DALTON AND JOHNSTON REFLECT ON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP APPOINTMENT

Last week, UK official Andy Dalton was given the honour of being named as an on-ice official for the World Championship in Slovakia in May.

Dalton will be a linesman for the tournament and part of a 32-strong officiating team, with officials from 14 different countries.

Elite League official Dalton worked at the Olympic Final Qualifying tournament in Riga in 2016 ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea and has also officiated in the top level in Denmark since 2013.

Click above to watch interviews with Andy Dalton and Ice Hockey UK referee-in-chief Joy Johnston.

In an in-depth interview, Dalton talks about his career as an official and his highs and lows. He told IHUK TV in association with McDonald’s: “I have been an IIHF official since 2002 and this will be my 16th assignment.

“Having an IIHF licence is a huge honour and something that should be aspired towards for every official. You get the opportunity to work some different styles and skill level of hockey, work in some fantastic countries and meet lifelong friends along the way.

“My IIHF career began 17 years ago when I headed to the U18 Division II in Hungary. I had no idea what to expect going in, but I came out from that tournament knowing that I wanted to push on and try and achieve better tournaments in the future.

“The biggest high point to date would be working the gold-medal game at the 2016 U18 World Championship A pool.

“As for low points, I guess after 2016 I thought I would get the chance to go to World Championship but it did not happen and that was a huge disappointment. I’m a pretty positive person so I never gave up and I believed in myself. I went away and worked on fine-tuning my game.

“There’s so many people that have been involved in my journey along the way I will try and keep it short, but I got into officiating thanks to Blaine Evans when I finished playing in Telford and I’ve worked with so many good officials over the years.

“Without the support of my family none of this would be possible, so a big thanks to them for being there through the good and the bad. I have also had the opportunity to travel to Denmark and work in the league there for a number of years to further my experience.

“I think the IHUK officiating programme is in the best place we have seen for a number of years. There is a clear development path outlined for officials and they can see what they need to do to make the step to the next level.

“I think the national referee conference has been a big success in bringing everyone together. I would say to any young official that you have to work hard and enjoy the game. If you put the work in on and off the ice then anything is possible.”