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Female On-Ice Officials Announced By The AHL

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Howson announced today that the league’s roster of on-ice officials for the 2021-22 season includes female referees and linespeople for the first time.

The first AHL game ever officiated by a female referee will be the Lehigh Valley at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton contest this Saturday, Oct. 16, with Katie Guay working alongside Brandon Schrader. On Sunday, Oct. 17, Kelly Cooke will be teamed with Beau Halkidis for Rochester at Utica, and Jacqueline Zee Howard joins Carter Sandlak for Lehigh Valley at Hershey. Schrader, Halkidis and Sandlak are among 10 referees and six linespeople who will split their time between the AHL and NHL this season.

Other new members of the AHL refereeing staff include Laura White, Samantha Hiller, Elizabeth Mantha and Amanda Tassoni, while Kendall Hanley, Kirsten Welsh and Alexandra Clarke have been added to the AHL staff as linespeople. All have been part of the NHL and NHL Officials Association’s mentorship program and have been invited to attend the NHL Exposure Combine.

"We are honored to be able to play a role as these officials continue their development towards working at the sport’s highest level,” said Howson. “They each bring years of experience in the collegiate, junior, international and women’s professional ranks, and they will all be great additions to our staff this season.”

The American Hockey League has been developing on-ice officials for the NHL throughout its history. Among members of the 2021-22 NHL officiating staff, every referee and 97 percent of linesmen came through the AHL during their careers.

In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives and broadcasters of every National Hockey League organization. Nearly 90 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.

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Paul's avatar

Elizabeth Mantha, sister of Anthony.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/11/21 at 07:47 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

I have no problem with this, assuming they earned the spot based on talent and no other reason…let the flame war begin.

Posted by Down River Dan on 10/11/21 at 07:55 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

This is a wait and watch. The physical aspect of the game mainly.

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 10/11/21 at 08:09 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

Can they physically handle breaking up fights?

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 10/11/21 at 08:15 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Posted by Down River Dan

Do you have any evidence that they didn’t make it based on merit? Or were you just getting in some wild, baseless speculation and casual misogyny before lunch?

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah


Posted by Steeb on 10/12/21 at 01:58 PM ET


Can they physically handle breaking up fights?

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 10/11/21 at 08:15 PM ET

Guess we’ll find out.

Posted by MZ2215 on 10/12/21 at 02:49 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

This is absolute woke garbage IMO, and not based on the female ref at all. Whomever earns a spot to be there, be there, congrats, officiating at any pro level is a skill to be heralded, it is not easy, but the problem is the AHL via the NHL decided, let’s do a coordinated promo out of this, make a picture collage to show how progressive we are.

Standard issue look how fantastic we are corporate exploitation of a class of people, to show how everyone is one, and there should be no “classes” of people.

The bigger question was whether someone assumed their gender, I mean I certainly hope each of “them” were called in advance to confirm their preferred gender as of the date of publication

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 10/12/21 at 03:09 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Posted by MurrayChadwick

White male doesn’t understand why representation matters. That’s new.  big surprise


Posted by Steeb on 10/12/21 at 05:06 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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