By Brett Martin
With my fingers crossed, and a prayer, I can only hope that I do not have the opening set of games at 7:00am. At the same time I bank on the fact that the rink is running on time if I am closing. I like to sleep late in the mornings. After sleeping in I grab breakfast at the hotel and then it’s off to the rink for anywhere between eight to twelve games. Our sets usually range from three to five games. Believe it or not, the daunting task of having twelve games on your schedule is more of a mental challenge than a physical.
Games have their high and low points and every game is different. You never know how the teams are going to come out and play. They might play zone or man or maybe it will be a bit ‘chippy.’ I like to observe a team’s strategy and how they adjust to certain circumstances and situations throughout the game. My favorite type of game is a game with no penalties.
When I am not in the thick of things officiating, I typically try and grab a bite to eat if time allows. I have come to find out that I can work up quite an appetite during a five game set. The chicken sandwich or chicken strips at High Five are amazing. Our breaks are usually an hour or two. After about eight, or so, games I usually take time to get away from the rink and find something to occupy myself with that is not hockey. A Starbucks run is essential at this time.
At the end of the night I hope to have not thrown anyone out and that not too many people have yelled at me. I pride myself on making sure NARCh is represented in the best way possible. It’s a good feeling to have all the players and coaches come and say good game to you. There are a few occasions in which parents acknowledge me too. It’s all in a days work. 6 days down, 11 more to go!