With the World Junior Hockey Championship being played in a bubble at Edmonton’s Rogers Place, all of the officials working the event are from Canada. One of the 26 is Yorkton’s Tarrington Wyonzek.
Wyonzek, who has called many SJHL and WHL games, says getting to work the World Juniors is a dream come true.
Like many of the players on the ice dream of an NHL career, so do the officials, but Wyonzek isn’t thinking of that as he laces up the blades.
“For me right now, the focus is just this.” Wyonzek said. “My head is totally in the game for this and I’m just focussed in doing the best possible job I can.”
There hasn’t been a lot of hockey this year so it has been tough to stay in game shape. Wyonzek had been working in the US, but he came back to Saskatchewan and was able to work a couple of SJHL games before the league shut down because of health restrictions issued by the province.
Before being allowed to do his thing in Edmonton, he had to quarantine himself in his hotel room. Wyonzek says there were many things to pass the time like workouts, meetings and Facetiming with his girlfriend, but he admits it wasn’t easy.
“It’s a different environment staying in a small hotel room by yourself with no contact.” Wyonzek said. “At the end though, we know what the prize is at the end so if you keep the right mentality, it was OK.”
Wyonzek has no idea how many games he will be a part of saying the International Ice Hockey Federation gives out assignments on the day of the games, but he is hoping to get in enough games to turn some heads as not only are the players being scouted, but so are the officials.
This is not Wyonzek’s first international experience. He has also worked the World under 18 championship and the World under 17 Challenge. He also worked the 2018 and 19 Memorial Cups.