A dream of the late Jason Mercer's came to fruition on Saturday afternoon at Mosaic Place.
When the Moose Jaw Generals squared off with the Yorkton Maulers in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League, it was the first time that the entire officiating crew for a male midget AAA game in Saskatchewan was made up of females.
"It was exciting to be out there with my really good friends and just enjoy the game," said Moose Jaw's Michelle Stapleton, who was one of the two referees for the game.
"We've all worked really hard to be where we are and we continue to work hard to continue to keep getting better each and every game."
Stapleton was joined in the officiating crew by Cianna Lieffers, Krista Funke and Alex Clarke on Saturday.
Lieffers said this game was a good example of how much progress females have been able to make in officiating over the past decade.
"Five to ten years ago, we only had many one or two female officials working in this league, so the fact that we have us four and others that work in the male AAA game, showcases that we've come a long way," she said.
Funke added, "We're very fortunate that here in Saskatchewan, they give us opportunities to prove ourselves and it's nice to see that we've all come so far that we could do it together."
With a handful of female officials working in the SMAAAHL this season, a game with all four officials being female was bound to happen sooner than later.
Clarke said it was exciting when they found out that they would be working together for this game.
"We started talking about it about a month and a half ago, so it’s been exciting leading up to it," she said. "This was a special moment."
Mercer, who passed away in 2016, was a former police officer in Moose Jaw and long-time official in the province and he was integral in recruiting female officials for the Saskatchewan Hockey Association.
"I remember doing a game a couple of years ago, Mercer was supervising and he comes in and he’s like, 'All I want to do is say, 'Good game ladies!', and be able to say it to an entire crew,' so it’s really an honour to be a part of this," said Stapleton.
The group is hoping that this game will be the first of many moving forward.
The Generals skated to their second straight win on Saturday, beating the Yorkton Maulers 4-1 to move to eight points out of a playoff spot with eight games to go.