The United States Hockey League announced the officiating crew of two referees and two linesmen that will work the 2013 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game presented by CCM on January 23rd in Muskegon, Michigan.
Referees Tom Albindia and Ken Anderson will join linesmen Jesse Pletsch and Pat Richardson to officiate the game that features 40 of the top NHL draft-eligible players from the USHL. Each official earned this assignment based on the combined recommendations of USHL team coaches and general managers.
“Congratulations to these young men for their selection to USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and being recognized by the League’s coaches and generals managers for their quality performance this season,” said USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince. “With an increased focus on player safety and rules enforcement, the demands of USHL on-ice officials are even greater and these gentlemen have continually been up to the task.”
Albindia, 23, is a native of St. Paul, Minnesota and is in his fifth season officiating in the USHL. He has earned assignments to work in the playoffs in each of the last three years, including the 2012 Clark Cup Final series. In addition to being an official, Albindia works as a 911 dispatcher for the Minnesota State Patrol.
Anderson, 24, is from New Hope, Minnesota and is also working his fifth season in the USHL. The referee has drawn assignments to two conference playoff championships during his time in the League.
Pletsch, 24, is working his fifth USHL season as a linesman. The Canton, Michigan native also officiates at the professional level in the AHL, ECHL, and CHL. Hockey roots run deep in his family which includes his father, Fred, who is the Commissioner of the CCHA, a conference that is made up of more than 50% USHL alumni.
Richardson, 24, is from Syracuse, New York and is skating his second season in the USHL. The linesman also works in the professional ranks as an official in the AHL and ECHL.
“The USHL has proven to be excellent training environment for young officials,” said USHL Referee-in-Chief Scott Brand. “The level of competition, speed of the game, the professional atmosphere in each city, and the League’s commitment to training presents the ideal place for the officiating staff to continue their development and reach the next levels of hockey.”
It is the second season for the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game which will showcase many of the top players in the USHL who are eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft. A total of 27 players selected are in their first year of eligibility for the NHL Draft.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)