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Top Junior Players Receive End-of-Year Honors

05/29/2014, 3:30pm MDT
By Tom Robinson - Special to

Omaha Lancers defenseman Tucker Poolman received the Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year award given by USA Hockey. Poolman led United States Hockey League defensemen with 15 goals — 10 of which came on the power play — and was third among USHL defensemen in scoring with 41 points in 58 games.

Poolman, a 20-year-old from Grand Forks, Minn., also helped the Lancers lead the league in fewest goals allowed and penalty killing percentage.

Cal Petersen of the Waterloo Black Hawks was named as the Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year. Peterson led the league with 27 wins, including 12 straight at one point.

The Waterloo, Iowa, native and University of Notre Dame recruit was a fifth-round pick by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

USHL AWARDS: USHL scoring champion Jake Randolph of the Omaha Lancers was named the league’s Forward of the Year in voting by the league’s coaches and general managers.

Randolph led the scoring race by 12 points with 26 goals and 60 assists in 60 games. The 60 assists set a USHL Tier I era (since 2002) record.

Other awards included: Hayden Hawkey of Omaha as Goaltender of the Year; P.K. O’Handley of the Waterloo Black Hawks as Coach of the Year; Robby Jackson of the Chicago Steel as Rookie of the Year; Jeff Brown of the Indiana Ice as General Manager of the Year; and Brandon Montour of the Waterloo Black Hawks as Player of the Year and Defenseman of the Year.

Hawkey led the league with a 1.99 goals-against average, the lowest in the league’s modern era, while going 22-6-3.

Jackson set a modern era record for scoring by a USHL 16-year-old with 42 points on 28 goals and 14 assists.

O’Handley led Waterloo to the Anderson Cup for the best regular-season record of 44-11-5.

Brown guided the Ice to the Eastern Conference title and the Clark Cup as playoff champion.

COACHING MOVES: Luke Strand has been named coach and general manager of the Madison Capitols for the organization’s return to the USHL for the 2014-15 season. Strand was GM of the Sioux City Musketeers last season after coaching the team from 2009-11.

The Odessa Jackalopes have removed the interim label from coach Greg Gatto, who guided the team through the last 10 games of the North American Hockey League season.

The Southern Tier Xpress, which will begin play in the North American 3 Hockey League next season in Jamestown, N.Y., have named Rylan Galiardi coach and Seth Wolfe associate head coach.

Also in the NA3HL, the LaCrosse Freeze will have Ryan Egan as coach and general manager and the Fort Worth Brahma will have Al Rooney as coach for their debut.

USPHL CHANGES: The United States Premier Hockey League will expand its Premier Division to 11 teams next season with the addition of the Rochester Americans and Springfield Pics.

The USPHL is also adding to the Providence Capitals to its Junior Elite and Midget 16U Divisions for next season.

COLLEGE COMMITMENT: Lucas Kohls of the NAHL’s Austin Bruins has committed to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. The 20-year-old from Forest Lake, Minn. played both forward and defense for Austin. He had 18 goals and 23 assists in 74 games.

SPRING SHOWCASE: The Boston Junior Bruins won the A Division and the Jersey Hitmen won the B Division of the USPHL Spring Showcase.

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.

Tag(s): News & Features