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Tommy Malkmus makes red-hot debut for Topeka after late-season switch

03/06/2014, 4:30pm MST
By Tom Robinson - Special to USAHockey.com

With his junior career winding down, Tommy Malkmus no longer had a place to play in his hometown. So he went with the next-best thing: A chance to return to playing for a coach he was with for the entire 2012-13 season.

The 20-year-old forward took a weekend to gather himself and pack up from his home in Bismarck, N.D., where he had been removed from the active roster of the North American Hockey League’s Bobcats. With less than a month remaining in the regular season, Malkmus joined the Topeka Capitals and began taking the North American 3 Hockey League by storm.

It was something Topeka coach Anthony Bohn has seen before.

When Malkmus was unable to make the Bobcats’ roster in training camp for the 2012-13 season, he headed off to the El Paso Rhinos of the Western States Hockey League, where Bohn was an assistant coach. Malkmus piled up 11 goals and 13 assists in the first 17 games before his scoring pace slowed, in part because of injuries.

Malkmus did even more damage in his first two weekends with the Capitals. Playing on a team that has clinched the NA3HL South Division title, Malkmus is already fifth on the Capitals in goals this season — after just six games.

Topeka acquired the rights to Malkmus when Bismarck set its roster for the upcoming NAHL Robertson Cup playoffs.

“At the deadline, they were looking to make some room for some of their younger guys,” Bohn said. “It just so happens that I had the pleasure of working with Tommy last year and, now being with Topeka, I was able to bring him in to the 3HL to do some things offensively and bring some leadership for us.”

Bohn got even more than what he expected. The Capitals (30-11-1) have won all six games with Malkmus in the lineup. Malkmus has hat tricks in half of those games, game-winning goals in half of them and multiple points in all of them. It all adds up to 13 goals and seven assists in just six games for the latest NA3HL South Division Star of the Week.

“I don’t think you expect that much production out of anybody,” Bohn said. “He’s really done some pretty amazing things. Hopefully, he can continue to do it — keep it going.”

A conversation with Bohn helped get Malkmus ready to salvage what was left of his season — and his junior career.

“It was tough,” Malkmus said. “It was the hometown team, so it was really tough to go, but I knew I had a good coach down here.

“I found out on that Thursday. Anthony gave me the weekend off to regroup and I arrived on Tuesday night. We immediately went to Sugar Land for three games on the weekend.”

And Malkmus immediately began producing for his new team. He had goals and assists in each game of the weekend, capping it with a four-goal, two-assist effort in an 11-2 rout.

“I had a little chip on my shoulder,” Malkmus said. “I wanted to prove, especially to Bismarck, that, ‘Wow, we let a good kid get away.’ ”

Malkmus had three goals and four assists while going plus-3 in 29 games in a limited role with the Bobcats. Bohn said the way Malkmus has handled this crossroads should make a good impression as he tries to land an opportunity to play college hockey next season.

“We have to credit Tommy,” Bohn said. “He handled this very professionally. A lot of guys come time with an ego of ‘I’m too good for this.’

“Luckily, Tommy and I had a relationship before being here. That helped, just with explaining what I’m expecting from him. Coming in, he didn’t miss a stride. He handled it professionally and it’s nice to see him getting the reward for it.”

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.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION
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.

REGISTRATION PROCESS

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.

EXAM PROCESS
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.

IN-CLASS SEMINARS & ONLINE EDUCATION UPDATES
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.

SUMMARY
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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