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Trading wheels for blades was no problem for Richmond goalie Murphy

02/27/2014, 5:30pm MST
By Tom Robinson - Special to

Whether he was using makeshift equipment to stop shots around the house from his brother Cole or on roller skates with the best youth inline players in the country, Tucker Murphy has always had a knack for stopping pucks.

“I was about 6 years out when I started playing goalie,” said Murphy, who first tried hockey as a 4-year-old. “My brother was a hockey player and I went after what he was doing. Then one day, he got bored shooting at an empty net and kind of threw me in there without pads.”

Murphy soon started the series of transitions that have brought him to the Richmond Generals, where he is the starting goalie on the toughest team to score on in the entire Metropolitan Junior Hockey League.

“We found stuff around the house to use as pads,” Murphy said. “I really liked the gear that goalies had and that kind of stuck and I started getting into it.”

By the time he was 8, Murphy was the goalie for the Richmond Rattlers when they won a national roller hockey championship. Murphy continued for many years as one of the nation’s top roller hockey goalies in his age group, but friends convinced him to try ice hockey as well.

Two seasons of AAA youth hockey with the Washington Little Caps, where Murphy was often peppered with shots, fast-forwarded his development as an ice hockey goalie.

Now, as Richmond tries to make the move from Metropolitan League runner-up to champion in just its third season, Murphy is both stopping and moving pucks.

“He moves the puck excellent,” Generals coach and general manager R.C. Lyke said. “He can move the puck just like a defenseman. It gives us a real big advantage, having a goalie like that who plays the puck as well as he does helps us break out of the zone much easier.”

More importantly, Lyke said Murphy can be counted on to make the big save. That was evident a year ago when the Generals were on their way to the league final.

Murphy picked up the most playing time in a three-way rotation that included World Junior Championships participants Kuroiwa Yoshihiro from Japan and Nazarovs Kristaps from Latvia.

Although Murphy spent two games as a backup who dressed but did not play with the Johnstown Tomahawks of the Tier II North American Hockey League, he has spent the rest of this season with Richmond. Murphy is one of just six players back from 26 on last year’s roster.

Murphy got the Generals off to a fast start even when he was facing 30-plus shots for each of the first 10 games. That workload has been reduced all the way to 19 and 25 shots during shutouts in two of his last four appearances.

“We have a big defense that is extremely physical and is really clearing things out,” Lyke said.

And that defense is backed by Murphy, who seems to come natural to the leadership that is part of his position.

“His biggest success comes from his maturity and his composure,” Lyke said. “He has a very calming presence. He doesn’t jump around a lot. He’s extremely vocal.”

Murphy, from nearby Chesterfield, Va., is driven to lead Richmond to a championship in 2013-14. The 19-year-old has a .934 save percentage and 2.20 goals-against average this season.

“That’s absolutely motivation,” he said. “It was so close you could almost touch it, but we fell short. Mentally, you have a goal now, you know how close you can be but fall short, and you know the little things that can happen and change the entire thing.

“One of the roughest experiences with that [2013 championship] game was looking around that room at guys who were 20 years old and that was their last junior game, knowing that was it for them. It’s really rough to see that.

“I know the same situation could happen this year,” Murphy continued. “I’d love that last game to be the national championship game and to be celebrating.”

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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