Hockey referees are arguably the best in all of sports, and they’re also some of the bravest.
The men in the striped shirts step out on the ice every night, sharing the ice with some of the biggest, fastest athletes the sports world has to offer. It goes without saying that some times there’s nowhere to hide for officials.
Referee Chris Rooney found that out the hard way Monday night in Colorado where he was reffing the Avalanche-Stars game. Rooney was in the wrong place at the wrong time when a Jamie Oleksiak slap shot deflected off of Paul Stastny. The puck looked to be headed toward the net, but the deflection sent it to the corner where Rooney was standing. The puck drilled the referee in the head, sending him straight to the ice.
Rooney, as a hockey ref, is a tough guy. He ended up skating off the ice, but he did not return. As Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog points out, Rooney “checked out OK,” according to an NHL security representative.
See the play below.