Kosaka2Some World Juniors ref reading from IIHF.com on Japanese official Kenji Kosaka:

On ice or off, the 36-year-old native of Tokyo exudes warmth, not always the easiest thing to do during the heat of an international hockey game.

“My policy is to smile and have fun,” he explained in a quiet moment after working the Slovakia-Germany game at the 2014 IIHF World World Championship in Malmo. “Every game is an important game, but you must enjoy it as well. The referees and linesmen must be in control of the game, but it is important for me to talk to the players as well. For instance, whenever the goalie freezes the puck, I’ll tell him, ‘Good save.’ And he’ll say, ‘Thank you very much.’ This is important to me.”

Combine this inherent good nature with his stature – short and stocky – and his excellent skating speed, and one easily recalls Ray Scapinello, an apt comparison, to be sure.

 Read more over at IIHF.com