Former Women’s Hockey Player to Officiate NHL Prospect Challange


The Robert Morris women’s hockey meets during a break against RPI Nov. 12, 2018 (David Auth/RMU Sentry Media) Photo credit: David Auth

Owen Krepps, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP– A member of the RMU class of 2019 and former women’s hockey player, Kirsten Welsh, is going to the NHL. Welsh will join 3 other women that have been selected from the NHL’s Exposure Combine to referee this weekend’s NHL Prospect Challenge Tournament. Welsh will be a linesman for Prospect Challenge games in Buffalo, where she will see prospects from the likes of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, and New Jersey Devils.

The Exposure Combine, now in its sixth year, is a program dedicated to teaching officiating to former Division I, Division III and CIS hockey players. This year, 96 people participated and only four were chosen to go to the Prospect Challenge with Welsh earning that honor. Among the other three are Katie Guay, who has been officiating for fourteen years, Kelly Cooke with ten years of experience, and Kendall Hanley in her twelfth season officiating. Out of these three women, Welsh is the least experienced with refereeing. This will be her first time as a professional linesman.

Welsh spent four years with the RMU women’s hockey team from 2014 to 2019. As a tri-captain last year, she helped the Colonials capture the third CHA regular-season title in her time with Robert Morris. The 22-year-old from Blackstock, Ontario, graduated and is now helping pave the way for future women in the game of hockey.
If you want to watch this challenge, both the New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres stream their games on their websites. As for Robert Morris women’s hockey, the season is quickly approaching with a matchup against the Concordia Stingers only two weeks away. RMU enters their season on September 21 at 3:05 p.m. against Concordia at Colonials Arena.