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After 15 years of getting tips from his father, Kerry, on how to referee hockey games, Ryan Fraser finally got a chance to watch him do his job from the closest vantage point possible.

There was just one catch. Ryan couldn’t be merely a spectator. He had to actually keep up with his father, call for call. Longtime NHL referee Kerry and AHL ref Ryan worked a game together for the first time ever on Nov. 26, vs. Hershey. The contest was part of a rehabilitation assignment for Kerry, who was recovering from injuries to his knee and big toe. The AHL put them in the same game to work as a two-ref team.

On the way to the game, Kerry, 54, told Ryan, 29, to relax, keep his feet moving and anticipate seeing plays from a different perspective with two refs out there. That only served to calm Ryan’s jitters just a bit.

“There was some pressure on me,’’ Ryan said. “I leaned over to the scorers at one point and said, 'The guy dropping the puck out there will be in the Hockey Hall of Fame someday.'"

But the Frasers were a predictably smooth team. At one point, Kerry called a penalty and the player then complained to Ryan. Ryan responded along the lines of, "Hey, what do you want from me? I have to ride home with the guy. Take your beef to him."

During a pregame color guard presentation, one fan shouted out words to the effect of “Fraser, you stink.’’ Kerry got a laugh when he pointed to Ryan. Later, that fan covered all his bases by rephrasing his taunt to, “Fraser, you stink. Both of you.’’

Kerry said the contest is high on his list of personal highlights.

“In the many events that occurred over the years, this is something that ranks in the special category,’’ he said.

“He was very encouraging to me. He was excellent to work with,’’ Ryan said.

And Ryan wouldn’t be offering that scouting report with any bias, would he?

“I’m 29 now,’’ Ryan said. “So he can’t take my allowance away.’’
 
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