March 13, 2012

Former ECAC Ice Hockey Official Matt Smith Passes Away after a Battle with Skin Cancer

(Courtesy of USCHO.com; Link to The Salem News Obituary)

BOSTON--Former Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) on-ice official Matt Smith, who worked championship games at the NCAA Division I and Division III levels, passed away Thursday after a battle with melanoma. He was 45.

Smith was an assistant referee for the 2001 Frozen Four championship game and also twice officiated the Division III final as well as in the Beanpot tournament, according to Pete Torgerson, a former ECAC Hockey officiating counterpart.

He also was a member of the Danvers Fire Department until he retired in 2011 due to his illness.

NCAA supervisor of officials Frank Cole called it a “terrible loss for college hockey.”

“Matt loved the game and was a true professional,” Cole wrote in an email. “Fantastic attitude and work ethic — great person to be around and officiate with. It was great to see him work his way up to the top level of college officiating. His presence will be greatly missed around the circuit. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.”

Smith started with the ECAC in the 1996-97 season and also worked for Atlantic Hockey and Hockey East. He retired from officiating two years ago because of his illness.

He is survived by his wife, Megan, and a son, Shane.

A celebration of life is scheduled for noon EDT Tuesday at the Chapel of the Barile Family Funeral Home, 482 Main St. in Stoneham, Mass. Family and friends are invited to gather for remembrances from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Melanoma Foundation of New England, Attn.: Billy’s Buddies, 111 Old Road to Nine Acre Corner, Suite 1005, Concord, MA, 01742.