Katie Guay is a hockey lifer. The Massachusetts native played Division 1 hockey as a forward at Brown University from 2001 to 2005. After graduation, she couldn’t let go of the sport that fueled much of her life, so she set a goal of becoming an NHL referee.
“When I started hockey at the age of six, I had no idea the journey the game would take me on,” Guay told Women’s Hockey Life. “My skates have been my passport around the globe and I feel so fortunate for the opportunities and people I have met along the way through this great game.”
Guay’s ascent through the officiating ranks has been close to meteoric. She is the first woman to officiate the men’s Beanpot Tournament in Boston, one of the most prestigious hockey events in the country. Guay also worked the NCAA’s Frozen Four and the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.
“There’s a lot of females that came before me that certainly had the skill to get out there,” Guay toldNHL.com. “It’s just they didn’t get the chance. So I feel like I’m doing it for all of them that didn’t have the opportunity, and hoping to pave some more paths for the younger officials coming up the ranks.”
Officiating in the rough and tough world of hockey isn’t easy for a woman, Guay admits, but she’s hoping there will be a day when all officials are judged solely on their performance and not because of their gender.
“The hope is our skill won’t differentiate us from the guys out there,” Guay told ESPN.com.”At the end of the day, you want to go unnoticed, and hopefully the ponytail doesn’t change people’s perception of our performance.”
Guay’s career path went next level when she was one of four women officials selected by the NHL to work a prospect camp in September of 2019. It moved her a step closer to her dream of officiating at the highest-level and she proved to the players she’s more than capable of doing her job.
“They treated me comparable to all my peers,” Guay toldSI Kids. “When you are on the ice, that’s the biggest sign of respect I can get when I am treated like everyone else in the stripes.”