NCAA hockey referee Oliver “Butch” Mousseau died Friday, one week after sustaining a head injury while falling onto the ice of a game he was to officiate.
He was 48.
Mousseau hit his head on the ice on March 18 before a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game between Ferris State and Michigan Tech. Mousseau was not wearing a helmet, and had his hands in his pockets when he tripped, preventing him from breaking his fall, according to The Denver Post.
Mousseau also worked part-time for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference in addition to the WCHA, and officiated for numerous adult and professional leagues. Mousseau once worked an NHL preseason game, making him the only Native American to referee an NHL game.
His skates and sweater from the game are in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
“The world and the Colorado hockey family didn't just lose a good one, they lost a great one,” Jay Stickney, a University of Denver hockey radio broadcaster who was a University of Colorado fraternity brother with Mousseau, told the Post. “He was everything I ever wanted in a friend.”