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Vancouver Island teen earns nod as top hockey official

The Kerry Park Minor Hockey Association can now boast the VIHAH’s Official of the Year.
Kerry Park Minor Hockey Association's Matyas Martinuik has been named the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association’s Official of the Year for the 2023-24 season. Presenting to him is VIAHA's Director of Hockey Operations David Beatty.

The Kerry Park Minor Hockey Association can now boast the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association’s Official of the Year.

Matyas “Ty” Martiniuk was awarded with the honour recently. Martiniuk was also the KPMHA’s top official this past season.

“I regularly work with many deserving officials and think these awards could have gone to a number of them; this was a pretty big surprise to be recognized both at Kerry Park and by VIAHA as Official of the Year,” Martiniuk said this week.

“I remember the impact good officiating had on the games when I played, so I just try to give my best in every game as I owe the players and coaches the effort.”

KPMHA President Shane Kendall said while there may well be other great officials, Martiniuk stands out.

“He demonstrates dedication to the officiating pathway, and has done so in many ways,” Kendall explained. “As a 15-year-old, who completed his third year of officiating, he earned his Level 2 one year before he met the age requirement to do so. This past year saw him officiate games at Kerry Park for KPMHA, U17 CSSHL and he was selected for a VIAHA U21 final.”

Like AHL/NHL official Graedy Hamilton, who also came through the Kerry Park organization, "he chose to stop playing to pursue officiating so he can skate as many games as possible,” Kendall said, noting Martiniuk skated in roughly 50 games this year. It's not the choice most referees his age make.

“He is a very mature individual for his age, who actively seeks feedback to better himself. For a game that can give most people anxiety, stress, fear and sometimes anger, he is the opposite and rather kind, honest and able to self regulate.”

Hockey players work hard in all areas of development to improve; Martiniuk does the same for officiating, Kendall said.

"He regularly covers for his officiating partners, both at their lines and getting in the zone to diffuse any hot-spots. Often working games where the players are the same age or older, he is able to take control of the game and not let it get out of hand.”

What’s more, even after achieving a higher level of qualification, the young official still gave back to his home association by working minor hockey games both on and off the ice.

“Aside from games, he lead drills during our association’s referee development sessions,” Kendall noted. “Off the ice he acted as a game supervisor to assist our new and younger officials with their development, something the association has greatly benefited from and appreciate those that give back.”

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
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