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Kyle Lee Comes up Clutch Twice For Fairbanks

05/06/2014, 11:45am MDT
By Tom Robinson - Special to USAHockey.com

Fairbanks Ice Dogs forward Kyle Lee returned from an upper-body injury in time to play in Game 5 of the first-round Robertson Cup series against the Kenai River Brown Bears.

All Lee did was score the overtime goal that advanced the Ice Dogs — the regular-season North American Hockey League champions — to the next round.

So when the Ice Dogs found themselves again in overtime in the fifth and deciding game of their Robertson Cup Midwest Division Final series, Lee had reason to be comfortable with the situation.

And again, all he did was produce another overtime game-winner, this time against the Wenatchee Wild.

“I wanted to be the hero of that game, too, just like everyone else,” Lee said. “I remembered the goal I had scored against Kenai [River].

“I was hoping I would get a chance to score another.”

Lee had to work for both goals, Ice Dogs coach Trevor Stewart said.

“Both of the goals were a result of him just going to the net,” Stewart said.

Lee left the playoff opener against Kenai River after suffering an injury on his third shift. In seven playoff games, he has two goals — the two overtime winners. In two seasons, all three of his playoff goals have been game-winners.

“He works hard,” Stewart said. “He battled through some injuries this year. He got hurt in our playoff run, then he came back for Game 5 against Kenai River.

“We weren’t even sure if he could play, and he said, ‘There’s no way that I’m not playing.’ Then he came through at the time when his team needed him most. It was kind of the same way in Wenatchee.”

Said Lee: “There was no doubt I was going to play.”

At 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, Lee, a 20-year-old from Wausau, Wis., said crashing the net is not always his most effective way of scoring, but it worked on the two overtime goals. He had 19 goals and 25 assists in 58 regular-season games.

After going 45-14-1 in the regular season, the playoffs have been a challenge for the Ice Dogs while playing without Chandler Madry for five games, scoring leader Taylor Munson for four games and Lee for three-plus because of injuries.

All are back as the team heads to the semifinals, still in title contention, largely because of the two clutch goals by Lee.

Against Kenai River, Lee got a pass from Lonnie Clary from behind the net. He missed his first attempt but kept battling in front until he batted home the rebound.

The winner against Wenatchee, which put the Ice Dogs in this weekend’s Robertson Cup semifinals on home ice, came on the power play.

“He was just kind of cruising by the front of the net,” Stewart said. “Doug Rose got a shot in, kind of a harmless shot it seemed like. Kyle got his stick on it and deflected it between the goaltender’s legs.”

The Ice Dogs have held opponents to 2.2 goals per game during the playoffs.

Defensemen Nick Hinz, Wyatt Ege and Duggie Lagrove have also contributed offensively. Hinz shares the team playoff scoring lead with Brett Gervais at a goal and seven assists each. Ege has a team-high four goals, including the winner in Game 2 of the Wenatchee series, after scoring just three in 59 games during the season. Lagrove is tied for third on the team with six playoff points.

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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