-- There may be little less fighting on the ice these days, but plenty of hockey players are still being sent to the penalty box for both minor and major infractions.
And while these players wait out their punishment for minutes at a time, there's someone who sits nearby to fulfill an important but often unnoticed role: the penalty box attendant.
Kevin Girouard has been a penalty box official with the American Hockey League for nine years, and working with the Hartford Wolf Pack gives him one of the best seats in the house. He can watch the action up close as he monitors infractions, assists the game referee and sits only inches away from a heated athlete who is itching to get back on the ice.
Along with a close crew of approximately 11 other officials who all work together to call a fair game, it turns out Girouard plays a pretty big part in the timing of it all.