ZURICH – The International Ice Hockey Federation announced on Wednesday the game officials’ assignments for 39 IIHF tournaments. At the same time the remaining games for the Referee Exchange Program have been published.
393 referees and linesmen from 40 different nations will officiate in 39 IIHF-sanctioned tournaments of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship program, European club competitions and the Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Swiss referee Danny Kurmann will call his 10th World Championship in Finland and Sweden next spring, making him the on-ice official with the most international experience in the event. Kurmann called eight games in the 2011 Worlds including the bronze medal game.
Swedish referee Christer Lärking will officiate in his ninth World Championship including three he had worked as a linesman.
Eight referees will call their first World Championship in the top men’s senior category after having demonstrated their capabilities in other events: Antti Boman (Finland), Lars Brüggemann (Germany), Martin Frano (Czech Republic), Georg Jablukow (Germany), Morgan Johansson (Sweden), Keith Keval (USA), David Lewis (Canada) and Steve Patafie (USA).
Brüggemann has previously participated in one World Championship and one Olympic Games as a player.
In the IIHF’s next upcoming flagship event, the U20 World Championship in Calgary and Edmonton, Canada, the list of officials will be highlighted by Czech ref Vladimir Sindler, who will travel to his eighth U20 Worlds, and Vyacheslav Bulanov, who called the gold medal games in 2008 and 2009.
It will be the sixth World Juniors for the Russian, who had also been assigned to six World Championships in the men’s category. Also Finnish ref Jyri Rönn will officiate in his sixth U20 World Championship. Another veteran on the officials’ list is Swiss-Canadian Brent Reiber, who does his second U20 Worlds.
Reiber, originally from Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, has earlier experience from six World Championships in the men’s category. The three last mentioned referees were also assigned to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Four North American referees will officiate in the World Juniors including Devin Klein (Canada), who called last year’s U18 gold medal game, Ian Croft (USA), Thomas Sterns (USA), who was part of the last four World Championships, and Derek Zalaski (Canada), who called last year’s U20 bronze medal game in Buffalo.
Debbie Hengst from the Netherlands will be the busiest referee in IIHF events with three assignments. She will call games at the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division I Group A in Latvia and in two tournaments of the European Women’s Champions Cup.Click here for the full list of referee assignments.
At the same time the IIHF published the second part of the Referee Exchange Program’s calendar. Until February, 84 games in Europe’s top seven leagues will have been officiated by referees from other European countries. Each of these games is officiated in the four-man system with one domestic and one foreign referee.
This season, 21 referees from the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland take part in the program the IIHF introduced in 2004.
Among former participants were many established international referees including Swedish NHL ref Marcus Vinnerborg.
Click here for more information on the Referee Exchange Program.Click here for the 2011-2012 schedule of the Referee Exchange Program.