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NWHL will have all-female officiating crews in Lake Placid

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A referee during an NWHL game in Boston
Michelle Jay

Today the NWHL announced that, with guidance from USA Hockey, it will exclusively have female officials on the ice in Lake Placid for the 2020-21 season and postseason.

The ten officials who will be wearing carrying whistles and wearing vertical stripes in Lake Placid are:

The 10 officials selected to the NWHL officiating staff include Sarah Buckner (Crystal, Minn.), Erika Greenen (Romeoville, Ill.), Kendall Hanley (Minneapolis, Minn.), Alicia Hanrahan (St. Paul, Minn.), Jacqueline Howard (Gaithersburg, Md.), Jamie Huntley-Park (Escondido, Cali.), Jackie Spresser (Thornton, Colo.), Amanda Tassoni (Bradford, R.I.), Mackenzie Welter (Rome, N.Y.), and Laura White (Runnemede, N.J.).

“The officials that have been selected are highly skilled, motivated and team-oriented officials who are up for the challenges that will be critical to the success of the NWHL season,” said Matt Leaf, director of USA Hockey’s officiating education program. “They are the brightest and best of our current and future top-level female officials who bring a balance of experience, versatility, loyalty and an unmatched skill and a passion to be the best they can be each time they step on the ice.”

Having female officials familiar with the women’s game and its rules should go a long way towards ensuring some consistency in officiating which has been an issue in post-collegiate women’s hockey for years. The NWHL also had all-female officiating crews in Nashville for the 2019 All-Star weekend and in Boston for the 2020 All-Star weekend. Several of the officials traveling to Lake Placid were previously assigned to work major IIHF women’s tournaments and events this year.

“In working with Matt Leaf and USA Hockey, we’ve identified 10 of the most highly qualified officials from across the country,” said NWHL Deputy Commissioner Michelle Picard. “We are looking forward to having this group’s expertise, enthusiasm, and professionalism in Lake Placid.”

Is it January 23rd yet?