‘AMAZING EXPERIENCE’ FOR IONS’ FIRST INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT

Ice Hockey UK official James Ions says his first international tournament was an “amazing experience”.

Ions was a linesman at the recent Under-20 World Championship Division III in Iceland.

The tournament, which took place in Reykjavik last month, was won by China who were promoted to Division II

Australia took home the silver medal with Turkey claiming bronze.

Ions said: “This was my first international tournament and what an experience it was.

“I had been told it was an honour and privilege to represent Great Britain at international level, but I didn’t realise of what magnitude until I arrived in Reykjavik.

“The U20 tournament was intense and all teams left everything on the ice, including the officiating team.

“Coupled with great officiating coaches and officials from different countries it was an invaluable learning experience for me.

“I’ve certainly come back a better official for it and hopefully played my part in showcasing what talented officials we have here in the UK.

“Hopefully, I get to do it all again next year but for now it’s an important time in the Elite League and that’s my focus for the coming months.”

IHUK referee-in-chief, Joy Johnston, said: “Many congratulations to James on his first international tournament.

“It is clear that it meant so much to him to officiate at this level and the first one is always a special experience.

“Once again, a UK-based official has done the country proud and it is great to see the recognition our officials get.”