Friday, 1 February 2019

How Does This Count?

The SPHL isn't a particularly well-known league outside of the handful of cities in which the league operates. They got some great coverage when Canadian standout netminder Shannon Szabados suited up for the Columbus Cottonmouths, but the coverage has all but evaporated without her in it any longer. What matters here is that it's not bad hockey by any means and that the league is still a developmental league for players looking to take the next step to either the AHL or ECHL. Tonight, though, it seems as though the officiating may have taken a step back in the game between the Huntsville Havoc and the Quad City Storm.

With the game tied 4-4 in overtime tonight, there was a late goal scored in the extra time by Huntsville's Nolan Kaiser to send Huntsville to victory. Here's the goal that sealed victory for Huntsville.
Looks like a fairly cut-and-dry goal, right? The problem is that this was anything but cut-and-dry thanks to the time winding down late in the extra period. Kaiser's shot hadn't even left the tape of his stick yet when time expired on the overtime period. Here's another look at the goal from a second angle with the time showing at the bottom.
I've stopped the video at the exact time the clock hits zero-point-zero seconds, and it's clear that Kaiser has yet to release the shot let alone beat Quad City netminder Peter Di Salvo with said shot. I've isolated that frame below.
Now I didn't see a light come on behind the net that indicated that time had expired, but I'm not certain that's a requirement in SPHL arenas. If it's not, this is a colossal screw-up by the league for not insisting those be made mandatory. On top of that, how was there no horn or buzzer at the moment that time expired? I've listened to the audio a number of times, and I do not hear any indication of a horn or buzzer or anything that would indicate that time expired, so is that too not a necessity for pro hockey?

Regardless of the protests by Quad City, the referee allowed the goal to stand despite there being clear evidence that this goal was scored beyond the time limit allowed. The SPHL doesn't even acknowledge the mistake on the call on their website, instead posting an article that reads, "... until Nolan Kaiser scored the winner as time expired in sudden-death overtime." If time expired, the goal should not count, SPHL, and you need to make amends with the Storm for this absolute garbage. It can't be both ways - there is either time left on the clock to allow the goal to count or time expired and it does not count.

Dave Eminian, who is the beat writer for the Peoria Journal Star and covers the SPHL's Peoria Rivermen, tweeted out this comment, and he's 100% correct in his thoughts.

This kind of error leaves a bad taste in the mouths of players and fans. The SPHL would be wise to admit there was a mistake at the very least. Let's hope someone addresses this problem at some point over the weekend or, at the very latest, by early next week.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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