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Video: AJHL Official Kyle Kowalski Selected to 2021 World Junior Hockey Championships

November 26th, 2020 @ 12:00 am

When Edmonton?s Kyle Kowalski got the call that he would be officiating at the 2021 World Junior Hockey Championships in his hometown later this month, he was hit with a flood of emotion.

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When Edmonton?s Kyle Kowalski got the call that he would be officiating at the 2021 World Junior Hockey Championships in his hometown later this month, he was hit with a flood of emotion.

?I got a phone call from our referee-in-chief. He just said ?congratulations on your selection?, and I was just absolutely floored," Kowalski said.

First, he is a born and raised Edmontonian, so working a prestigious international tournament in his home town is an honour.

But he also has officiating in his blood. Not only is Kowalski a long-time Hockey Alberta official, his father Kevin was an official who also has a tie to the World Juniors. In 1995, his father officiated an exhibition game in Grande Prairie when the World Junior Championship was hosted in Red Deer.

Kowalski idolized his father growing up, so every time he steps on the ice to officiate, it?s a special moment for him.

?One of my fondest memories is still just walking behind my dad into the rink at Akinsdale Arena, and then seeing him on the ice as your hero, and now I have the ability to do that," he said.

Kowalski has previously worked the 2018 World Junior A Challenge, 2018 Hlinka/Gretzky Cup and was selected to officiate the 2020 USports Cup that was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Kowalski will work as part of a crew of 26 Canadian Officials assigned to the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship. He will be joined by fellow Albertans Fraser Lawrence and Deion Foster.

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