After the end of the game yesterday, a lot of one-sided conversation arose about how Nik Yaremchuk's goal should have been disallowed, and it obviously wasn't. Nor should it be, nor will it be. Last night, Drew Palmisano even posted on Twitter calling for officials to review the situation. So I picked up the phone this afternoon and had a pleasant conversation with the CCHA Director of Officiating, Steve Piotrowski, who concurred with the officials on-ice and video review decisions.
Looking at replay tape from the broadcast camera, yes you can tell that the net came up, but was never displaced, and immediately returned to its proper position in place before the shot was taken. In the NCAA rulebook under rule 6, section 18-Goals and Assists "A goal is scored when the puck, initially propelled
legally by a stick of a player of the attacking team, passes between the goal posts, entering from the front and below the top of the net, and completely crosses the goal line, with the goal frame in its proper position."
Moving further down to 6-18-c-12 "If the goal cage has been moved or dislodged. The goal frame is
considered to be displaced if any portion of the goal frame is not in its proper position (e.g., frame must be completely flat on the ice surface, goal posts must be in proper place and affixed securely in place with its pegs)." This rule definition applies when the goal is scored. Before the puck was shot in, the net did come up, but it was not displaced. The cage returned to its proper position before the shot was taken. When the officials reviewed the call, they determined under this ruling that the net was in its proper position, flat on the ice, when the shot was taken, and a goal was then awarded. Steve mentioned that from the overhead camera, you could clearly see at the time of the goal that the cage was in its proper place.
Officials have the ability to make a judgment call that if the integrity of the net is compromised, or if the cage has come off the ice in such a way to inhibit play, or compromise safety. Frequently at all levels of hockey, you'll see the net get jostled around a bit, especially in goal mouth scrambles. Just because the net moved a little, doesn't mean it was displaced. In this case, the net quickly returned to its proper position, just before the goal was scored.
Rick Comley can argue with the officials all he wants. It was a good goal, and the Spartans lost, fair and square. UPDATE: The guys over at The Pipeline Show have posted a story about the post-game altercations that took place between Rick Comley and and some Nanook fans that occurred during an interview with members of the media. Head on over to their blog for the scoop.
Game 2 takes place tonight at 7:05PM AKT at the Carlson Center. I have a feeling MSU will be gunning for us. Hopefully things don't get too chippy.
As always, you can follow my Twitter feed for live in-game updates and commentary. Bruce Cech calls the game on KSUA 91.5FM, or via the internet at ksua.uaf.edu (free!). Video streams are also available for a fee at AmericaOne.com (direct link to CCHA playoffs)