The ECHL has named the Referees and Linesmen for the 2023 All-Star Classic.
Referees Nolan Bloyer (#31) and Alex Normandin (#26) will work the game alongside linespersons Brady Fagan (#89) and Colin Gates (#52). This year’s ECHL All-Star Classic will be held in Norfolk, Virginia, on Monday, January 16.
“Congratulations to the four officials selected to represent the ECHL officiating staff at this season’s ECHL All-Star Classic in Norfolk,” said ECHL Manager of Officiating Riley Yerkovich. “All of them have dedicated many hours to mastering their craft and have proven themselves to be consistent in their work on the ice. Selection to an All-Star Classic is a goal for many officials that take the ice in the ECHL, and these four are very deserving of the honor.”
Bloyer, who is in fourth season as an ECHL referee, was selected to work the Conference Finals in the 2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs, and last season earned an assignment for the Kelly Cup Finals. Prior to joining the ECHL, Bloyer worked the 2019 Clark Cup Finals in the United States Hockey League and the 2019 Asia League Finals.
Normandin is in his sixth season as an ECHL referee, while also currently working games in the American Hockey League. He has been selected to work the Kelly Cup Finals in each of the last three postseasons.
A native of Guelph, Ontario, Fagan began his officiating career in the Ontario Hockey Association and the Ontario Hockey League. He also worked the 2017 Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Fagan is in his fifth season working games in the ECHL and AHL, and has been selected to work two Kelly Cup Finals.
Gates joined the ECHL for the 2015-16 season after spending time as both a referee and linesperson in the Southern Professional Hockey League. In addition to working in both the ECHL and AHL, he is also the founder of Scouting the Lesser Refs, an organization that focuses on keeping officiating fun for minor officials.
Scouting the Lesser Refs, huh? Sounds familiar…
The All-Star Classic isn’t just a special moment for the officials. It’s also an opportunity for them to give back.
“At this year’s event, the officials will also make their annual donation from funds raised through their no-shave November fundraiser to the Sentara Brock Cancer Center,” Yerkovich added.
Five current National Hockey League officials have worked the ECHL All-Star Game
Current NHL officials who have worked the ECHL All-Star Game are referees Ian Walsh (1997), Brian Pochmara (2001), Justin St. Pierre (2002) and Tom Chmielewski (2011) and linesman Brian Mach (1999) while former NHL referee Jeff Smith worked the 1998 game.
There are 41 former ECHL officials who are scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2022-23 with referees Reid Anderson, Jake Brenk, Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Mitch Dunning, Trevor Hanson, Beau Halkidis, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Pierre Lambert, T.J. Luxmore, Peter MacDougall, Morgan MacPhee, Michael Markovic, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Carter Sandlak, Graham Skilliter, Furman South, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh and linesmen Steve Barton, Ryan Daisy, Julien Fournier, Brandon Gawryletz, Mitchell Hunt, Trent Knorr, Matt MacPherson, Jesse Marquis, Kilian McNamara, Bevin Mills, C.J. Murray, Kory Nagy, Ben O’Quinn and Bryan Pancich.
Forty-two of the 80 referees working in the American Hockey League, came from the ECHL, while 79 of the 155 linespeople in the AHL have worked games in the ECHL.
Congratulations to Nolan Bloyer, Alex Normandin, Brady Fagan, and Colin Gates on their selection to officiate the 2023 ECHL All-Star Classic.
(Featured image via ECHL/ECHL.com)