been modified to 80 from 85. All other passing scores remain the same as last year. Those minimum passing scores are 35 for a Level 1 official and 90 for Levels 3 and 4.

While an official is taking the open-book exam, there will be immediate feedback provided after each answer is submitted. If the question was answered incorrectly, the rule reference for that missed question will be given with the appropriate rule book language.

After completing all of the required questions, a summary will be sent of all incorrect responses with their rule references. If a passing score is obtained, then the open-book exam requirement will be complete.

If the result is a failing score, after the seven-day waiting period has passed, the official will only have to retake those questions that were incorrectly answered on their first open-book exam. The retake questions will be based on the same rule reference as the originally missed questions, but will cover a different aspect of the rule.

Once all of the retake questions are answered, the number of correctly answered retake questions will be added to the original test score to hopefully obtain a passing grade. As a reminder, there is no third attempt to pass the open-book exam.

During the winter meeting, the Officials Section spent considerable time discussing seminar program feedback, and in particular, the online modules. All feedback was taken seriously and an action plan was discussed and adopted.

Two work groups were established to address the new classroom curriculums and to improve the online video modules. Both were comprised of grassroots members who could bring a grassroots perspective to their work. Both groups have completed their work and their recommendations have been adopted. The new shortened classroom curriculums have been distributed for application to this coming seminar season and the online modules are being re-engineered with improved formatting, better sequencing, animation replacing some video clips and reduction of music and voice-overs to allow the viewer to better focus on the presented material.

We’ve also evaluated the number of required modules for each level, and based on the user analytics that the first years’ experience produced, we have reduced the number of required modules in some cases.

Lastly, as a reminder, once an official begins their first online module, they will need to complete all of their online module training within a specified time period. The online module completion time periods are 60 days for Level 1 registered officials and 45 days for Levels 2, 3 and 4. If all of the required and elective modules are not completed within the specified time frame, the official will have to restart all of the module training from the beginning. This requirement was waived during last year’s registration season due to the delayed rollout of the online module program, but it’s back in place this year.

This completion requirement was put in place by the District RICs to encourage all officials to complete their registration as early as possible and to provide continuity in the overall seminar education process.

As a reminder, to complete an official’s registration an applicant must:

  • Register online with USA Hockey
  • Register and attend a classroom seminar (reduced attendance times depending on registration level)
  • Complete the required and elective online training modules within the required time frame
  • Pass the open-book exam at their registration level
  • Pass the closed-book exam (no closed-book exam at Level 1) for their registration level
  • Complete their online USA Hockey SafeSport training at the end of every two-year cycle


Work will continue on improving our educational programs, and as always, we will continue actively listening to your constructive feedback. Without your involvement and support as a community, we cannot continue moving forward.  Acknowledging that improvements were needed was only one step in the process.  Implementing those changes in a way that meets the needs of our officiating community is the next step and we’re excited to be taking that step.

Have a great 2015-16 season and as always, skate hard and have fun when you’re on the ice.

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