Officials Named for ECHL All-Star Classic
PRINCETON, N.J. - The ECHL on Friday announced that Andrew Bruggeman and Sean MacFarlane have been selected as the referees and Chuck Schamel and Christopher Williams have been chosen to be the linesmen for the 2020 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Toyota, to be hosted by the Wichita Thunder on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. CT at INTRUST Bank Arena. The game will air LIVE exclusively on NHL Network.
"Being selected to work the ECHL All-Star Game is an amazing accomplishment for the selected officials," said ECHL Manager of Officiating Stephen Thomson. "It will be a highlight moment in their officiating careers and something that they will never forget. I appreciate all of the selected officials hard work, dedication and passion for the ECHL and couldn't be more proud to honor them with working this prestigious event. Again this season, the officials will have great pride in presenting the Mercy Children's Hospital of Wichita with a donation raised by the entire Officiating Team through the months of November and December."
Following the format established last season, the Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Toyota will feature a 3-on-3 tournament with four teams competing for the top spot. The host Wichita Thunder 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 2020 Kansas Star Casino/ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place in between rounds of the tournament, with results counting towards the cumulative score.
Bruggeman, who is in his fourth season as an ECHL referee and third in the American Hockey League, began his officiating career when he was 12-years-old. Last season, he was selected as a referee for the Kelly Cup Finals, and also officiated the 2019 World Junior Championships in Vancouver. Prior to joining the ECHL, he was selected to work the 2015 United States Hockey League/National Hockey League Top Prospects Game, the 2015 USHL Clark Cup Finals, the 2016 Southern Professional Hockey League President's Cup Final and the 2017 USA All-American Prospects Game.
A native of Spokane, Washington, MacFarlane is in his third season in the ECHL, as well as the AHL. Last season he worked the Kelly Cup Finals along with the Gold Medal Game of the International Ice Hockey Federation's U18 World Championships in Sweden. This season, he worked the IIHF World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic. Prior to working in the ECHL, MacFarlane spent time in the USHL and SPHL working the USHL's Clark Cup Finals in 2016 and 2017 along with the SPHL's President Cup Finals in 2017.
Schamel is in his sixth season in the ECHL following four seasons as a linesman in the Central Hockey League. Prior to joining the professional ranks, Schamel was an official for USA Hockey, working games for youth and recreation leagues, along with working in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, the North American Hockey League and the Western States Hockey League.
Williams is in his fourth season overall in the ECHL, and his third as a full-time official. During the 2017-18 season, he was selected to work the Conference Finals in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, and last season, earned an assignment to the Kelly Cup Finals. Williams, who is in his second season working games in the American Hockey League, was a full-time official for USA Hockey prior to joining the ECHL, working games in the North American Hockey League during the 2016-17 season.
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 2019-20 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, Julien Fournier, Brandon Gawryletz, Matt MacPherson, Brian Mach, Jesse Marquis, Bevin Mills, Kory Nagy and Bryan Pancich.
Forty-four of the 67 referees working in the American Hockey League, came from the ECHL. One hundred four of the 180 linesmen in the AHL have worked games in the ECHL.
The 13th class of the ECHL Hall of Fame will be officially inducted at a banquet, presented by BFL CANADA and Sutton Special Risk, on Tuesday, January 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview, the Official Host Hotel of the 2020 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Toyota.
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