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The officiating crew for Sunday’s Olympic gold medal hockey game is made up of three Canadians and a Canada-U.S. dual citizen.
But the International Ice Hockey Federation says nationality didn’t come into play when it came time to choose who would work the game between Canada and Sweden.
“The main factor of the selection of these officials has most of all to do with their experience officiating in high-level competitions,” IIHF officiating manager Konstantin Komissarov said Saturday in a release. “These include Stanley Cup playoffs, world championship competitions and Olympic competitions.”
The referees for Sunday’s game are Ohio-born, Saskatchewan-raised Brad Meier, who has Canadian and U.S. citizenship, and Canadian Kelly Sutherland. The linesmen are Canadians Derek Amell and Greg Devorski.
All four men are experienced NHL officials.
The IIHF says the officials were also judged on their performance during the playoff round in Sochi.
“Their nationalities aren’t considered as factors nor should they be, we want the best officials working the medal games,” said Komissarov. “We are fully confident that with their experience and professionalism these officials will do their job well and preserve the integrity of the game.”
Sweden coach Par Marts isn’t concerned that the referees will be Canadian.
“I hope they do that job, that’s all,” he said. “I can’t focus on thing I can’t change. No problem with that.”
Meier drew ire from Russian fans after a disallowed goal by Fedor Tyutin in Russia’s 3-2 shootout loss to the U.S. in the preliminary round.