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 is proud to present a monthly official’s spotlight, highlighting an advocate of the game that has gone above and beyond.
This month’s official’s spotlight features Terry Partridge.
I got started officiating back in 1972. I was coaching youth hockey, and a number of times we had no refs for our games, so I did it. I found out that I liked it. I met Lenny Gaugnon, a big-time ref back in the 70s, and he got me certified. Since then I have officiated at every level, both boys and girls, including the 1980 Olympic team before they went on to win the gold medal.
I have been officiating all year long for 46 seasons. I believe I have done over 10,000 hockey games in my career. I learned to take each game as it happens, as some nights I called every little thing, and then let them play on other nights. The first 20 years I officiated they could fight in the games, and were only thrown out after their third fight. We didn't wear helmets back then, and I got my share of stitches. The next 26 years we wore helmets and then shields. I just loved the game, and the higher up in skill level I got, the more I loved it.
I officiated high school hockey each winter and at the Garden, I was the Referee-In-Chief of the New England Junior hockey program. I was also the first Referee-In-Chief of the Boston Metro League for 20 years, and after 25, I got voted into their Hall of Fame. I officiated every hockey player from the Boston area that made the NHL, including Donato, Nilan, Roenick, Amonte, O'Dwyer, Langway, Silk, Fotio, and many more. The higher up I went, the more I loved it, then along came girls hockey and we got even busier.
I worked at the Garden for the women’s Beanpot Championship along with the men’s tournament. I was the Referee-In-Chief of the Sea Spray Tournament for 17 years, when we would play 110 games at all levels in just 10 days. Those teams were loaded with all-stars from all over the US and Canada.
I also assigned the officials for Thayer Academy, Archbishop Williams, and Milton Academy for over 25 years, and took part in many other tournaments and championships.
As far as advice for young officials, you’ll find out pretty quickly that you won’t please everyone with each call that you make. You should know the rules like the back of your hand, and if you hustle and enjoy what you’re doing, then you will be successful. Always try to do the best job you can, no matter the level, and make as many friends as you can along the way. If you do these few things and just have fun, then you will be successful with this side of the game.