The most hated people on the ice during a hockey game are the officials. They are just regular guys earning a paycheck, but when they make a bad call, it can haunt them the rest of the season and beyond.
Critics be damned, Kennewick native Trevor Shively, 25, has been dropping pucks and blowing his whistle in the Western Hockey League since he was a 19-year-old linesman.
This season, Shively earned his orange stripes and will referee his first WHL regular-season game tonight in Cran-brook, British Columbia, when the Kootenay Ice host the Regina Pats.
It will be different, said Shively, who was a referee in two WHL preseason games. I always get nervous for a game no matter the age level, but here there is more pressure. You are in a different area on the ice and you have more responsibility.
Shively, a 2006 graduate of Kamiakin High School, has worked as a linesman in the WHL, USHL, Central Hockey League and a couple of ECHL games, will split his time between linesman and referee this season in the WHL.
Ive been a referee in other leagues (at a lower level), Shively said. I got a call from Kevin (Muench, WHL director of officiating) last year about being a referee, but it didnt work out with my schooling and I thought I needed a little more time.
This season, Shively felt he was ready for the move, and Muench was more than happy to issue him the orange stripes.
Trevor has been one of the top linesmen for several years, Muench said. Ive talked to him about this and we decided this would be the year to do this. This is a good fit. The thing about Trevor is he is a student of the game. He has the ability to get there in a hurry.
We have quite a few linesmen who have become referees, and some who do each half time. As a linesman, they learn the pace and the flow of the game, which helps when they move up.
Shively will work with veteran referee Brett Iverson tonight, which should ease the transition.
I have a pretty good relationship with the senior guys, Shively said. They are always willing to help out. With the four-man teams, things are a little smoother. Everyone wants to see the next guy excel, especially if they see you working on it and are willing to ask for help and take constructive criticism.