Referees For Stanley Cup Finals Game 7 (Steve Kozari's Comeback Story)

Steve Kozari went from getting carried off on a stretcher during the regular season to officiating one of the biggest games in NHL history.
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

It isn't a stretch to say that Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final is one of the biggest games in NHL history. It's an honor to be the four officials chosen to officiate this game, and some of their stories are inspiring for any former hockey players or fans possibly trying to stay in the game by becoming an official. Steve Kozari and Dan O'Rourke are wearing the orange armbands for this game, while Matt MacPherson and Jonny Murray call the offsides and icings.

The linesmen are more recognizable than ever with the increased emphasis on offsides with video reviews. An offsides review was a major factor in Game 6 after Aleksander Barkov's goal that made it 2-1 Oilers was taken off the board thanks to a missed offside.

Steve Kozari

Kozari hails from Penticton, British Columbia. He appeared in 66 regular season games and 16 postseason games. He was born on June 20th, 1973, and began officiating during the 2003-04 season. He has been in two Stanley Cup Finals: the 2014 and 2019 editions. It's a special moment for Kozari, as he was stretchered off the ice after a collision with Hadyn Fleury in April but recovered to don the stripes again in the playoffs.

Dan O'Rourke

O'Rourke is from Calgary, Alberta. He officiated 64 regular season games and 15 postseason games. He was born on August 31st, 1972. O'Rourke has plenty of Stanley Cup Final experience, officiating the 2011, 2016, and 2020 series. He started his professional hockey career as a player after four years in the WHL. He played for four seasons between the ECHL, CHL, and IHL.

Matt MacPherson

MacPherson is from Antigonish, Nova Scotia. He called the offsides and icings for 72 regular season and 15 postseason games. MacPherson officiated his first NHL game in 2011 and finally made his first Stanley Cup Final in 2018. This was his third Stanley Cup Final, as he participated in the 2020 edition.

Jonny Murray

Murray hails from Beauport, Quebec. He officiated 71 regular season games and 16 postseason games. Murray was born on August 10th, 1974. He is one of the most well-respected linesmen in the NHL, taking part in the 2016, 2018, 2021, and 2022 Stanley Cup Finals.