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Officials Named for 2019 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic

January 11, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) News Release

PRINCETON, N.J. - The ECHL on Friday announced that Sean Fernandez and Chris Pontes have been selected as the referees and Paul Carnathan and Dustin McCrank have been chosen to be the linesmen for the 2019 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Promedica, to be hosted by the Toledo Walleye on Monday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. ET at the Huntington Center. The game will air LIVE exclusively on NHL Network.

"Working the ECHL All-Star game is a great honor to all four of the Officials selected, and will be a moment in their officiating careers that they will never forget," said ECHL Manager of Officiating Stephen Thomson. "Their hard work and dedication to the ECHL is what earned them the nod for this prestigious event. The four guys are all very excited for the opportunity and will also have the great honor of representing the entire ECHL Officiating Team in presenting the Toledo Children's Hospital with a donation check that they raised through the months of November and December."

For the second consecutive year, the CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic will feature a 3-on-3 tournament with four teams competing for the top spot. New in 2019, the host team will make up two of the four teams and face-off against the other two teams made up of All-Star players from the Eastern and Western Conference. These four teams will compete in a 3-on-3 tournament with rally scoring in order to crown a winner. The 2019 CCM/ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place in between rounds of the tournament, highlighting the talents of the ECHL Players, and showcasing the future of hockey as they develop in the League.

In his fourth season as an ECHL referee, Fernandez worked in USA Hockey's Official Development Program throughout his college years. From there, he went on to work in the North American Hockey League, United States Hockey League and Southern Professional Hockey League, where he earned assignments in the Finals of each league. Last season, he was selected to work the Kelly Cup Finals, and is also in his second season as a referee in the American Hockey League.

A native of Sudbury, Ontario, Pontes is in his fourth season as an ECHL referee, and last season, was selected to work the Kelly Cup Finals. Pontes is also in his third season as a referee in the American Hockey League. He began officiating in 2012-13 following the conclusion of his playing career, which included six years of junior hockey and two seasons of pro hockey. He worked the 2014 World U-17 Hockey Championship in Sarnia, Ontario as a linesman.

This is the second All-Star selection for Carnathan, who also worked the 2005 event in Reading. He began officiating within USA Hockey 26 years ago and joined the ECHL in 2001-02 after working in the United States Hockey League and the West Coast Hockey League. He has worked over 600 regular season and playoff games, including the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Kelly Cup Finals. In addition to the ECHL, Carnathan has worked in the AHL since 2002, where he officiated the 2009 and 2010 Calder Cup Finals. He was also a long-time IIHF official where he worked eight championships, highlighted by the 2010 World Juniors, and 2011, 2013 and 2015 World Championships, including the 2015 Gold Medal Game in Prague. Carnathan also previously officiated NCAA hockey in the NCHC, where he was selected to work the 2016 Frozen Four.

McCrank, who began officiating when he was 12-years-old, is in his fourth season as an ECHL linesman. While playing collegiate hockey at Guelph University, he began officiating in the Ontario Hockey Association. McCrank is also in his 11th season working in the Ontario Hockey League, and was selected to officiate the OHL Finals on five occasions, as well as the Memorial Cup Finals in 2014 and 2017. He also worked the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships in Buffalo and the 2018 IIHF World Championship in Denmark.

Current NHL officials who have worked the ECHL All-Star Game are referees Ian Walsh (1997), Brian Pochmara (2001), Justin St. Pierre (2002) and Tom Chmielewski (2011) and linesman Brian Mach (1999) while former NHL referee Jeff Smith worked the 1998 game.

There are 33 former ECHL officials scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2018-19 with referees Jake Brenk, Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Trevor Hanson, Beau Halkidis, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Trent Knorr, Pierre Lambert, T.J. Luxmore, Peter MacDougall, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dean Morton, Dan O'Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Graham Skilliter, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Ryan Daisy, Brandon Gawryletz, Matt MacPherson, Brian Mach, Jesse Marquis, Bevin Mills, Kory Nagy, Tim Nowak and Bryan Pancich.

Forty-three of the 63 referees working in the American Hockey League, including four of the 10 referees contracted to the NHL, came from the ECHL. One hundred seven of the 185 linesmen in the AHL have worked games in the ECHL, including two of the four linesmen contracted to the NHL.

The 12th class will be inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame on Sunday, Jan. 20 during a luncheon, presented by BFL CANADA and Sutton Special Risk, at the SeaGate Center, in conjunction with the Toledo Hockey Hall of Fame, presented by Cooper Tire.

Anchored by the CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Promedica, there will be multiple activities that showcase the Toledo community including the All-Star Fanfest in Hensville Park and All-Star Winter Brewfest at Fifth Third Field. The Hall of Fame luncheon will be followed by a regular-season matchup between the Walleye and the Fort Wayne Komets at the Huntington Center.

CCM/ECHL All-Star packages and individual tickets can be purchased by calling (419) 725-9255 or by visiting

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