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Two Western Hockey League (WHL) officials are heading to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang County, South Korea in February.
Referee, Brett Iverson and linesman, Nathan Van Oosten, received the good news on Monday this week.
Iverson described the call as the "best alarm clock" ever. He's reffed games for the Kelowna Rockets, as well as nearly 600 WHL regular season and playoff games.
“The magnitude of the stage that the tournament is, I just hope to bring back a wealth of experience and knowledge that I learn and receive there,” said Iverson.
He reffed in the 2014 and 2015 Mastercard Memorial Cups, as well as various International Ice Hockey Federation tournaments and World Championships.
Linesman, Van Oosten, is based out of the Lower Mainland and has worked at more than 400 WHL regular season and playoff games, as well as the Mastercard Memorial Cups.
“Those were huge milestones in my career,” said Van Oosten. “Having the opportunity last year to work the World Juniors and the World Championships in the same year, it’s been quite a ride."
While he's enjoyed the ride, he says it doesn't get any easier being away from family for lengths at a time.
“There’s a lot of time away from family and friends," he said. "There are sacrifices that have to be made. I would say that would have to be the most difficult. Once we get to the rink, we’re so excited to work, but sometimes that travel can be a difficulty.”
WHL's Senior Director of Officiating, Kevin Muench, was quick to praise the two officials for setting a high standard for others to follow.
“Their commitment and dedication is an example for all other officials who strive for excellence,” he said.
The two officials already have a career chock-full of highlights. But their trip to the Olympics will more than likely stand out for these Canadians.
“I’ve had an amazing career so far and I’m going to take the experiences that I’ve had in the past and take that into the Olympics," said Iverson.