KIJHL official shares Memorial Cup experience

KIJHL official Dustin Minty had a great experience working the CHL Memorial Cup. CHL photo


Kootenay International Junior Hockey League referee Dustin Minty recently returned from working his first Canadian Hockey League Memorial Cup. Minty, a Summerland resident, has been a linesman in the Western Hockey League for 12 years and talked about his Memorial Cup experience. He was the lone linesman from the WHL chosen.


KIJHL: What was the experience like for you to work the Memorial Cup, then the championship game?

DM: It was an unreal experience and quite a big achievement. It’s definitely nothing like I’ve experienced before. It was an honour to be selected for the Memorial Cup then the championship game was a huge way to finish the season. 


KIJHL: What was your approach for working the game?

DM: I was actually expecting to be a little bit more nervous than I was. Every time in the past, getting selected for a new round, or a new opportunity comes up, nerves are there. I think experience has helped with the nerves not being there and it was such a good group of guys from across Canada. I watched a couple of games before I worked my first one. It was kind of status quo. It was surprisingly easy to prepare. 


KIJHL: What helped you prepare for the Memorial Cup?

DM: Years of work. This is the second year that I have worked the WHL Final and worked the Conference Finals a handful of times now. Also, maturity as we get older with that experience definitely helps. They are bigger games, but take every game as it’s another and go out there and do what you did to get to that place.


KIJHL: Did aspects of working the KIJHL Final help in the Memorial Cup?

DM: Every hockey game that we do is going to give us help with future games. There are different situations that come up that are always going to benefit you later on. Another big thing that helps me, I believe with my officiating as a linesman in the WHL, and then I referee in the KIJHL – I watch the game from both sides. That helps me out quite a bit as a linesman and I see the penalties that are being called. 


KIJHL: What did you learn from that experience that will make you a better official moving forward?

DM: I’m still living on the high of being at the top of what last year was. It drives me to want to do it again. When I got back, I was fired up. Let’s get hockey started again. Once you get it one time, you would love to work another one. I will stay focused on maintaining my rule book knowledge and we are always working on our skating. The players are getting faster and stronger so we need to stay with them.


KIJHL: Are there highlights for you from working the tournament?

DM: The hockey is amazing. There is a full week of round robin games and every game means something. The experience of being in Saginaw, we stayed in a town called Frankenmuth, a small tourist town and they put on an excellent week of stuff – lots of little markets, several restaurants and we had the greatest time. It’s referred to as Little Bavaria. The town made the experience even that much better.