A linesman officiating an Australian Ice Hockey League game between the Newcastle North Stars and Melbourne Ice (Ed. note: how was neither team named the Kangaroos or Wallabies?) was on the wrong end of an inadvertent elbow when Ice defenseman Chris “The Tank” Frank and North Stars forward Beau Taylor crashed into the boards.
The linesman had to leave the game after sustaining a mild concussion and deep laceration to his index finger as a result of the collision. The dazed official left the ice to a smattering of applause, and the game continued on with the two remaining referees handling all the on-ice officiating duties.
Here’s video of the linesman getting drilled (0:55 second mark)…
Following the first intermission an unlikely replacement made his way to the playing surface at the Docklands Icehouse to take over for the fallen linesman—none other than Stephen White, commentator for ATC Productions, who had been calling the game from the rinkside booth. Fortunately White—who has refereed lower level hockey for years—had some protective equipment with him, but no shirt. So the concussed linesman was unceremoniously stripped of his so that White would be clad in the zebra uniform like his two compatriots.
From the Advocate…
Into the breach stepped White, who had been calling the high-paced action for ATC Productions, which provides the telecasts of AIHL games for Fox Sports and live feeds on the internet.
White, 30, has been a referee at lower levels for years, but in moving a metre from behind the glass to get out on the ice, he was making his AIHL debut.
Fortunately, White had some protective gear and skates with him, as he was scheduled to play a reserves match immediately after the big game. But he didn’t have a referee outfit, which meant the “half-unconscious” official had to be divested of his pants and shirt.
The result wasn’t a snug fit for White, who says he looked like something out of “South Central LA” in the bigger man’s outfit.
ATC boss James Morgan said the commentary crew was highly amused by White’s “baggy pant” look, and hoped he would trip over his pants whilst on screen.
For being thrust into action without any preparation, White did an admirable job, admitting to making a couple of errors but being overall satisfied with his performance in Newcastle’s 2-0 win over Melbourne.
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