On December 3rd we had bantam weekend. It was a chance for those of us with less experience with the bands a time to hone some skills. I got a good workout and a lot of opportunity to work on positioning which was needed for my future assignments. I did have a first for my officiating career during the weekend; a penalty shot.
A team from Little Rock, AR had a tight game going with the team from Nashville. Nashville was ahead by one goal with less than a minute to go in the game. LR pulled their goalkeeper and went with the extra attacker on the ice. Somehow Nashville made it out of the zone with the puck and was able to get a shot on an empty net. The shot was wide of the goal but for some reason the LR defenseman threw his stick at the puck. It's amazing that when you see this happen it's like everything is happening in slow motion. It took me a good two seconds to realize "Hey, you have the bands on, you have to make this call!" I throw up the arm and blow the whistle and then have to take the time to process what just happened. The player throwing the stick did not change the path that the puck was traveling; however he was there between the attacking player and the goal so it wasn't an automatic goal award. Amazingly I got that call correct on the ice and had to read the f-ing rule book afterwards in the locker room to make sure of that.
Turns out I was right and my partner was able to quote it almost verbatim before we found the rule. I am still amazed to have been able to assess that correctly right at that moment. That's all my ego needs is a boost that demonstrates that I evidently know what I am doing. Thankfully I still realize that I have much to learn and review. Hopefully that mentality will stick around for years to come.