Hockey Manitoba is pleased to announce that four officials have been selected by Hockey Canada to attend the Western Officials Program of Excellence (OPOE) event in Kamloops, BC from October 5 -7, 2012.
The OPOE is designed as an officiating talent identification and training program for elite officiating prospects, which extends beyond Branch officiating development. The OPOE is a partnership, which includes Hockey Canada and its Member Branches, the National Hockey League and the Canadian Hockey League. All partners bring together resources in order to foster a rewarding development opportunity for officials identified and trained in the OPOE.
Selected to attend the 2012 Western OPOE are:
Kevin Mitchell (Referee), Winnipeg – Kevin has experience refereeing in the MJHL, KJHL, MMJHL and Midget AAA league. He also mentors young officials within Winnipeg.
Ben Croker (Referee) Brandon – Ben has experience refereeing in the MJHL and the Midget AAA League. He will be working in the KJHL this season. Ben also mentors young officials in Brandon and sits on the Brandon Officials’ Development Committee.
Jeremie Gauvin (Linesman) Winnipeg – Jeremie has experience lining in the MJHL, KJHL, MMJHL, and Midget AAA league. He has taken on the Assistant Area Referee-in-Chief role for St. Boniface which will allow him to work with young officials within his area.
Justin Verhaeghe (Linesman) Ile Des Chenes – Justin has experience lining in the CIS, MJHL, KJHL, MMJHL and the Midget AAA league. Justin is interested in mentoring officials from the Eastman region.
Only 15 officials from all of Western Canada are selected each season to attend this event. Referees nominated to attend this event must hold either a level IV or V certification and linesman must be a certified at a minimum of Level III.
Hockey Canada uses the OPOE as a training ground, and often official’s selections for tournaments such as the World Under 17 Championship are made based upon selection and performance at the OPOE.