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Dartmouth's Terry Koharski retires after more than 40 years in hockey

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If you ask Terry Koharski to count the number of games he worked as an on ice official over his 40-plus year career, it quickly turns into a hockey trip down memory lane.

“I did the IHL and I did the West Coast Hockey League and probably 2,000 in the American Hockey League," said the 58-year-old Dartmouth native. "I also worked 11 Calder Cup finals and two all-star games.”

Koharski estimates he worked roughly 3,000 total games at several minor pro levels.

According to former NHL referee Don Koharski, "My brother Terry is the most revered official to ever retire from the game in minor pro hockey.”

Koharski’s retirement became official Saturday night.

He was a referee for his last AHL game in Springfield, Mass.

"I was numb and for the first 10 minutes of hockey game I couldn’t feel my legs," said Koharski, who added friends and family traveled far to pay tribute in a pre-game ceremony.

"I said to myself, 'I have 60 minutes of hockey left,' and we went out and enjoyed it and nailed it with my family and friends. It was epic.”

Don Koharski attended the game.

"It was so good to see off-ice officials come from all around to see his final game.”

The Koharski brothers are both proud of their hockey roots.

“We are Shannon Park, Wallace Heights boys,” said Don.

“I lived in Ontario and I lived in the USA but I’m a Nova Scotia and Dartmouth boy through and through," added Terry.

With more than four decades of professional officiating behind him, Koharski hopes to work as a mentor and instructor for young referees and linesmen looking to advance their careers.

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