Local referee off to Memorial Cup
For a second straight year, Kelowna referee Steve Papp will represent the Western Hockey League at the Memorial Cup.
The 33 year-old was in Windsor, Ontario for last years event and anticipates the 100th anniversary showcase in Regina being one for the ages.
"It is so competitive and so fast and you have to be sharp. You have to allow the game to take place and make it fair and safe for everybody. It was an amazing experience. The city of Windsor put on a great show and I am sure Regina is going to do the same."
Papp officiating 40 WHL games this past season and called games one and three of the Western Hockey League final.
"Everytime you drop the puck to start a game in the playoffs, you know you are being highly watched, supervised and you have to make sure you are on your game right from the begining of the playoffs to end to hopefuly be one of the ones selected".
Papp will be joined at the Memorial Cup by fellow WHL referee Jeff Ingram, who too, will be making his second appearance in the prestigious event.
Let's also remember, being a referee is a thankless jobs. They are an easy target. Those in the WHL circuit don't do it for the money but for the love of the game.
Most if not all have day jobs with families that don't see them on weekends, so being selected to represent the league is huge as the WHL considers you amongst its best.
"Sometimes you are gone three days on a weekend and that doesn't stop from September until now. It is a long 10 months, so when you get an opportunity like this, it does make all those long days on the road and in airports worth it", Papp added.
The puck drops Friday night.