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OMHA Official Recognized at IIHF U18 Women’s World Championships

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 02/10/23, 6:00PM EST


Berezowski selected as lines official, one of 20 from around the world

Jenn Berezowski first donned the stripes as a 16-year-old OMHA official in 2007 and hasn’t looked back since.

With her parents involved in minor hockey and a shortage of officials in the area, it was the perfect time to attend the local OMHA Referee School in Trenton, which proved to be a valuable launching ground.

“Getting the on-ice instruction really early on, you could feel good about what you were doing,” said Berezowski. “When I went to university in 2009 in Oshawa, I had transferred over to ref there and refereed as much as I could.”

First gaining experience as a referee in soccer, she viewed her trading in of cleats for skates as a natural transition.

“Being in an authoritative position, I think I learned that as a young age,” said Berezowski of how officiating soccer helped her in hockey. “Dealing with parents and coaches and the kids themselves.”

Berezowski has built a life around officiating. She says the community of people is what keeps her coming back. Some of her best friends have come from the job, including her maid of honour, and she even met her husband through refereeing.

As an on-ice official, Berezowski has worked the 2017 World Universiade in Kazakhstan and the 2018 Women’s Division II-A World Championships in Slovenia. In January she refereed the IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Hockey Championships in Sweden.

Berezowski says she was looked an as a leader as one of the more experienced officials in the tournament, and had the opportunity to work with other officials from around the world.

“I was able to perform at a high level and fortunate enough to skate the gold medal game.”

Still refereeing in the OMHA today, Berezowski notices differences between the two levels of competition.

“The style of play and managing expectations of everybody is different. In the OMHA, something new happens every day, so I think having all those experiences and challenges and going away to a championship like that makes it easier because I’ve honed those skills over the last 15 years.”

Berezowski would like to acknowledge the OMHA, from her peers to her Referee School instructors and OMHA HCOP Supervisors Rob Delves and Brad Upton.

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