Alex Clarke to Become First Female Linesperson in WHL History
By Western Hockey League
Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced today that Alex Clarke will become the first female linesperson in WHL and Canadian Hockey League history when she takes to the ice tonight for the WHL Pre-Season game between the Regina Pats and Moose Jaw Warriors.
Clarke, a native of Weyburn, Sask., is set to become a member of the WHL Officiating team for the 2021-22 season after officiating at the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Calgary, Alta.
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to join the WHL as a linesperson,” Clarke said. “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.”
“For the past several years we have been monitoring Alex’s development and progression as an official,” said Kevin Muench, WHL Senior Director, 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 Medal 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.”
“On behalf of the WHL and all our member Clubs, we wish to extend a warm welcome to Alex Clarke as she joins our WHL Officiating program,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “Alex has proven herself to be a world-class linesperson and we look forward to her continuing her development as an official in the WHL.”
The 28-year-old 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).
Aside from her experience on the international stage, Clarke has skated in nearly 300 games in Saskatchewan since the 2017-18 season, including in the:
- Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League;
- Saskatchewan Female U18 AAA League;
- U SPORTS Women’s Hockey;
- Saskatchewan Male U18 AAA League;
- Prairie Junior Hockey League.
Prior to donning her officiating stripes, Clarke played four years at College of St. Scholastica (NCAA – Division III) in Duluth, Minn., captaining her team during her final season (2014-15). Through 107 career regular season games, Clarke tallied 63 points (12G-51A) as a defender.
Following her college career, Clarke was drafted by the Calgary Inferno of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) but was forced into retirement due to a knee injury. Since retiring in 2015, Clarke has been officiating as a member of Hockey Saskatchewan.
Clarke’s first official assignment in the WHL is scheduled for tonight at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw when the Warriors welcome the Regina Pats (7 p.m. MT).
About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 375 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.