On April 17th in Detroit, NHL referee Brian Pochmara celebrated his 1,000th NHL Regular Season Game when the Florida Panthers visited the Red Wings. Joining him on the ice for this special assignment were fellow referee Justin St.Pierre along with linesmen Brad Kovachik and Bryan Pancich.
The NHLOA would like to congratulate referee Brian Pochmara for reaching the 1,000 NHL Regular Season Games milestone.
Brian Pochmara bio:
Born and raised in Detroit Michigan, Pochmara started skating and playing hockey at the age of 4. He would go on and play until age 16 dressing up for different teams in the St.Clair Shores Hockey Association. The former forward, made his officiating debut at the young age of 11 in that same hockey association. After several year of working all different levels of minor hockey that was available to him, Brian was hired in 1993 to work the North American Junior Hockey League (NAHL) as a linesman, a league he would work for a few years. He would continue wearing the striped jersey while attending Lake Superior University as a student in the Fire Science program (1994-98), working the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) from 1995 to 1999. Right after his student years were over, “Pocho” decided to relocate to the city of Des Moines, Iowa to work the United States Hockey League (USHL) as a full-time referee. He worked one season in the USHL and worked for a second year in a row the USA Hockey National Championships. His officiating success were noticed then and he was offered his first minor-pro contract as a full-time referee in the ECHL during the summer of 1999. He would work the ECHL for a total of 3 seasons, working the 2002 ECHL All-Star Game in Trenton, NJ and also being selected to work the prestigious Kelly’s Cup Finals that same season (2002). During his last season with the ECHL (2001-2002), Pochmara also worked a good share of American Hockey League (AHL) games. The National Hockey League (NHL) recognized his potential the following summer (2002) offering him a full-time minor leagues referee contract at the age of 25.
His NHL debut happened on December 23, 2005 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum when the Ottawa Senators where in town to play the New York Islanders. The man wearing jersey number 16, spent a total of 6 seasons under a minor leagues contract with the NHL before being promoted to a full-time NHL referee status in the summer of 2008. During his time in the minors, Brian was assigned to work three Calder Cup Finals (2006,2007 & 2008) and was also selected to officiate the 2008 AHL All-Star Game held in Binghamton NY that year. It only took him two seasons as a full-time NHL referee to be selected to work the NHL Playoffs, making his postseason debut on April 15th, 2010 in Buffalo (BOS vs BUF). Pochmara was also part of the 2014 NHL Winter Classic held at Michigan Stadium “The Big House” (TOR vs DET), the 2017 NHL Global Series in Stockholm Sweden (COL vs OTT) and the 2019 NHL All-Star Game in San Jose, CA.