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Weselenchuk honoring USA heroes on World University Games mask

12/09/2013, 7:00am MST
By John Tranchina - Special to

When goaltender Wyatt Waselenchuk takes the ice for Team USA at the Winter World University Games Dec. 10-21 in Trentino, Italy, he will be doing it in style, wearing a special mask designed specifically for the tournament.

The 24-year-old senior at Minot State (N.D.) University will be unmistakable in net with his flashy headgear that includes an homage to 1980 U.S. Olympic Team icon Jim Craig on one side and the mythical character Uncle Sam on the other. Renowned Montreal-based mask artist David Leroux painted Weselenchuk’s mask.

“On one side you have Uncle Sam, which looks pretty crazy, and on the other side is Jim Craig,” Waselenchuk explained. “And then, it has some eagles on it, the stars and stripes in the background, the USA Hockey logo is on the chin. It’s pretty crazy.

“I like the back-plate on it; I think it turned out pretty cool, with our Minot State logo in red, white and blue. [Leroux] just added lots of touches to it, so there’s lots of stuff on there.”

The U.S. Men’s National University Team, which is comprised of players from collegiate ice hockey teams affiliated with the American Collegiate Hockey Association, will be looking to improve on its sixth-place finish in 2011, the best in U.S. history.

It’s almost too bad that the mask was crafted solely for the upcoming international tournament, because the mask truly looks spectacular.

“It just kind of came into fruition out of nowhere. It wasn’t anything I was planning on,” said Waselenchuk, who is 6-3 this season with four shutouts, a 1.67 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage for Minot State. “To put that kind of effort into something that’s so short-term, it almost feels like a waste. But that being said, a lot of people said it’s going to be such a good memento to have, put it up on the mantle when we’re done and always look back at it and say, ‘What an experience.’ ”

Waselenchuk, who backstopped the Beavers to the ACHA national championship last spring, elaborated on the genesis of the mask’s creation.

“I didn’t even think about doing anything like that, but I had someone approach me and said they’d like to do something like that for me,” he said. “So I gave a call to my normal painter that I’d worked with on the mask that I’m using right now, and threw a couple of ideas back and forth with him, and the main idea I wanted to do was that Jim Craig side. That was pretty cool. I remember growing up seeing that poster hanging up. My dad always had it, so I thought, ‘What an opportunity, what a chance to display that on the mask.’ I can’t really take too much credit for it other than the idea; the painter did an amazing job.”

As patriotic as the mask looks, it’s almost surprising to discover that Waselenchuk actually grew up in Port Moody, B.C., and derived his admiration for Craig from the movie “Miracle” more than anything else. But Waselenchuk does possess dual citizenship and, as such, qualified to represent the United States internationally.

“Just watching that movie, it was a pretty cool inspiration in a way, so I just thought it would be pretty cool to honor him in a way,” Waselenchuk said of Craig. “It’s kind of very surreal, but I’m not technically from the States, I’m a dual citizen. The people that were putting this team together got a hold of me last year and said, ‘Hey, we heard that you have dual citizenship, would you be able to pursue it?’ And I figured, ‘Why not?’ My mom’s from California, my dad’s from Saskatchewan in Canada. They met and, through my mom, I have dual citizenship. I ended up getting my passport this summer.”

And just because he didn’t grow up within U.S. borders doesn’t mean that Waselenchuk, who previously played junior hockey for Langley in the British Columbia Hockey League, isn’t honored and humbled to be chosen to pull on the Team USA jersey.

“It’s indescribable what it means to me to be able to do something at this level, and I just can’t thank the organization and the coaching staff enough for selecting me,” said Waselenchuk. “It’s an amazing honor. It leaves me kind of speechless to do something like this on an international level.”

His mask will likely leave opponents speechless.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

To view more of David Leroux’s handiwork, visit

Date Opponent Time (ET)/Result
12/10 Sweden W, 2-0
12/13 Latvia W, 3-2 OT
12/15 Italy L, 1-5
12/18 Italy (Quarterfinals) W, 5-0
12/20 Kazakhstan (Semifinals) L, 1-5
12/21 Russia (Bronze Medal Game) L, 2-6

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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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