The WHL’s Vancouver Giants donned the stripes on Sunday for Referee Appreciation Night game against the Spokane Chiefs.
With the Giants wearing stripes, the game’s officials went with a throwback look, sporting beige sweaters. The look was worn in the NHL during the ’30s and ’40s; the league brought them back for a handful of games in the 1991-92 season, for the 2003 Heritage Classic, and again for the 2004 All-Star Game.
Despite their show of appreciation, the Giants found themselves shorthanded five times in the game, once more than Spokane.
“Our goal with this game is twofold: first, to acknowledge the hard work that on-ice officials do to ensure the game is safe and fair, and second, to shine a spotlight on officiating at the grassroots level here in B.C.,”, said Giants Vice President of Operations Pete Toigo.
“Hockey can’t be played without officials. By hosting this game, we want to encourage youth to get involved in officiating and also show support for officials at all levels, who deserve more respect.”
The officials for the game were referees Adam Bloski (#16) and Bobby Jo Love (#11), with linesmen Nick Albinati (#3) and Mitchell Gibbs (#142).
— Vancouver Giants (@WHLGiants) October 22, 2023
Vancouver went on to win the game 5-3. No word on whether either team found it a bit confusing when it game to passing to – or getting hit by – a player wearing the black-and-white stripes. The two teams combined for 14 penalties in the game – split right down the middle with seven per side.
The jerseys – for both the Vancouver Giants and the officials – are being auctioned off; the bidding runs through Wednesday night.