MUSKEGON, MI- The Muskegon Lumberjacks’ off-ice official crew has been named the Eastern Conference’s Off-Ice Official Crew of the Year, as voted on by member teams.
Off-ice officials handle everything from stat and data entry to goal judges, and Muskegon often uses a crew of ten officials per game. The team is responsible for entering live statistics from each game that update the live scoreboards on USHL.com and HockeyTV.com. The officials also act as goal judges and penalty box officials.
The squad is led by Pat Burke and Nick Howard, who have a combined 20 years of experience as off-ice officials in Muskegon.
“It’s an honor- I’m still at a loss for words,” said Howard. “To be voted the top crew in the East is very special since I know the other teams in the USHL do a great job.”
“This award wouldn’t be possible without the people before us who have taught us how to do it and showed us the ropes. If it wasn’t for guys like Ernie Addicott and Ralph Burr, this award wouldn’t be possible.”
Muskegon has had a diligent crew of officials for many years, and Broadcaster Scott Bradford has worked in close proximity to that crew for the entirety of his five years with the team.
“Our off-ice crew is very deserving of this honor,” said Bradford. “I share the press box with them on a nightly basis and each and every one of them has been a pleasure to work with. Our crew does a great job with a myriad of tasks every night and they have fun doing it. I’ve been very lucky to work with a crew as experienced and fun as the one we have here in Muskegon.”