On-ice official Matt Smith, who worked championship games at the Division I and Division III levels, passed away Thursday after a battle with melanoma. He was 45.

Smith was an assistant referee for the 2001 Frozen Four championship game and also twice officiated the Division III final as well as in the Beanpot tournament, according to Pete Torgerson, a former ECAC Hockey officiating counterpart.

He also was a member of the Danvers (Mass.) Fire Department until he retired in 2011 because of his illness.

NCAA supervisor of officials Frank Cole called it a “terrible loss for college hockey.”

“Matt loved the game and was a true professional,” Cole wrote in an email. “Fantastic attitude and work ethic — great person to be around and officiate with. It was great to see him work his way up to the top level of college officiating. His presence will be greatly missed around the circuit. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.”

Smith started with the ECAC in the 1996-97 season and also worked for Atlantic Hockey and Hockey East.

He is survived by his wife, Megan, and a son, Shane.

A celebration of life is scheduled for noon EDT Tuesday at the Chapel of the Barile Family Funeral Home, 482 Main St. in Stoneham, Mass. Family and friends are invited to gather for rememberances from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Melanoma Foundation of New England, Attn.: Billy’s Buddies, 111 Old Road to Nine Acre Corner, Suite 1005, Concord, MA, 01742.

  • Steve

    The ECAC, has lost one of their greatest assets in Matt Smith. Fair yet firm, he was one of the better on-ice officials I have seen work. He will be missed, especially in light of the pending finals, where he truly shined. May his family find solace and comfort knowing he made a difference in the lives of many collegiate athletes with whom he interacted. He will be missed, and he most certainly is loved.