On Sunday during an Australian Ice Hockey League game between the Newcastle North Stars and the Melbourne Ice, linesman Casper Russelhuber was injured. Russelhuber was hit by two players (at the 0:53 second mark of the video) and ended up suffering a concussion on the play as well as a lacerated finger.
Stephen White, the announcer for ATC Productions, was then called upon to be a replacement linesman so the teams could finish the game.
According to The Age, White has been a referee at lower levels for years and he had his hockey equipment with him because he was supposed to play a reserves match immediately after the game. White didn’t have a referee uniform though, so he borrowed one from the half-conscious linesman.
The result wasn’t a snug fit for White, who says he looked like something out of “South Central LA” in the bigger man’s outfit.
ATC boss James Morgan said the commentary crew was highly amused by White’s “baggy pant” look, and hoped he would trip over his pants whilst on screen.
White said the players were also amused by his promotion, – “it’s all on you to get in there”, chided Ice star Matt Armstrong – but they remained supportive. White says he made one or two errors, but was satisfied overall with his performance. But that was after an “adrenalin dump” when he first stepped on to the ice.
“I suddenly got out there and realised ‘oh [crap] there’s 2000 people here, I’m on TV. this is my first AIHL game ever and the home team is down 2-0!’”
This was a pretty incredible occurrence, imagine Pierre McGuire or Doc Emerick leaving their posts mid-game to help referee the finish of an NHL game. It’s pretty much unfathomable.
White had this to say after the North Stars 2-0 win:
— Stephen White (@StephenWhite83) May 19, 2013