Referee Olivier Gouin is one of 32 officials working the IIHF’s 2017 World Championship in Cologne, Germany, and Paris, France.

Gouin has spent the season splitting time between the ECHL and the AHL for the past three seasons, along with refereeing in the QMJHL. Switching leagues – with different skill levels and different rulebooks – can be a challenge.

“It’s different to deal with 17-year-olds than working with players who are 28 years old,” Gouin told Radio Canada’s Etienne Lajoie. “The standards are not the same. Players are not as physically strong from one league to another and are not as fast. ”

Now he’s officiating some of the strongest, fastest, most skilled players in the world at the IIHF’s World Championship.

“It’s probably going to be the strongest hockey,” said Gouin, “the fastest I’ve seen. ”

Olivier was one one of three officials selected to represent Canada, along with referee Brett Iverson and linesman Nathan Van Oosten.

The World Championship gets under way May 5, with the gold medal game slated for May 21.



Read the full article, in French, over at

All the best to Olivier Gouin and the rest of the IIHF World Championship officials.