September 3rd & 4th featured games with two ground-breaking officiating assignments.
September 3rd's exhibition matchup between the Mississauga Steelheads(OHL) and Guelph Storm(OHL) featured a woman referee for the first time in League history. Lacey Senuk, originally from St. Albert, Alta. was the first woman to ever wear the bands as a referee in the OHL.
September 4th's back-end of a home-and-home between the Storm and visiting Steelheads was the first time in OHL history that two women have worked on the same officiating team: Referee Hillary Brennan of London, Ont. skated alongside linesperson Marlowe Schott of Elmira, Ont.
About Hillary Brennan - by Josh Ackworth, London Referees Group
Hillary has been an official for 9 years and is currently a level 3C. She first started with the London Referees Group when she entered high school as a way of making extra money. She also played competitive hockey for the London Devilettes U22 (Junior). Upon graduating high school Hillary had offers to play University hockey, but instead decided to focus on school and stick with refereeing.
With her foundation set and London officiating experience Hillary moved up to North Bay to attend Nipissing University where she joined the NOHA and was selected into the NOJHL where she became the 1st female hockey official to officiate in the junior league there. After completing her degree, Hillary returned home to continue to hone her craft while entering the working world.
Some of her recent accomplishments include:
• U15 AAA OHF Linesperson - April 2022
• U18AA Female Ontario Summer Games (Gold Medal - Linesperson) - May 2022
• Selected to attend the 1st ever OHL officiating prospect combine in Belleville
• Invited to the OHL main camp
• First female referee skating OHL preseason games
When I spoke to Hillary about these amazing accomplishments, I asked her what she would tell the next generation of young officials. Here is what she had to say… "continue to remind yourself why you're there and why you're doing what you're doing. As an official in any sport, it's really easy to get lost in the negativity and to doubt yourself and your ability. But at the end of the day as long as you're out there doing something that you're passionate about and that you love there's no amount of pessimism or criticism that'll inhibit you from doing what you want to do."
BIG congratulations to Hillary as she continues her OHL journey.
Senuk, Brennan & Schott - OHL
Read more HERE.