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 AJ Potvin.
I first got into hockey when I was 5 years old. My dad would take me to UNH hockey games as a kid and I would be all about it. I always noticed the refs coming out for warm-ups and always wondered what it would be like to be on that ice reffing that type of hockey or playing at that high level.
I have been officiating hockey for 10 years. I started right when I was 12 and have never looked back since. I knew from when I was 16 years old I wanted to make a career of this. It was the best way for me to stay in touch with the game I love. The biggest thing I have learned from the 10 years of officiating is that there are a lot of people involved in any referee’s success. At various levels I try to take as much criticism and advice as possible from my mentors and apply it the next time I’m on the ice. These are the individuals that will introduce me to the people that are in charge for the next level, and so on.
Junior hockey has challenged me both physically and mentally than an average youth game. The game of hockey is only getting faster and it has transitioned me into being able to think on my feet quicker, as well as being able to move my feet quicker, to be in the best position possible to make the right calls. Junior hockey is a great place to learn from. There are different types of supervision from around the country that has shaped me into the official I am today. I cannot be more grateful to those who have helped me along the way.
10-Year Anniversary Pin from USA Hockey
NCAA DI - Men’s Official Atlantic Hockey
NCAA DI - Men’s Official Hockey East
NCAA DI – Men’s Official NCAA Playoffs, 2018 Beanpot, and 2018 Friendship Four
Referee - ECHL
Referee - NAHL
Referee - USPHL
Referee - EHL
My biggest short-term goal is to work the NCAA Division I national tournament.
My long-term goal is to eventually become a referee in both the National Hockey League and also work the Olympic tournament.