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Wyonzek on the ice again at World Hockey Championship

Tarrington Wyonzek, who has ties to Canora, worked a total of seven round robin games, as well as the quarter-final between U.S.A. and the host Czechia team.
Tarrington Wyonzek, who has ties to Canora, helped break up a disagreement between NHL players Brady Tkachuk of the U.S. (no helmet) and Radko Gudas of Czechia, the host team and eventual champion, during a quarter-final game at the recent World Hockey Championship. Wyonzek was selected as an on-ice official for the World Championship for the second year in a row.

CANORA - Tarrington Wyonzek is getting to be a familiar face at the World Hockey Championships.

For the second year in a row, Wyonzek, the grandson of Henry and Anne Wyonzek of Canora and Victor and Vickie Puchala of Yorkton (formerly of Rhein) and the son of Pat and Karen Wyonzek, was selected to serve as a linesman. The 2024 event took place from May 10 to May 26 in Czechia (Czech Republic) in the host cities of Prague and Ostrava.

Wyonzek worked a total of seven round robin games, as well as the quarter-final between U.S.A. and the host Czechia team, which went on to win the world championship.

“That was one of the top games,” said Wyonzek. “Final score was 1-0 for Czechia on a second period goal in front of a sold out arena in Prague with 17,000 fans, it was pretty wild. The crowds helped the Czechia team a lot “

Wyonzek said most people in North America don’t truly understand how passionate and crazy these high level hockey tournaments can get in Europe.

‘Take the World Juniors and multiply it by about 10 for craziness and atmosphere. Pretty much every country has a heavy fan base.”

Even though he had worked at the 2023 World Hockey Championship, Wyonzek said he had to go through the selection process again, just like everyone else. The experience at the games was similar to last year in many aspects, but Wyonzek noticed at least one significant change.

“The biggest difference was there were so many more NHL players in the tournament this year. Almost every country had a good stack of NHL players. With the Olympics coming up pretty quick in 2026, it looks they want to start putting together high-end rosters.”

Wyonzek said he went sightseeing in Prague and Ostrava on off days, and quickly noticed, “both cities were packed with people.”

Many well wishes were sent to Wyonzek during the tournament from family and friends back in Saskatchewan, including co-workers at his day job in Regina.

Wyonzek said having over a decade of experience as an on-ice official is a big help. He remembers being very nervous at his first overseas tournament five years ago.

“Now I find I can control my emotions better, plus I have more confidence in my abilities. Even in games when the crowd is really loud, I don’t notice it that much. I hear it, but it’s just background noise.”

After the world championships he will be continuing his work as an on-ice official in the SJHL, WHL and AHL with an eye toward his long-term goal of being selected for the hockey tournament at the upcoming 2026 Winter Olympics to be held in Milan, Italy.