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Officiating Program Awards


The Chet Stewart Award

In June of 2000, USA Hockey established an award to recognize the achievement of a grassroots officiating volunteer. The Officiating Education Program presents the award each year at the President’s Awards banquet during the USA Hockey Annual Congress. The Chet Stewart Award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the officiating education program during many years of service as an official and volunteer. The recipient will have been a grassroots leader in officiating education and development and provided dedicated service throughout his/her career to both the officiating and hockey community.


Billings, MT

Having dedicated countless hours of service to USA Hockey’s Officiating Program, Gordy Lingel has been a cornerstone of officiating development, specifically in the Rocky Mountain District and Billings, Montana.

Since starting his officiating career in 1977, Lingel has maintained his USA Hockey Officiating Program Certification continuously for 40 seasons and is currently still working games at 81 years young in Billings.

Lingel served as the Montana referee-in-chief from 1978-2006, supporting the growth and development of youth hockey and officiating through organizing local officiating programs and working games as often as needed. His time included tens of thousands of miles to teach, motivate and mentor young officials in growing programs across both the state and district.

His mentees attest that Lingel was a master at teaching crucial fundamentals such as verbal communication, positioning, practicing signals and most notably, appearance both on and off the ice. He preached that being an official meant holding yourself to a higher standard of personal pride, dedication and honor in representing USA Hockey ideals in the officiating program.

Numerous officials under Lingel’s tutelage have gone on to work at higher levels, including Bryan Pancich, who has been an NHL official since the 2009-10 season.

The Billings, Montana, native also still umpires fast pitch softball in the summer at the 12U-18U levels, in addition to officiating ice hockey in the winter.

The Ben Allison Award

In 2016, the Ben Allison Award was created to recognize deserving officials in the USA Hockey Officiating Development Program. The award is voted on by 150 members of the USA Hockey Officiating Development Program and is given to the official that best represents the characteristics that made Ben a special person and official, including always giving 100 percent on the ice, regardless of the level of the game, and representing USA Hockey in the finest manner. The award will be presented on an annual basis. Allison was a level three USA Hockey certified official, who was tragically killed in January 2015 at the age of 20. A native of Royal Oak, Michigan and a student at Illinois State University, he had been officiating for eight years and was a part of the Officiating Development Program for three years at various levels, including the NAHL.

Riley Yerkovich
Rock Springs, WY

The Milt Kaufman Award

The Milt Kaufman Award is presented at both the Eastern and Western Instructor Training Camps to the individual that most exemplifies the qualities that made Milt Kaufman such a special part of the USA Hockey Officiating Program.

"Milt was the Massachusetts District Referee-in-Chief . He was one of the people who put together the original Instructor Training program for the USA Hockey Officiating Program in the mid-‘80s. He also served as the original Eastern Instructor Training Camp Director until his untimely passing in 1994."- Tony Mariconda, Atlantic District Referee-in-Chief, describing Mr. Kaufman.


Eastern Instructor Training Program
Zach Hughes
Ithaca, NY

Western Instructor Training Program
Jenna Janshen
Miles City, MT

Zach Hughes (left) accepts the Milt K. Award from National Referee-in-Chief David LaBuda

Zach Hughes (left) accepts the Milt K. Award from National Referee-in-Chief David LaBuda

Jenna Janshen (right) accepts the Milt K. Award from USAH Coordinator of Officiating Education BJ Ringrose


Previous Milt Kaufman Award Winners

2017 Western: Stephanie Simon - Eastern: Chelsea Ward
2016 Western: Josh Burkart - Eastern: Michael Hickey
2015 Western: Mason Strom - Eastern: Brie Zdunkiewicz
2014 Western: Mackenzie Nelson - Eastern: Rob Lagler
2013 Western: Richard Ozaki - Eastern: Francis Bastone
2012 Western: Robin Baker - Eastern: Kevin Vena
2011 Western: Dominic Clements - Eastern: Lee Giobbie
2010 Western: Keisha Dunlevy - Eastern: Jeff Ning
2009 Western: Ryan Ourada - Eastern: Robert Navickas
2008 Western: Brett Lapham - Eastern: Keith Grooms
2007 Western: Douglas Durgin - Eastern: Gui Bradshaw
2006 Western: Hardy Woodward - Eastern: Nicholas Tochelli
2005 Western: Gary Anderson - Eastern: Bill Dickerson
2004 Western: Joe Manthei - Eastern: Michael Frank
2003 Western: Wendy Seronko - Eastern: Carol Mullins
2002 Western: Michael Patterson - Eastern: Mike McDevitt
2001 Western: Andy Hudson - Eastern: Mike Timoney
2000 Western: Matt Spivey - Eastern: Michael Campbell
1999 Western: Rob McKane - Eastern: George Flynn
1998 Western: Dan Hendrickson - Eastern: Rob Coggin
1997 Western: Brian Johnson
1996 Western: Paul Sollberger - Eastern: Derek Zuckerman

Previous Ben Allison Award Winners

2016-17     Sean MacFarlane     Otis Orchards, WA
2015-16     Shane Gustafson     Lake of the Hills, IL

Previous Chet Stewart Award Winners

2017 Gordie Lingel Billings, MT
2016 Pat Bush Raleigh, NC
2015 Gerald Moran Detroit, MI
2014 Harold "Skip" Trumble Chaska, MN
2013 Kevin Upton Silver Spring, MD
2012 Bruce "Buzz" Olson E. Grand Forks, MN
2011 Robert Keltie Sr. Boca Raton, FL
2010 Lyman Dimond Fort Mill, SC
2009 John Robinson Towson, MD
2008 Robert Klein Roswell, GA
2007 George Benson Anchorage, AK
2006 William Leslie White Bear Lake, MN
2005 Mike Martin Kalamazoo, MI
2004 Bill Reynolds Newington, CT
2003 K. Roy Chin Fort Wayne, IN
2002 John DePuydt Houghton, MI
2001 Robert Lilla Northbrook, IL
2000 Ken Sheeran Roanoke, VA

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