Officiating is all about being in the right place to make the right call.
Referee Konstantin Olenin made sure he had the best view of a play at the net during the KHL’s Gagarin Cup Playoffs. The veteran official climbed on top of the net to get an overhead view of the action during a goal-mouth scramble between Ak-Bars Kazan and Admiral Vladivostok.
The puck stayed out, and nobody had a better angle than Olenin – positioned horizontally, four feet above the goal line.
Olenin, 42, is in his 14th season with the Kontinental Hockey League, having been in stripes for the league’s inagural season in 2008. He was awarded the KHL’s Golden Whistle as the league’s top referee in 2018. The Russian ref is one of his country’s top international officials as well, having worked the Olympics in 2014 and 2018, the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, and with numerous IIHF World Championships and World Juniors.
Of course, Olenin knows the importance of being on top of the play, especially in a close game. None are closer than this one.
Admiral won the game 1-0 in overtime.
Ak Bars Kazan leads their Conference Semifinal series two games to one.
Officials for the game were referees Konstantin Olenin (#37) and Nikolai Akuzovsky (#18), with linesmen Dmitry Shishlo (#55) and Anton Ponamarenko (#88).