Weyburn’s Alex Clarke will become the first woman to work as a linesperson in the Western Hockey League on Friday night when the Moose Jaw Warriors take on the Regina Pats in pre-season action.
The assignment will be the first of many for Clarke as she joins the WHL Officiating team for the 2021-22 season.
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to join the WHL as a linesperson,” Clarke said in a press release announcing the milestone. “I have been working towards this for several years now and I believe my development has reached the level required to perform in the WHL. I’m looking forward to the challenges and growth the WHL will bring to my officiating journey, and I’m excited about the potential for other female officials to enjoy similar opportunities in high-level male hockey.”
To say Clarke has earned the opportunity is a vast understatement.
A 28-year-old former member of the CWHL’s Calgary Inferno, Clarke boasts extensive international experience, having been assigned to the 2020 IIHF Women’s World Championship, 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship (Division 1, Group B), 2018 4 Nations Cup, and 2018 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship (Division II, Group B).
Most recently, she was one of the officials assigned to the 2021 Women’s World Championship in Calgary.
“For the past several years we have been monitoring Alex’s development and progression as an official,” said Kevin Muench, senior director of WHL officiating. “She has been highly successful in Junior A and her recent performance at the IIHF Women’s World Championship was highlighted by her assignment to the bronze medall game. She has proven she is ready to take the next step in her career by earning the opportunity to be on the ice in the WHL.”
In addition to her junior experience, Clarke has also worked in nearly 300 games in leagues throughout Saskatchewan -- including the aforementioned all-women SMAAAHL contest back in February of 2019.
The Warriors welcome the Pats and Connor Bedard for the first time this season at 7 p.m. at Mosaic Place.