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Ken Carlson Recognized with MHOA Service Award

By Minnesota Hockey, 04/15/19, 12:00PM CDT


Ken Carlson began officiating in 1975 and had a 30-year career in officiating youth hockey in the St. Cloud area.

In 1991, Carlson became certified USA Hockey instructor and began instructing at officiating seminars and clinics throughout Minnesota. The next year he became the referee-in-chief for the Great River Referee’s Association, which serves the greater St. Cloud area. Over the next 17 years, Carlson assigned the games for, supervised, trained and mentored all of the officials in the area.

Carlson helped lead the Great River Referee’s Association through multiple transitions and significant expansion. He guided the St. Cloud officials from District 3 to District 10, and despite having retired from his role at the time, Carlson was again instrumental in helping them transition to District 5.

A big part of Carlson’s role over the course of his time as referee-in-chief was recruiting enough officials to keep up with the demand of a growing hockey community. When he began, there was one arena in St. Cloud, the Municipal Athletic Complex (MAC). Over his years of service, the number of arenas he was responsible for the officials at grew from one to five.

The positive influence Carlson had on many young people’s lives as a mentor on and off the ice was truly remarkable and played a significant role in encouraging officials from the area to become the best they could be. A few, including Evonne (Young) Fix who officiated in the Olympics and MHOA Secretary Brian Thul, even advanced to become officials at the NCAA Division I level.

Carlson is not just a great official, volunteer and mentor; he is the type of person who continually lifts up others with his smiling face and kinds words.

Carlson is now retired and resides in St. Cloud with his wife Marica. He can still be found at local ice arenas and now serves as an off-ice official for St. Cloud State University games.

Thank you, Ken, for your constant dedication to the officiating community in Minnesota!

previous recipients

The Minnesota Hockey Officials Association (MHOA) established this award to honor an individual who has unselfishly made outstanding contributions to the officiating program in Minnesota during many years of service to the hockey community as an official and a volunteer. 

Year Recipient Hometown
2018 James Albright Lakeville
2017 David Knutson Madison Lake
2016 Evonne Fix Litchfield
2015 David Nyquist Brooklyn Park

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