Saturday, November 04, 2006

More Embarassment from WCHA Refs

There was a little bit of controversy in last night's game between Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth. I didn't get an opportunity to see the game, so I can't comment on most of the shenanigans of head official Don Adam and crew. But there was one particular play that nobody seemed to see very well, so I'm on even footing there.

The play in question happened in the first period. Duluth was killing off a 5-on-3 penalty when Drew Akins came out of the box and skated to the bench. Teammate Bryan McGregor jumped on for Akins and took the puck on the breakaway and scored a goal. After lengthy discussions with both coaches and changing his mind a couple times, Adam ruled that it was no goal and Duluth had committed a too many men on the ice penalty.

Nobody seemed to know for sure if McGregor had indeed jumped too early and it was a penalty, but that wasn't really the issue here, since linesman Tony Lancette, never made the call before the goal was scored. Incidentally, Tony Lancette is easily the most visible linesman in the WCHA, which is a really bad thing if you're a linesman.

Two examples really stick out in my mind when it comes to a situation like this:

1. Last night, I watched Minnesota State's Jon Kalinski trying to bring the puck out of his zone in the third period of the game. He was clearly hooked down from behind, and Bemidji took the puck and got a quality scoring chance. If Bemidji had scored there, would it have been ok for the officials to congregate and decide that Bemidji's scoring chance came as a direct result of an infraction and disallow the goal? Probably not.

2. This was a couple years ago, but I just saw someone reference it earlier this week. Northern Michigan player Chris Gobert was awarded a penalty shot late in a game against Nebraska-Omaha. Gobert scored on the penalty shot, but after the play, Omaha coach Mike Kemp asked the officials to check Gobert's stick. The stick was found to have an illegal curve. Again, Gobert had clearly committed an infraction, but because the call wasn't made before the goal, Gobert's penalty shot goal stood, though Gobert did have to serve a two-minute penalty.

Anyway, the point is that you can't go back and start retroactively calling penalties because that would be chaos.

There's also another problem, which is more of an indictment on WCHA refs in general. The NCAA rulebook makes it very clear that officials aren't supposed to let the game situation affect the way that they call the game, but it seems that most calls in the WCHA end up happening because of the situation. Now you have to ask, would that too many men penalty have been called if Duluth hadn't scored? Probably not since Tony Lancette didn't call the penalty while the play happened. So if he decided it wasn't blatant enough to call the penalty as the play happened, he shouldn't go back and change the call just because Duluth scored a goal.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

crap like that seems to happen all the time up here, and just to give the WCHA refs some credit, most of the times i have been in fbx the CCHA refs seems just as bad, except possibly this year.

Bob said...

From the games I've followed, it seems like CCHA officials call every little thing and WCHA officials don't make calls enough.

Anonymous said...

The other week at SCSU, the ref called Kalinski from MSUM for boarding. After the captain from SCSU argued his point, the ref pulled the boarding, gave him a 5 minute major for checking from behind and booted him from the game. I almost fell out of my seat...what's the point in making calls and then changing them like that? Taking away a goal? Nuts!!

I disagree with Bob...the refs this year for the WCHA seem to be calling alot of penalties...seems like the game isn't even getting played anymore. It's start, stop, start, stop...annoying!

Anonymous said...

In lacrosse, a goal can be taken away immediately after it's scored if the opposing coach of the scoring player calls for a stick check of the player and his stick is illegal. It rarely happens, but it makes sense to me that if a goal should be taken away after a situation like this. When the hockey player scored on a penalty shot, I think it should've been taken off the board if his stick was immediately found to be illegal.

Anonymous said...

Last night in Grand Forks, Mason's crew called a penalty late in overtime on St. Cloud. After St. Cloud's player went to the box, St. Cloud still had five players on the ice and play continued without the officials noticing it.....Now, it's one thing to miss a hook or not see an elbow, but to allow too many men on the ice right after you called a penalty in a crucial time of the game....there's no excuse for that.

Anonymous said...

Crucial time of the game? There was 1.0 seconds left in the game!

If anything, I think SCSU should have put Weslosky in as well and had 2 goaltenders in at the same time! I bet they still would have missed it!

That being said, I don't care how many players were on the ice for SCSU. If it doesn't increase the time in the game, then it doesn't matter. The game was over. The horn rang before the puck even left the dot.

siouxnami said...

At least nobody got their neck broken this time...

Anonymous said...

I'm just thankful that we got through an Adam-officiated series without one of our guys getting paralyzed by an overzealous hit from behind.

HockeyRef said...

Just in case anybody runs across this again, the rules state that if a stick is found to be illegal after a goal, the goal stands and a penalty is served, which sounds like that happened.