The United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) will feature an all-female officiating crew for Wednesday’s Elite Division game between the Islanders Hockey Club and the Bridgewater Bandits.
Referee Katie Guay will take the ice alongside linesmen Samantha Kline and Marissa Peri. This is the first time in league history that a game has been officiated by an all-female crew.
“It’s important to get female officials at the junior level, to help the referees develop at the same rate of players, which is what it will take to get to the top. The numbers [for female officials] are growing. As the numbers increase, so will the talent level.”
Guay also has NHL experience, having refereed a 2019 NHL Prospect Tournament, worked the women’s exhibition at the 2020 All Star Game, and participated in the league’s summer officiating combine.
“The prospects tournament was a really high level of play. You have guys who are trying to make their NHL rosters. It was very high energy,” said Guay. “The Combine was incredible, as well, as you get a taste of what NHL Officials go through to prepare for the season.”
“Every game you call is a new challenge. I’m excited to get out there and take what I learned from those experiences.”
Kline, a long-time USPHL official who has also taken part in the NHL’s Officiating Combine, is looking forward to hitting the ice on Wednesday.
“This will be my fourth season working junior hockey and working the USPHL. I’m honored and excited to have been chosen for the first all-women’s officiating crew,” said Kline, via USPHL.com. “I only know a handful of female officials that work higher level men’s hockey, so it’s great to see more and more women prevailing through the ranks and being given opportunities.”
“I wouldn’t have the opportunity to be where I am in officiating if not for the trailblazers that came before me. The best way to honor their legacy is to continue to not only be the best I can be, but to support those around me, so we can continue to pave the road and open doors for those who will come next.”
Linesman Marissa Peri has previously worked NCAA Division III women’s hockey.
“I’ve worked with Katie before. She was on the crew with me when I worked my first Division III game,” said Peri. “I think it’s awesome to get women to officiate a men’s game, and it proves that we’re not just here to work with the women’s game,” said Peri.
“It proves that girls can do anything, and we can prove we know what we’re doing out there.”
The puck drops at 11:00 between the Islanders (4-0) and Bridgewater (2-1).