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Eric Peterson, Published February 27 2013

Concordia's Moran has her sights set on officiating

Moorhead - Mickey Moran has an Olympic dream with a twist.

The Concordia women’s hockey player wants to be on the ice with the best players in the world in the future, but not as a player.

“I would love to ref the Olympics,” said Moran, who is from Sartell, Minn. “That is an extremely high goal.”

While a lofty aspiration, it’s not far-fetched for Moran. Last summer, she participated in the USA Hockey women’s regional camp where she was one of the top 12 up-and-coming officials in the nation.

Moran has been calling games since she was 9 years old.

“She has always been a smart kid,” said Kris Moran, who is Mickey’s mom.

Mickey plays forward for Concordia, which is the No. 3 seed for the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference playoffs. The Cobbers (12-7-5) play at St. Thomas at 7:30 tonight in the MIAC semifinals.

Moran has logged ice time in all 24 games in her freshman season with the Cobbers.

“She has the ability to do just about everything,” Cobbers head coach Brett Bruininks said. “She is a very good penalty killer. … We only see her getting better.”

Moran has already made a quick ascension up the officiating ranks, having worked a national title game for 12-and-under girls. That was in Dallas last spring. She worked that championship game with her mom. They were both linesmen.

“That was really cool,” Kris said. “The officials compete just as hard to make the championship round as the players do.”

When she got her start in officiating, Moran lived in Ashburn, Va. The family later moved to Sartell when Mickey was in seventh grade.

Mickey’s father, Ron, was also a hockey official and shadowed Mickey in her first game. Moran recalls calling that mite game, which should have been easy, she said.

“I just remember being completely lost and kind of feeling guilty for all the times I yelled at a ref because I realized how hard it was,” Mickey said with a smile. “It’s obviously a lot easier now.”

When Mickey was 10 years old, she had to throw a coach out of a squirt game. Moran said the coach yelled through a cone and was warned multiple times before she kicked him out. Moran said she would call numerous more games with that coach, but that incident didn’t linger.

“That kind of helped me gain respect with him,” Moran said.

Moran and her mom will both work the USA Hockey national girls tournament, which is set for San Jose, Calif., in April. Moran hopes to get an invite to women’s elite camp next summer.

Moran was invited to officiate Olympic tryouts around New Year’s and games for the Boston Blades – a women’s professional team in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League – in November and December. Moran had to decline both due to Concordia’s season.

However, Moran said playing in college has been good for her officiating career. It gives her a chance to take notes on what other officials are calling and what players expect to be called.

“It helps understand the game more,” Moran said.

As a player, Moran said she is more irritated when she sees an official not working hard as opposed to missing a call.

“She can separate her play and the officiating,” Bruininks said. “She has that ability to play those two roles. … I’ve seen a few times where she has to almost pull out her mental rule book. You get a little chuckle out of it because she has every rule down.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com