A trio of Surrey hockey officials are headed to Edmonton to work the 2021 World Junior Hockey Championship.
On Wednesday, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) released the list of referees and linesmen that will serve as on-ice officials at the prestigious tournament – which is held each year just after Christmas – and Nathan Vanoosten, Michael Campbell and Brett Mackey were among those chosen.
A fourth B.C. official, North Vancouver’s Mark Pearce, will also work the event.
The tournament – which features hockey’s top under-20 prospects from around the world – begins on Christmas Day, and wraps up Jan. 5. Team Canada has been holding an extended selection camp in Red Deer this month, but recently shut down temporarily after two players tested positive for COVID-19.
Normally, the tournament includes game officials from a variety of countries, but because this year’s event is to be held in a bubble – and because international travel is limited – due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all referees and linesmen are residents of Canada this year.
“The game officials we would normally choose would have come from many different countries,” said IIHF Officiating Manager Danny Kurmann in an IIHF news release.
“Every additional person we bring into the bubble is a risk, so we decided to source the officials locally in order to reduce the risk to travelling personnel and teams.”
In the same release, officiating committee chairperson Sergej Gontcharov noted he was certain that an all-Canadian officiating roster would do an excellent job at the event.
“Special events require special measures, and we are confident that this group will be able to uphold the officiating standards of this tournament,” he said.
Vanoosten, 37, will be a linesmen at the world-junior event for the second time in his career, having also worked the 2017 event. The Surrey resident’s previous high-profile assignments include the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge (2007 and 2010); the Royal Bank Cup; World University Games; U18 world championships; Memorial Cup (2013 and ‘16); the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and the IIHF men’s world hockey championships (2017, ‘18 and ‘19).
In 2017, Vanoosten was named BC Hockey’s Official of the Year.
Campbell, 31, is a Level 6 referee according to BC Hockey, and has experience officiating games in the Pacific Junior Hockey League, BC Hockey League and Western Hockey League, as well as at the USports and American Hockey League levels.
He began his officiating career with Cloverdale Minor Hockey, and since then has worked a number of high-profile events. He was a referee at last year’s world-junior tournament – which was held in the Czech Republic – and has also officiated at the World U17 Challenge, U18 world championships, U20 Div. II world championships, World University Games and the Ed Chynoweth Cup. In 2013, he was named BC Hockey ‘s Official of the Year.
Like Campbell, Mackey, 26, also got his start with Cloverdale Minor Hockey, and will be officiating his first world-junior tournament. He has previously worked both U17 and U18 hockey championships, the University Cup and Ed Chynoweth Cup.
In 2019, he was named BC Hockey’s Official of the Year.