The following article was posted on www.nhl.com on Friday, September 6 featuring former ECAC Hockey standouts, and current league officials Katie Guay and Kelly Cooke.
By NHL Staff.
Four women officials will experience NHL action for the first time this weekend.
Referees Katie Guay and Kelly Cooke and linesmen Kirsten Welsh and Kendall Hanley, four of the 96 officials who participated in the 2019 NHL Exposure Combine, have been selected to officiate rookie tournaments in Irvine, California; Buffalo; Nashville and Traverse City, Michigan. A total of 30 officials from the combine were selected to work the rookie tournaments.
The Exposure Combine, held in Buffalo during the last weekend in August, can best be described as a scouting combine for prospective officials. It is also a crucial stepping stone in the journey for many officials landing a job in professional hockey whether it be at the American Hockey League or ECHL level or in North American junior hockey leagues.
"The opportunity to officiate at an NHL Rookie tournament is an important step in the development of the next generation of elite officials and we look forward to watching all four women elevate their performance in this new competitive environment," NHL senior vice president and director of officiating Stephen Walkom said.
Guay has officiated for 14 years, including at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. The 37-year-old officiates men's and women's NCAA Division I hockey, was part of the first all-female officiating crew at the 2019 Women's Frozen Four and was the first woman to officiate the men's Beanpot Championship in 2019. She played Division I hockey for Brown University from 2001-05 and has competed for USA Hockey's National Under-22 Team.
"When my playing days came to an end, I missed being at the rink and officiating was a great way to stay on the ice and be back in the game," said Guay, who will work the Rookie Faceoff in Irvine from Saturday through Tuesday.
Cooke is a licensed referee for the IIHF and NCAA (Division I) and has officiated for 10 years. She was also part of first all-female officiating crew at the 2019 NCAA Women's Frozen Four. The 29-year-old played Division I hockey for Princeton from 2009-13. She was a four-year ECAC All-Academic Team selection, was selected as Princeton's captain and named team MVP in 2012-13.
She will officiate at the Nashville Prospects Showcase, which runs from Saturday to Tuesday.
"Once I was done playing competitively, I knew that I wanted to stay involved in the game," Cooke said. "Officiating was the perfect way to both keep skating at a high level and challenge myself in a completely new way."
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