From Grassroots to the Big Leagues for Two Officials

Two Saskatchewan female officials just learned that their off-season has got a bit shorter than they expected. Cianna Lieffers and Michelle Stapleton both were selected to attend the National Hockey League’s Exposure Combine in August.

The officials based out of Saskatoon had a busy season working multiple leagues including being the referee duo in the first ever all-female crew in the Prairie Junior Hockey League, tournaments provincially, nationally and internationally, playoffs and championship games. The season was capped off with the pair serving as on-ice mentors for young officials in Saskatoon during the Saskatchewan Hockey Association’s Female Futures Tournament, this past weekend. Both offered to work games on the weekend to meet and teach some younger female officials to continue to help grow the female officiating program in the province.

Within 24 hours of the grassroots tournament being wrapped up, the two received their invitations to the NHL Exposure Combine, which will take place August 16-19, in Buffalo, NY. The Exposure Combine will focus on male and female players, who have a passion for the game along with top amateur officials. The combine will consist of physical on-ice and off-ice testing along with hockey games, which is similar to the Hockey Canada Level 5/6 Camp, which Stapleton attended during the 2015-16 season and Lieffers attended this past season.

For Stapleton this will be here second trip to the NHL Exposure Combine while for Lieffers it will be her first time.

The SHA Referee’s Division would like to congratulate these two officials and wish them the best of luck with their training and experience at the camp.

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