BOSTON, MA -- During a hockey game, who has the toughest job on the ice? The officials.
There is no game with no officials, and no individuals get more criticism throughout the sport. The officials are in charge of monitoring the game in a fair and honest manner. They are also involved with every play, as they can never make a line change, and throughout the contest they need to be as invisible as possible. There is no task more difficult than officiating a hockey game, and as a thank you to these top-notch individuals, the USAJHM will be presenting a monthly official’s spotlight, highlighting an advocate of the game that has gone above and beyond.
This month’s official’s spotlight features Evan Reddick.
I first got involved with hockey at the age of three years old withthe Lynn Youth Hockey Learn to Skate Program. By the age of 5 years old I was on my first travel team for Lynn Youth Hockey. I then went on to skate for the Valley Jr. Warriors coached by Steve Leach, who didn’t tolerate disrespect for the game. All my coaches throughout my playing career have helped shape my passion for the game including Shawn McEachern, Bobby Jay, Sean McCann, and Mike Grier. When I became a referee at age 16 I was a sophomore at Saint Sebastian's playing on the varsity hockey team. I began to draw a connection with all the refs officiating my games, as they were the ones leading my USA Hockey seminars and guys that I was seeing around the rink and inside the refs room. Being respectful to the officials allowed for better communications on the ice, and I began to develop a relationship with the referees throughout the season.
I’ve been officiating for 4 years, and the biggest thing that I’velearned is to take everything that anyone has to say, and apply it tomy own game. Whether the advice is given inside the classroom withReferees Crease LLC, from my partners on the ice, or from anevaluator. The willingness to apply that advice displays my commitmentto my development. Also, to work each and every game to my full potential, because you never know who’s in the building and may be watching.
Junior Hockey has helped push me in my officiating career by giving me the exposure to three- and four-man systems. Working with crews that have officiated at the college and higher levels have had the biggest impact on me. Constant feedback has allowed me to make changes to my game on the fly and has developed me into the official I am today. Also, film has allowed us as referees to go back and look at clips, discuss it, learn from it, and put it into our back pockets for the next time a situation occurs.
This has been my first year being able to focus as an official. Theprogress I have been able to make has allowed me to climb through theofficiating ranks a lot quicker than I could have ever imagined. I wasable to break through at the Junior Hockey level this year with thePremier level, and worked my way up the ladder as a linesmanofficiating the EHLP, EHL, NA3HL, USPHL Elite, USPHL Premier,USPHL NCDC, and an NCAA Women's Atlantic Hockey game. I was also fortunate enough to put the bands on as a referee at the U-15 through U-18 levels, as well as refereeing my first Junior Hockey game at the USPHL level.
My short-term goals are to continue to move up the officiating ladder,transitioning from Junior Hockey to more college games.
My long-termgoal is to officiate at the college level wearing the bands as areferee. Also, being from Boston a dream of mine would be to officiatefor Hockey East, and referee a Beanpot game at the TD Garden.