WHL referee Sean Raphael (left) with Kevin Muench, the league’s senior director of officiating, on Saturday, Feb. 8, prior to a game between Victoria Royals and Kamloops Blazers. (submitted photo: WHL)

WHL referee Sean Raphael (left) with Kevin Muench, the league’s senior director of officiating, on Saturday, Feb. 8, prior to a game between Victoria Royals and Kamloops Blazers. (submitted photo: WHL)

JUNIOR HOCKEY

Surrey hockey ref Raphael given WHL Milestone Award in his 16th season

‘Sean is deserving of this prestigious award,’ league commissioner says

A WHL Milestone Award has been given to Surrey’s Sean Raphael, a longtime referee in the junior hockey league.

Raphael, in his 16th season as a ref of Western Hockey League games, began his WHL officiating career in 2004 and has worked more than 650 regular-season games. The total includes four WHL conference championships series and the WHL championship series in 2013.

The WHL Milestone Award, presented to WHL players, coaches, trainers, officials and WHL Championship teams for their outstanding achievements, was given to Raphael on Saturday (Feb. 8) in Victoria, during a ceremony held prior to a game between the home-ice Royals and Kamloops Blazers.

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In addition to his work as a WHL ref, Raphael has officiated the U SPORTS men’s hockey championship, the Allan Cup and the World Junior A Challenge.

“On behalf of the WHL and our member clubs, we would like to extend our congratulations to Sean on being a recipient this year of the WHL Milestone Award,” WHL Commissioner Ron Robison said in a press release posted to whl.ca.

“A considerable commitment is required to be an official in the WHL, and Sean is deserving of this prestigious award after 16 seasons in our league.”

Away from the rink, the release notes, “Raphael has enjoyed a successful career as the Vice-President of Programs – Referee in Chief for BC Hockey the past eight years. He is supported by his son Tennyson, and his wife Sarah.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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