Mallette Becomes First Female To Officiate MHL Regular Season Game
History was made in St. Stephen, New Brunswick on Friday night when for the first time in MHL history, a regular season game featured a female among the officiating crew. Meghan Mallette was one of two referees for the game between the County Aces and Summerside Western Capitals.
Mallette, a native of Fredericton, is currently in her 14th season as an official. During that time, she has worked eight CIS National Championship events, the Woman’s World and Under-18 Championships, the Youth Olympic Games and has officiated Team Canada and USA training camp events.
Despite the historic nature of her achievement, Mallette was able to take the assignment in stride.
“I said to the guys on the way to the game, all I need to do is drop a puck, call that first penalty and it’ll be business as usual,” said Mallette.
As meaningful as working the game, a 5-1 victory for the Western Capitals, was for Mallette, a moment following the game had an impact as well.
“When we were in the referee’s room after the game, I found out that there were a number of females hanging around outside the room wanting to meet me,” Mallette explained. “A couple of them were also refs. That meant a lot to me. Hopefully after seeing me work that game they came to the realization that they could do it someday, too.”
Mike MacMullin, Chairman of the New Brunswick Officials Association, felt the assignment was a well-earned one for Mallette.
"Meghan has always embraced any officiating opportunity that has been provided to her, resulting in a very impressive resume,” MacMullin explained. “She is a positive role model and an ambassador for our officials, especially our female officials. Meghan is a fine example that through hard work, being committed to always improving, and maintaining a professional work ethic and attitude that you can reach whatever goals you set. Congratulations Meghan on being the first female official to work a regular season game in the MHL."
MHL President Dave Ritcey was equally impressed.
“One of the most important goals of the MHL is to encourage advancement and development of everyone involved with our league and officials are no exception,” Ritcey said. “As a league, we wish to congratulate Meghan on being the first female official to work one of our regular season games. We are proud to have played a role in such a significant event.”
With the ever important first game completed, will Mallette have additional assignments in the MHL to look forward to?
“Hopefully there will be more in the future,” she said.
Dave Ritcey, President
Maritime Junior Hockey League