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BCHL’s first-ever all-female officiating crew works game in South Surrey

Canadian junior hockey history will be made today (Sunday) at South Surrey Arena, when four officials form the first-ever all-female officiating crew and will work the BC Hockey League game between the Surrey Eagles and Langley Rivermen.

Grace Barlow and Megan Howes will referee the game, which starts at 4 p.m., while Melissa Brunn and Colleen Geddes will work the lines.

“Being on an all-female crew is both exciting and comfortable,” said Barlow in a BCHL news release issued Sunday.

“These women beside me have been my friends, as well as my colleagues, for years. Getting the opportunity to make history with them is an honour. I hope other young women can watch this game and know that all aspects of hockey are for everyone.”

The BCHL, as well as other junior ‘A’ leagues across the country, has had female officials before, but never an entire four-person crew made up of women.

“To share the ice with strong athletes is one thing, but to skate alongside strong female athletes at this level is another. I am tremendously proud of our journey thus far,” Howes said.

Howes and Brunn have both previously officiated BCHL games, while Barlow and Geddes are in their first seasons in the league.

“This is another step towards a more inclusive approach to hockey,” said Vanessa Stratton, female officiating lead for BC Hockey. “They are leaders for the next generation of young female officials and that is something to be so proud of.”

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Nick Greenizan

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