Dalton flying the GB flag for Team Stripes

Elite League referee Andy Dalton is the only UK official who will be part of the World Championships in Slovakia (PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

While all eyes are on Pete Russell’s Great Britain team and their progress in Slovakia, one other Brit is preparing for his own campaign at the World Championships.

Elite League referee Andy Dalton is the only Brit wearing the stripes as he prepares to make his own contribution to the tournament as a linesman, which stars today.

And he believes the fact the UK has an official at this competition speaks highly of the reputation the country has in officiating terms. 

“It’s huge for the nation and the officiating that we have someone here at these championships,” Dalton said. “We probably overachieve in the tournaments we get, when you look at the events and the number of officials there are from here.

“It’s no secret USA and Canada could cover IIHF events alone so we’re fortunate we get lots of people that get to travel to these places and be parts of these tournaments and it says a lot about how we’re seen in the international programme.

“It’s massive for me to be here and it’s been a life’s goal from an officiating point of view.  In general, it’s kind of the pinnacle for British officials.  

(PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

“There’s the Winter Olympics, but that’s a long shot for anyone so after that, the World’s men’s is next and I’m delighted to be here.”

Due to IIHF rules, Dalton couldn’t reveal which games he will be involved in, but gave a lowdown on how he’s found himself in Slovakia preparing to share the ice with some of the world’s biggest names.

And he insists he can’t afford to be starstruck when the time comes to finding himself face to face with any of the NHL or KHL stars that will be there.

He added: “The process began last September where a list is put together of potential officials for the tournament and you’re monitored throughout the season.  You also have to submit videos for our games in December then they make a decision in February.

“We get notified in early March, then from there, it’s about making sure you do your job properly for the remainder of the season.

(PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

“There was no training camp for us, as such, but it was about settling in, going through the ruling interpretations, any new standards they want to set and getting to meet the guys.

“Luckily for me, I knew half of the other guys from previous tournaments and events, but I got to meet the newer guys and the officiating coaches, video coaches and all the different elements you perhaps don’t get at lower events.

“You look at the rosters of USA, Canada, Sweden, Finland and they are teams stacked with NHL  and KHL players so they’ve got the talent.  For me, you just have to go out and do the job the best you can without being starstruck.

“It’s not going to be good if you find yourself stuck in a moment.  You have to get on with your game and crack on.

“But my aim is to try and enjoy it and its been a journey and sacrifices made to get here.  I just want to do the best I can and represent the UK and officials to the highest standard while I’m here.”

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